The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Friday, July 16, 2004

Blogging the Times

Speaking of Alphecca, he got a great post for Bloggers on how the New York Times is trying to help us out by providing archival copies of their articles through an rss feed so we can link to a story without fear of the link turning bad in a few weeks.

This is a great move by the paper, and the second big blog pronouncement by them this week. The first, of course, was yesterdays op-ed on Blogging the Conventions. Here is the original, unarchived link.) Of course, since I don't trust either link to work beyond a couple of weeks, I present for you the entire editorial.
H. L. Mencken is said to have guffawed and slapped his thigh in delight at times as he would write about a typical day at a presidential nominating convention. Those long-ago times are enviable for their unpredictability — eons removed from the scripted conventions that will soon be offered to the nation once more as lean cuisine for thought. All the more reason to hope, then, that this year's one potentially risky innovation — accepting dozens of free-form online bloggers as accredited convention journalists — may lace the proceedings with fresh insight and even some Menckenian impertinence.

People who think the mushrooming world of wannabe polemicists and their Web logs, or blogs, is merely a high-tech amusement should talk to Senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican.

In Web lore, bloggers are credited with relentlessly drilling Senator Lott after he expressed segregation-tinged nostalgia for the Strom Thurmond presidential campaign, a story that the major news media initially missed. Mr. Lott was subsequently forced to quit as majority leader.

Beyond its power as a source of news and commentary, the Internet has proved itself to be the ultimate fund-raising tool. Bloggers can be crass and biased, but politicians no longer scoff at their rich online realm. Hence the red carpet at the conventions — at least for some of them.

The Democrats, needless to say, are already paying for their venturesome invitation. They received applications from 50 bloggers and later announced there was room for only 30. Conspiracy theories are already abounding on the blogs of the disinvited. Such is Web life. We do wonder whether a blogger's buccaneer self-image will suffer from having to wear a garish credential necklace just to watch conventioneers as they mainly say, "Nice to see you!" to each other. Will bloggers be tamed into centrism? Or, like Mencken, will they gleefully report that the convention's main speechmakers are "plainly on furlough from some home for extinct volcanoes"? Log on to find out.
While its nice that they are finally catching onto blogs, their partisanship is clearly winning out here as they brush over the dubious conduct and statementsof the Democratic National Campaign Committee. Bill at INDC Journal was treated in an especially rotten manner.


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