My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The "New Media" Gets Shown Up

Ever since that whole forged-draft-dodger thing with Dan Rather, techies have been preening about how cool all us bloggers are, how much power we can wield as fact checkers of the dominant media regime, and so on. Well, this story has been definitively proven as crap. Today's On The Media told the story of how a journalist got a soldier to ask Donald Rumsfeld about why the troops have to scavenge landfills for metal to use as vehicle armor in Iraq. The question caused quite a stir and now the Administration is making noises about how they are going to fix the problem. The issue of inadequate armor and equipment for troops in Iraq has been big in Blogistan for months, and exploded around the time of the April assault on Fallujah, when Rumsfeld had sent all but 70 US tanks out of the country, believing the war to be almost over. Yet you didn't see any action, pretense of action, or even public awareness of the problem back then, did you? In fact, I've just wasted fifteen minutes of my time trying to figure out how to find the old posts at Kos and Atrios, to no avail. If I can't find 'em, the average American probably can't either. And remember all those political blogs who were so sure Howard Dean would be the next president, because of all the enthusiasm on the Web? Sorry, guys.

Big Media: 47,276,974
Blogistan: 5

1 comment:

Wells said...

Well, I would say that weblogs are not for creating news. That job will always go with journalists who are employed mostly by major media and graduate from schools of journalism or other communication fields. But Blogs usefullness, as I see it, are this. 1) Pushing stories from page D-12 to A-4. 2) Fact checking. 3) Local issues. For example, how many of the complaints to Mr. Blackwell's office came from out of state? Would Olberman be covering voter fraud as regularly if voices were not heard on the subject? I often think of Trent Lott losing power over comments that only Josh Marshall picked up on. There is some good stuff at the Columbia School of Journalism's online journal.