Andrew Sullivan has a thoughtful account of the blogging phenomeon in Slate. It appears to be part book review, part open letter. In any event, the piece is more informative than the journalistic accounts that have appeared in Newsweek and the New York Times. Why might that be? Sullivan notes what seems to me the key fact that the mainstream media have yet to share with their consumers: “The great journalistic virtue of blogs is…they’re fantastic fact-checkers and media monitors. You can’t simply make stuff up if you’re executive editor of the New York Times and hope no one will notice. I love the fact that the self-important pooh-bahs at 43rd Street now have to worry that they’ll be corrected on a daily basis by a bunch of former nobodies. Go, Instapundit. It helps defuse the self-serving pomposity of much of the journalistic clerisy.”
Unfortunately, Sullivan to the contrary notwithstanding, I notice no decline in the New York Times’s fecklessness with the facts and in its constant page-one axe-grinding since the advent of the blogging phenomenon. But the desire to expose, embarrass, and shame the media pooh-bahs is clearly a driving force. From Sullivan’s piece I also learn that the estimable Michael Barone also has a blog site. Finally, from Sullivan’s piece I learn how to spell pooh-bah.
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