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Sunday, July 16, 2006

An open letter to the media

Dear Media,

Blogs such as this are now all over the place. As a result, the media has started paying attention, along with pundits, candidates, activists, and lots of other people who are considered to be "thought leaders" in our society. Some people see the rise of blogs as a threat to democracy, the old-fashioned media, civility, and the American Way. Some people see the rise of blogs as giving power to the people, as leveling the playing field, as opening up the realm of discourse to the masses.

Me? I really don't care much about any of this. I blog because it is easy and free. I follow politics pretty closely and thus, I have a number of opinions on the issues of the day. In the past, the best I could do was share my opinions with friends, family, and coworkers. These people by and large agreed with most of my opinions, so it wasn't a very illuminating experience most of the time. Now, however, I can post my thoughts and anybody can read them and respond. True, it sometimes leads to trolls and other bad behavior, but by and large, I think it is great.

I do not blog for personal gain. I am not trying to be a "kingmaker" or anything else. I do it because it's easy and free, that's all. That's why most people blog. They are trying to connect to people who think the same way as they do (or even differently!) on whatever subject they blog about: politics, sports, hobbies, anything. It's a way to expand communities and connections. It's not insidious, for the most part.

But there are exceptions. As Glenn Greenwald points out, a large number of the most popular conservative blogs have literally declared war on all media that is not conservative, particularly traditional media like newspapers and television. It is a literal war. They want people dead, and they say this repeatedly. They are not joking. To fail to take them seriously is to make a huge gamble, a gamble that is ill-warranted given history.

And yet, what does the media do? Do they expose conservative blogs for inciting violence and hatred? No. Instead, they report on liberal blogs, on silly things like squabbles on Daily Kos or how Ned Lamont is a tool of far-left bloggers. They ignore the people who want to destroy them while focusing on soap opera antics.

Atrios, Daily Kos, Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall...these people never advocate the murder of those that they disagree with. Yet prominent conservative bloggers do. Sure, there are crazy left-wingers, but conservative crazies outnumber them at least ten to one, and for the conservative bloggers, this is what they do every day. It's their bread and butter.

So media, be warned: the conservative blogosphere is rapidly arming itself for a battle with you. So far, you have turned your back on the battle, perhaps hoping that if you don't acknowledge that conservative bloggers want the publisher of the New York Times to be killed for treason, it doesn't exist. However, ignoring such a threat is disastrous, as history has taught us. You may want to start viewing this as the war that it really is.


At 4:44 PM, July 18, 2006, Blogger Kevin from Minneapolis said...

Would you please show us which bloggers literally want members of the MSM dead?

That's quite the claim. Back it up.

At 6:10 PM, July 19, 2006, Blogger MN Politics Guru said...

Glenn Greenwald posted plenty of examples; do you even bother to click on links?


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