Monday, February 19, 2007

Are the blogs really "Vulgar?"

Amanda Marcotte uses her recent experience of being attacked by Donohue taking soundbytes out of context in her extensive blogging to accuse her of "Anti-Catholic bigotry" after she went to work for the Edwards campaign to demonstrate the elitism and fatuousness of the mainstream media as it currently dominates American politics. That elitism is used to remove discussion and analysis from modern American politics, making it nothing more than a high-stakes duel contested with money and TV ads to keep the wealthy in control of the political process.

The elitists who currently dominate the mainstream media find the blogosphere "common" or "vulgar." (David Broder is a clear example. He seems panicked by the on-line competition he faces as a pundit.) Yet here is how Amanda describes the left blogosphere:
Blogging is a real counterpoint to the thoughtless, elitist, soundbyte-driven mainstream media, where we're supposed to absorb an endless stream of soundbytes and photo ops and our participation is limited mostly to a vote every couple of years. Blogs are bringing back the 19th century debate culture, where people would attend real debates and political rallies and listen to speeches for hours at a time. The irony about the vulgar people is that the vulgar people crave analysis, debate and participation, because these things validate our intelligence and our right to be citizens. The blogs are still appealing only to a small segment of society right now, but they're still relatively new and have the potential to reach a much larger audience over time.
To answer the question I posed in the tite - no. At this time, blogs are not an example of the common people at work. That's what the mainstream media means by "vulgar". Vulgar is common, crude and not something that the "better people" participate in.

But there are no major barriers of entry to blogging. As broadband access grows cheaper and more popular, we can really hope that the blogosphere or its improved progeny takes over from the current elitist-dominated TV, cable and newspapers. There is a real hunger for better news and improved analysis as a basis for our politics. Maybe blogging by the populace can get more than 50% of American eligible voters to participate in the voting process once they find they don't have to just listen to the wealthy elites bombard them with simplistic slogans and soundbytes taken out of context so that the real meaning is totally lost in games of "gotcha." Let's get Americans back to participating in the election process.

Possibly we can prevent the tragedy of the Cheney/Bush admininstration from ever being repeated!

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