Friday, December 17, 2004

The Blogosphere Slides the Way of the Mainstream Media

The blogosphere seems to be traveling to the same irrelevancy as the mainstream media at a record pace. The left side of the blogosphere had always been extreme and ridiculous. The sanest among the lefties, Joshua Micah Marshall, is as susceptible to believing and promoting conspiracies as any one of the thousands of Michael Moore’s fans. But it is now the conservative bloggers who are the cause of the quick demise of the blogosphere influence. Conservative stalwarts such as Hugh Hewitt and the guys at Powerline need to do the blogosphere a favor and go on vacation for about three months. Hugh has unfortunately been pushing a boycott of Target due to their refusal to allow the Salvation Army to post bell ringers in front of their stores. Powerline now takes every opportunity to post, “I told you so’s”, and “ I said it first” posts. The blogosphere is falling prey to the same affliction that beset mainstream media and turned it into tragedy TV - the blogosphere is producing too many words in an effort to produce post after post. Words that had power and influence before the election now carry as much weight as a nightly newscast by Dan Rather because the flow of words never stops and every movement by the President or his cabinet results in breathless posting. When network or cable news and the blogosphere are both producing millions of words on a daily basis does it matter who is telling the truth? No. It all sounds the same. And true to Republican form, most of the posts are critical of the President. No group of people is better at destroying themselves over petty disagreements than Republicans. And no form of media is better at broadcasting the, “I am a more pure conservative than you” mentality than the blogosphere.

The blogosphere began as a medium for everyday citizens to voice their opinions and thoughts about any given subject. Bloggers who spend much of their day railing against the mainstream media are always more than happy to accept an invitation from that same media to appear on TV, in newspapers or magazines. I have a simple question for conservative bloggers. If the mainstream media is as irrelevant as you claim, why do you jump at every appearance and promote the appearances on your blog? The media attention changed the blogosphere for the worse. Very good blogs, run by men and women who work all day, everyday have been drown out by an elite few, to the detriment of all. How long until there are “professional bloggers”?

So what was once a voice for the common man is turning into just another media outlet dominated by an elite few, and words that once carried weight are turning into just more static in the world of media.

What is my advice to the conservative blogosphere? Stop taking yourself so seriously , take time off, and at least enjoy the Republican victory on November 2 for a couple of months before you begin to tear down its majority. The world does not need to hear your thoughts on every bit of news. Stand up, turn the computer off and go live life. I made over 1,000 posts in the months leading up to the election and I owe it to myself, my readers and the blogosphere in general to walk away for a period of weeks or months. There is more to life than a computer screen, and no matter how many times you have appeared on the mainstream media you so loathe, there are people out there with opinions more interesting than yours.

See you in the new year.