My latest for PJ Media deals with the failure of blogs to fulfill their promise of changing politics for the better while racing with the rest of media to the gutter.
I suppose it was unrealistic to expect that the political blogosphere might make some positive contributions to the 2008 election campaign. But judging by the smears and lies that are either created by bloggers or are simply echoed again and again on websites both right and left, along with the painfully shallow emphasis on whatever bloggers can blow up into a “gaffe” by hugely exaggerating some minor misstatement by either candidate, one is left with the sad conclusion that most blogs are contributing absolutely nothing of substance to this election.
While the nation is going through an economic crisis, trying to decide the best course of action in Iraq, and wrestling with serious questions of war, peace, and financial security, blogs as a whole are concerned with either promoting or knocking down the latest smear from their opponents. Or, even worse, trivializing the utterances of both candidates so that the elections seems more about the best way to make the opposition look bad by blowing a statement out of all sensible proportion while, at the same time, accusing the candidate of all manner of hair raising-perfidy.
Perhaps it is time to pause and ask “Is this the best blogs can do?”
Yes – if you peruse this site you will see I am a prime example of a blogger who deals in these “gotchya” themes. But I also try and cover the race from the perspective of a serious analyst who weighs the import of many of these gaffes and how they will affect the race.
I have also tried to debunk smears on both candidates while taking a more realistic view of Mr. Obama than many of my more conservative readers like.
That said, I realize my shortcomings in this area and make no apologies. I like having a few readers now and then and if I were to turn all wonky on you (and I hate wonk writing) both you and I would be miserable. And God help us if I ever got to the point where I had to be fair and balanced when it came to writing about the left!
So you see, my friends, I am trapped by my own choosing in this little cocoon of trivia and mud slinging. This blog is what it is and I am what I am and you can like it or take your eyes elsewhere. That is the beauty of the blogosphere.