Blogosphere: October 2004 Archives

From daily blog rounds

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No comment, just links to some interesting finds in my latest tours around the blogosphere:

  • Power Line has a number of stories on vandalism targeting Republican offices, signs, even vehicles displaying Republican bumper stickers. And there's this item, that shows that separation of church and state apparently only applies to Republican candidates.
  • Richard Rushfield conducted an experiment, going into conservative Orange County and Bakersfield, California, wearing a Kerry/Edwards shirt, and into reliably liberal areas around L.A. wearing a Bush/Cheney shirt. He writes about the reactions he observed for Slate. You probably won't be surprised to learn which parts of southern California were most tolerant of minority points of view.
  • NRO has a new blog called Battlegrounders, featuring first-hand reports from key states. Here's one from Arkansas about how an election judge (a Democrat) treated Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee (a Republican) when she showed up to volunteer as a pollworker for early voting. Mrs. Huckabee naively believed she was supposed to follow the law and ask voters for ID. The same item has more about Democrat facilitation of voter fraud.
  • The writer of that Arkansas item is Pulaski County Justice of the Peace Dan Greenberg, who has an interesting CV -- Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, policy director for Governor Mike Huckabee -- and now owns an editorial service -- you write it, he will edit it, for a fee. Cool typewriter effect on the website. And he doesn't say this, but I'm betting he's related to one of my favorite columnists, Paul Greenberg of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. (Watch for his Monday column, about the Sox making it to the World Series.)
  • Two polls now show Bush slightly ahead of Kerry in Hawai'i -- Ward Research has Bush ahead 43.3% to 42.6%, while SMS Research has Bush up 46% to 45%. Yes, both well within the margin of error, but Bush shouldn't even be competitive in Hawai'i.
  • Michelle Malkin says "call the wah-mbulance" for Kerry's latest poster child for economic deprivation during the Bush years.
  • Downtown Guy (of OKC) doesn't think Shan Gray's "The American" is going to happen. But he's excited about new apartments going in downtown Oklahoma City -- traditional urban-style four-story buildings with retail at street level.
  • Want to see a full-blown case of Bush Derangement Syndrome? See Lawrence O'Donnell now before the men with the nets take him away! (Thanks to the Daily Recycler for this and many more video highlights, like the new Bush "Wolves" ad, Reagan's 1984 "Bear in the Woods" ad. He's got that video of John Edwards primping before a TV appearance, which includes a moment that Lileks describes thus: "Itís like Captain Kirk whipping out his communicator to contact the USS Fabulous. Set phasers on stunning!")
  • The Grauniad has already removed the opinion piece which closes with a wish for a presidential assassination, but you can still read it here.

That's enough for now.

The cover story in this week's issue of the Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma City's alternative weekly, is about blogs, specifically Oklahoma bloggers who comment on the news and it features quotes from Dustbury's Charles G. Hill, Mike from OkieDoke, and yours truly.

I spoke to Gazette reporter Deborah Benjamin a couple of weeks ago, and it was obvious from her questions that she had done her homework on the subject. There are a lot of angles you could take with a story on blogs. Deborah's focus is on the role of blogs as watchdogs and supplements to the traditional mainstream media.

The story begins with a recounting of how bloggers picked up on comments made by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott at a reception in honor of Sen. Strom Thurmond. The mainstream media was there, but for whatever reason chose not to report the remarks or give them any prominence.

Much of the focus on blogs recently has been about their fact-checking function, displayed prominently in the recent CBS memos scandal, but the Lott/Thurmond story illustrates another way in which blogs help to balance the media.

One of the ways media bias infects news reporting is in story selection and the selection of details to report in any given story. Story selection can be deliberately slanted, but often I think it happens subconsciously. A reporter is observing an event through his own frame of reference, and a story or a detail just doesn't register as important, even though it might be interesting or crucial for some in the reporter's audience. This is one way blogs serve the public -- bloggers can glean the cutting room floor of the mainstream media, and put the lost details out there to be found by others who will also find them significant. Key facts are rescued from burial next to the classified section and given prominence.

Thanks to Mike from OkieDoke for calling attention to the story. There are some comments on his entry which are worth reading as well.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Blogosphere category from October 2004.

Blogosphere: September 2004 is the previous archive.

Blogosphere: November 2004 is the next archive.

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