When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them. ~ Franklin Adams
The 2/3 of a person who regularly reads this space is aware of my ongoing bemusement with the media's fear and loathing of blogs.
The latest pundit to have hives over blogs appears to be Ellen Goodman, who brings her own brand of hysteria to the discussion. She is most concerned with political bloggers, who according to Ms. Goodman are all Democrats. Evidently, aside from not understanding blogs, she doesn't know how to use Google (tm), because there do seem to be a few zillion conservatives out there blogging as well as a few zillion liberals. There are also one or two middle-of-the-roaders, but who would read them?
Ms. Goodman's problem though is that these liberal bloggers are all white middle-aged men. And those rotten ole men are even having the audacity to link to blogs that are also written by -- gasp -- men! Worst of all, these male-dominated blogs are predominantly being read by --oh, the horror--white males around the age of 43 making $80,000 a year.
Right. And this blog is read mostly by left-handed transexuals who majored in pottery at predominantly west coast universities. Maybe it is; that would explain the lousy readership rate.
"Is it any surprise," wails Ms. Goodman, "that Hillary gets only 9 percent in most online-activist polls, while garnering more than 40 percent in traditional polls?" Frankly, madam, given the long-proven wild inaccuracy of online polls, it would not be surprising if Senator Clinton (with whom I am not on a first-name basis) got 90% on those polls, or 50% or any other number you care to name. The surprise here is that any reasonably intelligent person would put any faith in polls that have no scientific sampling basis in them at all.
Besides, what would you expect since all those 43-year-old middle class white males are the only ones participating in the polls? Aren't they smack-dab in the middle of the Conservative demographic? Which sort of begs the question, what are they doing reading liberal blogs anyway?
As to the authorship of those political blogs, as we all know an author's persona on the web may have nothing whatsoever to do with who that person actually is. For example, I have always portrayed myself as a middle-aged, overweight, klutzy Hungarian male. In reality, I am a twenty-five year-old Nobel Laureate with a body like Charles Atlas (when he was alive, not now) and an IQ of 236. Well, no, I'm actually the dumpy, klutzy guy, but I could be the other guy for all anyone knows.
I quit reading print political columnists years ago because I finally figured out that, when in possession of the facts, I could figure things out as well or better than they do. The trick is getting possession of the facts, something that columnists frequently avoid doing. Let's face it. Conservative columnists are often mean-spirited, totally ignorant of basic freedoms, and willing to sacrifice anyone who makes less money than they do. Liberal columnists are out to get anyone who makes more money than they do, refuse to admit that any improvements in the quality of life have occurred in the last century, and find so many false bogeymen under their beds that the real ones completely escape their notice.
Political blogs are the same except even more polarized. The funny bit with blogs is that they garner their facts by linking to other blogs. It's rather like the Bermuda Triangle books, which use are their "source" for facts other books on the Bermuda Triangle, all of which trace back to some initial book whose author simply made stuff up. If you can actually find original sources, you find that those "source" books, like political bloggers, have played fast and loose with reality, when not going into fantasy land altogether.
I have a hard time understanding why Ms. Goodman is so panicked. It would strike me that the same sorts of people who read political mainstream media commentators are the ones reading political blogs. So, she and her brethren and sistern should be able to overcome any political incorrectness spread by these blogs.
Besides, if she doesn't like it, she can always start her own blog.