The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, March 23, 2005  

Politicians & Blogs

The Christian Science Monitor reports on politicians entering the blogosphere in “More Politicians Write Blogs to Bypass Mainstream Media,” by Mark Sappenfield (March 24), from which these pull quotes were culled:

“Bloggers are a force,” quips the blog in an eclectic column that ricochets from San Francisco journalism to German philosophy. “The established order of politics (EOP) and the MSM [mainstream media] face a big challenge from this fearless army.”

This, however, is not the rallying call of some anonymous agitator. This is one of the first blog entries by Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland[, Calif.]. For a politician who has always teetered on the edge of the counterculture -- known as Mayor Moonbeam -- the leap from establishment figure to cultural insurgent is perhaps not a difficult one. But more politicians are following in his footsteps, looking to the Web as a way to bypass the media and get out their own message -- unvarnished and unedited. […]

Recently, Web logs -- or “blogs” -- have been most notable for their evolving role in “gotcha” journalism. Though most of the estimated 8 million blogs on the Internet are little more than online diaries, a small percentage have a more serious aim, acting as media watchdogs, insider newsletters, or political gadflys. […]

Yet politicians are beginning to see blogs are more than forums for snoops. To some, they are the ultimate cyberspace soapbox. […]

[Mayor Brown’s] blogs [sic, posts] can [sic, may] range from the practical to the existential -- touching on a local curfew for probationers or the imprisonment of a blogger in Iran. . . .”

Not a flawless article, but worth a few minutes of the time of those interested in the subject.

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