Another Useful Idiot

Dean Esmay is biting at Michelle’s ankles. This will be fun to watch. Like I said before, I put my money on Michelle, any day.

I had discussed earlier that the blogs were maturing. I should rephrase that to “MOST of the blogs are maturing”. Some bloggers still behave like overstimulated toddlers.

David and Goliath

The Anchoress has had two excellent posts the last few days, obviously using the Clinton interview turned pre-meditated tantrum with Chris Wallace as her springboard.

While both address the difference between how the MSM will cover Condi’s response to Clinton vs. Clinton’s comments themselves, along with a host of other events reported with decidedly leftie-leaning perspective, the entire situation boils down to one initiative – topple President Bush at all costs.

Not the right story, you see. Clinton is not the right president to prove a “liar.” The press wants desperately to bring down a president, but Clinton is not the one. And so, facts-schmacts, the only facts that matter are the ones the master can pull out of thin air.

And if that doesn’t demonstrate, more than anything, that we are living in an age of diabolical disorientation, where up is down (the excellent economic news is bad) and right is wrong (men who served with John Kerry know nothing about him) and truths are lies, (US policy from 1998 on was regime change in Iraq, but only until we did it) I don’t know what can.

Then in that crafty way of hers, she weaves in how the blogosphere is beginning to make a difference.

The blogosphere is growing in effectiveness and becoming a force for change in some respects. Blog commentary is increasingly dependable, professional and penetrating, and the fact-checking is above reproach, but our influence is still limited.

We may hope, though, that each new “blogswarm” so saturates the information market that a few drips or rivulets of “blogtruth” manage to meander into the consciousnesses of a few more minds. For now, we are still – unfortunately – ignorable by the MSM. And whenever a story involves a Clinton, the press closes ranks and does its seemingly solemn duty – not to the truth, but to the man. I simply feel tired of how predictable is the denouement.

Captain Ed links to a Lorie Byrd article where

She points out examples of bias and incompetent reporting in the stories about the Clinton-Wallace interview and the NIE release, and wonders why reporters cannot perform simple research when reaching unsupported conclusions.

[…] Bloggers know how to do research, and those who follow the blogosphere got all the context they needed to deconstruct Clinton’s arguments. The same is true with the NIE, which the New York Times misrepresented in its initial reporting. Lorie wonders when the national media will finally catch up with its readers and start to rebuild its damaged credibility.

The blogs are maturing, gaining credibility and momentum as more and more people reachNetwork their personal level of disgust and distrust of MSM and look for alternative sources of information. That’s what happened to me. I started looking, then I started writing. And now I’m watching it happen to others where I work, where I church, where I soccer mom. One person at a time. There are many, many, many smart people out there with abundant brain power coupled with integrity, sincerity, love of God and country. (Traits in which the MSM is sorely lacking). And they are not afraid to speak out. I wouldn’t say it’s a revolution (yet), but it is a repositioning stance, fraught with purpose. Like Howard Beale in the movie Network yelled out – “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

I [The Anchoress again] wrote only yesterday about the limits of the alternative media. Bloggers work very hard at presenting factual data but they are no match for an entrenched media that – should they wish to – can make up a story out of whole cloth, kite it up and fly it, with satisfactory results. And no matter how much evidence the bloggers provide to rebut them, no matter the press later “corrects” the story, it will not change the initial perceptions created by those first blaring headlines.

The press knows this, of course. It is why they’ll screw around with headlines, creating utterly false impressions: they know that large numbers of people read a headline and feel “informed.” It is why they’ll put an unsubstantiated leak or rumor on page 1, above the fold, and the eventual correction on page 38, below the kitty litter ads.

It reminds of the story of David and Goliath – I Samuel 17. David the shepherd and youngest son of Jesse took his brothers some lunch while they were camped with Saul to fight the Philistines. Goliath, a giant over nine feet tall, would come out from the Philistine camp every day to taunt the Israelites and they would cower with fear. After seeing this and then being rebuked by his brothers (You’re a baby! Go home!), David met with King Saul and other leaders. The armor was too big. The sword was too heavy. So being the brave and resourceful boy he was, he gathered some stones and walked right out to fight Goliath. He killed the giant with the first stone flung from his slingshot.

The mighty fell. And the mighty will fall again. But this time, there’s more than one David. And we’re all wired and ready to fight.

UPDATE: The Baron at Gates of Vienna is on this same wavelength. And he’s got some Big Ideas. Pass them on!

Well, what can we do, if we work together?

I have said before that the blogosphere is developing enormous power, but so far it has been a reactive power, and not a proactive one. When we swarm something, we have a real effect, and can collectively sway the course of events.

But it seems we’re always responding to something. First was Trent Lott’s gaffe at the Strom Thurmond birthday party. Then came Dan Rather and “fake but accurate.” We helped the Swiftboat Vets leverage their effort against John Kerry into an effective response. And the recent Fauxtography scandal was a bloggers’ triumph.

But all of these accomplishments are reactive. Even as we respond effectively to the enemy’s tactical moves, we cede him the initiative. This drains us of our energy to think and act strategically, to be innovative and creative, and thus surprise our antagonists.

[…] Some of our readers are old enough to remember the conservative initiative back in the mid-’80s which aimed to organize the purchase of CBS and thus “become Dan Rather’s boss”. The effort caused some eye-popping alarm among liberals before it petered out later in the decade.

I’d like to revive that meme here, in a slightly different version. Back then, the takeover bid was to be funded by wealthy Republican individuals and organizations, and aimed to acquire enough shares to tip the balance in the CBS boardroom.

Why not hybridize that meme with the Swiftvets initiative? The Swifties had an enormous impact without attracting any wealthy contributors.

What if the blogosphere were to convince a few hundred thousand people to give $50, or $100, or $500 to a holding company established for the sole purpose of acquiring a controlling interest in a major organ of the liberal media?

Some of the law bloggers (Glenn Reynolds and Eugene Volokh come to mind) could set up a holding company for the assets collected. Bring in a business blogger like Larry Kudlow to help run the show. The full purchase price wouldn’t have to be amassed, just the marginal amount that would help leverage the rest.

I’m ignorant of both law and business, so there are probably dozens of reasons why my idea is a stupid one. I have no doubt that commenters will arrive in force to point out the details of my foolishness and offer their own more expert ideas.

But that’s the great thing about the distributed intelligence in action here — with enough knowledgeable and clever people at work on it, a viable idea can emerge and be implemented.

But — only if its time has come.

When its time has come, the meme will explode, and nothing will be able to stop it.

Seeeeeee what I mean? Ideas are flying. WinkWinkNodNodSayNoMore….

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