Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

I haven't posted since last Friday, so I will start today with some "meta-blogging", or more specifically, pontificating about the role of blogs in the "new media environment". Please note that this analysis is not worth the paper it is printed on (or the free blogging service it is written on). Many have opined about the increased specialization of media, and the potential for tailor-made news. Fox News channel has been cited as an example for people who feel that the news is biased toward liberal viewpoints, and want a more conservative take (of course, they are "fair and balanced," right??). This is even more clearly delineated on the web and in print media. If you want liberal opinion, go to the NY Times, or Slate, or The New Republic. Conservative opinion, the WSJ, Washington Times, or National Review. There are many others on both sides, of course. All of this allows a reader to click from source to source without fear of reading anything they might disagree with. But, the key word in that sentence is ALLOWS. A reader is similarly enabled to click from viewpoint to viewpoint, left to right and all points in between, finding things to agree with, disagree with, and learn. This brings me to the subject of blogs. Bloggers come, I am sure, in all stripes and shapes. There are ultra-right wing bloggers, ultra left-wing bloggers, moderate bloggers, libertarian bloggers (a lot of those, it seems), racist bloggers, sexist bloggers, (probably) terrorist bloggers, ad infinitum. The interesting thing about blogging, is that anyone can do it, and quite a lot of people do. Now, many of us, including me, do it for ourselves, and if anyone reads it, fine, and if not, so what. I don't get paid for it, and I don't pay for it. All it is to me is a place to express my thoughts, and flesh out my ideas. It is a way to think out loud without bugging your co-workers to death. The Bloggy-verse, tho, is full of people like me, and sometimes we find each other's sites through the mega-blogs (Instapundit et al), and sometimes we just randomly click on something. Either way, the bloggage allows those who want an insulated information environment to have that, and those who want the broad spectrum of ideas to have that. BTW, all of this is in response to the question Instapundit asked, which was, if you don't like it, why do you keep coming back? He didn't ask me specifically, but it got me philosophical about the whole thing. In this universe, I can have conversations and debate with people I would probably never meet in "real life", and I learn a lot, both about myself and about the world, by doing so. Sometimes the discussion doesn't go anywhere, but oftentimes, it does. When it does, it can be very rewarding, even if the disagreement remains in the end. Sometimes it is esoteric, and often unreadable (which distinguishes me from the journalists), but it is enjoyable, and that is something in and of itself.