August 13, 2003


ANOTHER MODO NO-NO: I've long observed that when mainstream media outlets attempt to cover blogging, they tend to get it totally wrong. I've also long observed that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd tends to really, really suck. Today, the twain have met, in what may be the worst MoDo column in memory- and she doesn't even mention "Rummy," "Wolfie," or "Kissy"!
Dowd begins the column by asking "is the internet over?," apparently not having paid attention during the dotcom crash that happened, oh, almost three years ago. Then she raises the failed AOL Time Warner merger and the spam epidemic, and extrapolates those into a thesis that along with the internet no longer being "cool," blogging is somehow on the wane. Why's that? Because virtually all of the Democratic presidential candidates have started lame blogs of their own!
I give MoDo credit for recognizing that blogging isn't for everyone, and that the Democratic candidates just aren't cut out for it. Indeed, most bloggers, and others who follow political media, have noted this phenomenon, but rather than predict gloom and doom, they've reacted mostly with ambivelance. The Blogosphere is a meritocracy, you see, and if a blog isn't interesting (like, say, all the DemBlogs with the possible exception of Howard Dean's) then it'll just get ignored, in favor of the thousand other blogs more worthy of readers' attention. But clearly, blogs are far from dead; even Ms. Dowd likely realizes that the departure of her friend and boss, Howell Raines, may not have happened the way it did were it not for the collective influence of the Blogosphere, and that was just a few months ago.
Arguing that the feeble blogs started by Kerry, Graham, and Gephardt somehow harm the Blogosphere as a whole makes about as much sense as claiming that gay marriage would somehow destroy the institution of straight marriage- and I know MoDo would never be caught dead making that argument.
Man, I'm counting down the days 'til the debut of David Brooks' Times column. Then, there'll be more than one column on the op-ed page worth reading twice a week.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 13, 2003 05:23 AM
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