1.Grab the nearest book. 2.Open the book to page 123. 3.Find the fifth sentence. 4.Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. 5.Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
"The American Philosophical Society is described as a company of old women."
- from Goodwin and Co. by Henry David Thoreau from the book Henry David Thoreau : A Writer's JournalEdited with introduction by Laurence Stapleton, English and Political Theory Professor, Bryn Mawr College
In a recent column about Eason Jordan by John Leo, he says:
Here's the retroframing: Some mainstream media fell back on their traditional view of bloggers as inaccurate, upstart nobodies who dare to criticize their betters. Last week, for instance, The New York Times, which had looked the other way for two weeks, ran a story dripping with disdain. Headlined "Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters," it offered a simple-minded view of bloggers as wild conservatives out to collect liberal scalps. The story was laced with quotes assuring us that bloggers are a "lynch mob" of "salivating morons," fanning fears of "the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue" on the Internet (as opposed to the completely reliable and unrampant reports in mainstream media).
I am a blogger, too.
John Leo probably hasn't read me, but I cannot imagine he hasn't read Press Think, which is the best full-scope discussion of the matter available online. If he had, he couldn't say, unless he was being intellectually dishonest, that the ex-post-facto reports from the mainstream media have come from nothing more than thin air, partisanship, and big ego.
On the contrary, they've come from non-partisan blog discussion and analysis.
I can offer John Leo much more than "retroframing".
I can offer John Leo "of-the-moment" blog reports on what I witnessed. I got on top of the story on February 2 and blogged nearly every day about what I witnessed. Sometimes I blogged more than once in a day about it.
Those conservatives were not wild in their effort to damage what they see as "old media". They were calm, extremely open, extremely vocal, and well-organized.
You can be calm, cool, collected, and still salivate.
John Leo's calling the CNN newsroom "partisan".
I know he's wrong. If they are ignoring stories they shouldn't ignore, that would make them indifferent, avoiding, and ineffective. Not partisan. That's a mythical acusation.
Look at the title chosen for John Leo's opinion column:
"PARTISAN NEWSROOMS HAD BETTER GET USED TO BLOGGERS"
If you're going to spin at that way, John Leo, then "Partisan columnists had better get used to bloggers", too.
"The old Liberal Democratic order, as great as it was, as filled with magisterial decision, and now deep tradition - is gone. Gone with it are the means by which it channeled partisan anger, personal ambition, and political conflict into decisions wiser than any one individual making them. We are living in a new era, in a new Republic, and as with any moment which brings forth a new order, we must admit of our weaknesses and limitations, but not be hobbled by them, or by any false sense of modesty. We did not chose this moment, it has chosen us. It has chosen us to make choices for others - both here and around the globe, because America is still the mightiest nation on earth. And how we make those choices will yield the words be carved on stones, and perhaps crosses, here and around the world."
"I think we are entering a new phase of American history. These are not normal times, the pendulum is not swinging back, and historical trends of American politics no longer apply. American democracy was built on a system of checks and balances, and mechanisms of oversight and accountability. But the checks and balances and oversight and accountability are being removed. There is no Congressional oversight of this administration, the Justice Department does not investigate its crimes, the Federalist Society judges block all attempts to enforce the laws and the new media is no longer functional. The military acts as an arm of The Party and The Party is firmly in control of the State. The system of controls and protections that was carefully built over the last two centuries was put in place for reasons, by people who learned the lessons of history. I can not think of a time in history when a society left itself so wide open to tyranny from its leadership without it occurring."
"Bush with a mandate will be Bush Unleashed, and the volatility of this election will likely release a lot of pent-up frustrations at liberals, but it's difficult to say how high the levels of violence are likely to be. On the other hand, the conservative movement's totalitarian impulses, particularly in gerrymandering the political system a la Texas, to ensure the GOP's continued political dominance, raise the chilling prospect of, at the very best, a Stalinist/PRI-style one-party state, where every person in the government is first a member of the party. This shift will be more incremental in nature, but there is also bound to be a breaking point at which a cumulative reaction arises against it."