December 14, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
A quick comment on all the big-name pundits and Washington insiders who criticize "the bloggers" and question their legitimacy: Anyone can start a blog.
Here is what I am saying. When you criticize "the bloggers" and question the legitimacy of what they are saying, you are questioning the concept of democracy itself. ANYone can start a blog -- so everyone is a blogger. If it makes you uncomfortable that the rabble is allowed to speak and express their opinions you need to think about your own understanding of and commitment to democracy. The blogs that reach prominence do so through an entirely democratic process - people have chosen to read or echo what is being written on them.
It's not the bloggers you have a beef with, it's the blogs themselves -- the tool that lets the public have a say.
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Blogs are in no way part of any government. No one elects bloggers. Democracy has literally nothing to do with blogs. Blogs constitute something close to a free market in opinion journalism. Washington elites who criticize bloggers are afraid of free markets invading their big-money niche, not (necessarily) democracy.
I disagree with Richard. I think blogging is an exercise in democracy and the free exchange of news and opinions. Of course the media (and the government) are upset by this. They want (and need) total control over the news, the propaganda, what we think and our opinions, and they don't have it when blogs become influential. Back in the 60s, when small alternative newspapers sprouted like weeds, they were seriously persecuted for the same reasons.
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