I was initially disappointed that the folks over at Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour had not gotten back in touch with me on the blogging segment they did. I’d gotten a phone call a couple months back from someone starting to pull together a story, but never heard back. She had apparently interviewed others as well, including JD Lasica. Having seen the segment, which aired Monday, I’m actually pretty glad I wasn’t in there.
It wasn’t bad for what it was–alerting a wider population to the existence of the phenomena–but it did lack the kind of thoroughness you would expect from the show. The “four guys in a bar” setup is fine*, but some of the more challenging questions were not asked, and some of the more typical stereotypes were reinforced.
But it also seemed there was a bit of pandering going on. Though the guests tended to be more equivocal, the presented story suggested strongly that the Lott affair was driven largely by blogs. I guess this is nice because it will make for a good intro to a paper I’m finishing up, and makes for a nice straw man to pull down. The contribution of blogs was not nearly as black and white, nor as decisive, as the short segment made it out to be.
I guess the segment may serve the function of introducing more people to blogging, it’s just too bad–if not too surprising–that it focused so heavily on the A-list and corporate bloggers, which, in my opinion, kind of misses the boat.
I did talk to another journalist today who seemed to “get it”–but it would have been nice to have seen something a bit more probing on a program with a national audience. I’ll be curious to see what some of the other bloggers, not just the politicos, think of this piece. It is pretty pro-blog, so I suspect it will be relatively well-received among the ur-bloggers, but they may not find much in it to make it worthy of commentary.
* Would have been better if they had mentioned it was part of a meetup.