Who let out the cat?
: I feel as if I had too much to drink at my own party and slept through all the good stuff. Well, I did have too much to drink (a nice cabernet, thank you; couldn’t resist that last nip) and the party was happening in the comments here: I thought I was writing one of my high-altitude (low-oxygen) musings on the future of media but thanks to Tony, Glenn, and Oliver, it turned into late-night boozy brawl in the rec room. Well, not actually, but I enjoyed the image, didn’t you?
To recap for those of us who slept it off last night, after my media musings in that post below, I said that commenters had called out Jon Stewart for hiding behind his comedy-show label when, in fact, he is a news provider and a critical member of the national conversation today. Tony Pierce then said in the comments I should call out Glenn Reynolds similarly because Glenn, he says, hides behind his I’m-not-a-news-service label. Oliver Willis piled on. Glenn responded to them here.
InstaPundit is not an unbiased news service. It consists entirely of my opinions and such links to factual items as I find interesting. Its whole purpose is as a vehicle for my biases, in fact. It is not unbiased and objective in any fashion, but rather is opinionated and slanted, much like other, more respectable, outlets such as The New York Times and TonyPierce.com.
I mostly agree with Glenn: Blogs do not pretend to be news services, no matter how voluminous their posting or traffic. They are vehicles for personal curiosities and bias and the difference between blogs and “real news” or even “fake news” is that (a) they cannot and do not try to be comprehensive and, more important, (b) they usually admit their bias.
Two further thoughts: I think that blogs should admit their bias; they should set the example for transparency. Even though it was quite evident that Glenn was voting for Bush, it’s good he said so today. That’s why I’ve been open about where I stand (if wobbily so), because I believe you should be able to judge what I say through that prism (and believe me, it’s not easy to talk about that in public after all my years of journalistic training that told me to keep my opinions to myself; it’s like coming out of a political closet). See also Tim Oren’s eloquent exercise in fence razing.
So a call to bloggers: If you haven’t yet said where your vote is going, please do. Don’t assume we know; maybe we just discovered you. Out with it.
A second thought after last night’s party in the comments room: I am seeing a qualitative difference between (a) news media that try — unsuccessfully — to deny bias, and (b) individuals’ blogs that carry bias, naturally, and (c) blogs that are founded on bias. When I get email or links from a blog in category C — like, say, CrushKerry — I frankly don’t pay much attention to it because I can predict precisely what it’s going to say. If I see a story in media from category A that doesn’t admit its bias, I look at it with suspicion and exhaustion because I get tired of trying to figure out its perspective. But when I see a person in category B publicly grapple with an issue and when I know that person’s perspective, I find the discussion far more interesting and illuminating. After the debates, I enjoyed going back and forth among bloggers voting for one side or the other to see it through different lenses; that was helpful. And that works only when the lenses are transparent.
: UPDATE: Matt Welch emails a Reason piece polling a quite diverse bunch of people on their 2004 and 2000 votes for President. Lots of cop-outs (which I define as not voting or voting for the Libertarian — sorry, Reason — or voting for Nader). But that also indicates the dissatisfaction with this year’s choice.
: UPDATE ON THE MEDIA MEME: This post says broadband is more than a speed, it’s a space. [via Rafat and Om]
: NUMBER UPDATE: Cory Bergman has the latest numbers to show that the Stewart segment got a bigger audience on the Web than it got on its big, old cable network.