The Note: 'Both Hopeful and Precarious'

Which strikes as a selective reading of the evidence. It is true that the Right has always been ahead of the left in using new technology to advance traditional political ends. But so what? What if the conservative bloggers -- even if they're sponsored by patrons with ulterior motives -- have a point about the mainstream media? That it is, you know, too un-self critical? And what about the dozens of liberal websites devoted to mainstream media and political criticism? Recall that Howard Dean's successful DNC chair race was helped by aggressive liberal bloggers who used oppo research generated by Dean allies (not the campaign directly, mind you) to take down his opponents. It may be true that conservatives have used their blogs more effectively in recent months, but that's a matter of tactics, not intent.

And we're not entirely sure what's wrong with "traditional politics" as defined herein by Franke-Ruta: "But unlike traditional news outlets, right-wing blogs openly shill, fund raise, plot, and organize massive activist campaigns on behalf of partisan institutions and constituencies; they also increasingly provide cover for professional operatives to conduct traditional politics by other means -- including campaigning against the established media. And instead of taking these bloggers for the political activists they are, all too often the established press has accepted their claims of being a new form of journalism."

We're not sure what Franke-Ruta thinks about the FEC's upcoming rulemaking about Internet and politics, but we know her thought-provoking piece will be dissected, favorably and unfavorably, on blogs across the 'verse, and to paraphrase an ex-con, that's a good thing.

The National Review's Jonah Goldberg has a variant of the same argument: "Don't let the word "conservative" fool you. Rebels on the right were pioneers in the political exploitation of new and alternative technologies long before anyone knew what blogs were. Led by Rush Limbaugh, conservatives even revived AM radio, making it a major source of a populist backlash against liberal-controlled institutions. Cable profoundly transformed politics. C-Span alone did more to demystify government than a generation of muckrakers -- or bloggers -- ever could. CNN pioneered the steady erosion of the Big Three Networks' stranglehold on information. Later, Fox News soon destroyed CNN's stranglehold on 24-hour news."

Read his whole article, too. LINK

Go to it, Inside Politics Blog Ladies!!!!

Potpourri:

The Sharpton Diet: lots of cookies, two salads a day, and three servigins of exercise a day, per the enterprising M. Slackman of the New York Times. LINK

HOH: Grover Norquist's April 2 marriage to Samah Alrayyes, "at an undisclosed location in Virginia." Mazel tov!

Greg Speed's leaving the DCCC for Communities for Quality Education, The Hill reports, with Bill Burton coming on board.

We're auditing this class: LINK

And Sen. Padavan, we'll send you a memo.

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