Once upon a time, there was some idea that the blogosphere was the “new media”. Remember that? The citizens were going to keep government honest; it was going to be a haven from the blatant bias in our traditional media.
Clearly the bright shiny “new”ness has worn off the blogospheric penny (my emphasis):
Some of the leading liberal bloggers are privately furious with the major progressive groups — and in some cases, the Democratic Party committees — for failing to spend money advertising on their sites, even as these groups constantly ask the bloggers for free assistance in driving their message. [Snip]
The behind-the-scenes tensions go to the heart of the role these bloggers have created for themselves in Democratic politics — they’re basically advocates and operatives with big platforms — and their future role, too. They argue that their efforts and fundraising helped drive the Democratic ascendancy. Yet even the Dem party committees are reluctant to advertise with them, raising the question of whether the party will ever be willing to seriously invest long-term in this new media infrastructure. [Snip]
Adds John Amato, the founder of Crooks and Liars: “These groups actually believe that we should promote their stuff for free. Do they not understand that we need funds to sustain our viability?”
Viability? Perhaps. But credibility? Not so much.
This concept has been known and despised forever. It even has a name: propaganda.
It’s the longest four-letter word in the dictionary.
Just as newspapers (the “traditional” media) depends on ad revenue for financial survival, so do the bloggers – especially the “A-List” ones, who have high costs for server space, bandwidth, etc. So, it is not unreasonable for them to feel they need – and deserve – a piece of the advertising spend. It’s called “capitalism”, and I guess it applies as much to hard-core leftie socialist wannabes as it does to their counterparts on the right.
The idea that these “big names” were somehow unbiased is, and always has been, a bunch of bull… hooey.
You (and I) can support our own blog habits, but then we are nowhere near the A-Listers in popularity (and monthly bandwidth costs.)
Ed, if all they were after was advertising, then your point would be fine. But they’re talking about a tit for tat arrangement: we’ll spout your talking points and you make sure we get $ for it.
Capitalism and propaganda aren’t mutually exclusive.
In other words, it’s about the quid-pro-quo. Certainly this is an issue, and I find it mildly humorous that it is the left side of the blogosphere where this is emanating from (though I suspect that the right wingers will be hitting the GOP up for a cut of the action, if/when the GOP makes a comeback.)
This is why I have always considered the source, when evaluating something I read, see, or hear.