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When the next election comes, you can bet that the youth movement won't give a crap about Iraq, Gitmo, race, or fancy speeches. Or Bush bashing. No, the next time around, the youth vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of the candidate who can articulate a sound fiscal policy that will promote job growth.
I have just been notified that it is OK to go ahead and spill the beans early; so, instead of waiting until tomorrow at noon, you get the EXCLUSIVE story right now:
Jack Roberts will be officially announcing his candidacy for the Supreme Court of Oregon tomorrow, at 12 noon, at the Eugene Public Service Building!
Jack invited me to attend his announcement; however, I am unable to make it in person due to my class schedule. But I am happy to spread the word! And here is an exclusive statement from Jack:
This is not a step I'm taking lightly, but the positive reaction I received from people based on the interview that ran on your blog helped convince me that this is the right thing to do. Diversity on the bench has to mean more than just gender and geography. The Supreme Court also needs to reflect a diversity in philosophy and life experience such as I bring to this race. I'm looking forward to a positive campaign worthy of the highest court in the state.
I can't even begin to describe the feeling I have, hearing from a major political figure that something I did on my humble little blog played a role in his decision to run for one of the most important offices in the state. Blogs really are making a difference in politics!
So there I was, waiting patiently for my chance to talk about blogging and the KVAL non-story with Lars Larson, when Peter DeFazio calls in and bumps me...
But this is actually a good thing, and it helps me to illustrate why blogs are so important:
I don't have to depend on a conventional radio news show to get my message out! I can do it right here from my keyboard.
This is the REAL power of the blogosphere. Anyone with a PC and an internet connection can contribute to the flow of information. No one is dependent on any traditional medium to be heard. So I only got a few words in with Lars today. That's no problem. Here I am now with a chance to say more.
This is something you don't get with KVAL or any other conventional news feed:
Let's just say, for argument's sake, that KVAL interviewed me. If I made the air at all, it would have been one or two sound bytes, chosen by them to portray me in whatever light they wanted. But here, on my blog, I AM IN CHARGE. I get to set the agenda. I get to write what I want. I get to portray myself any way I choose. And I leave it open for you readers to leave comments and ask for a response from me, or from other readers. And it here to stay, so you can come back and read it again if you need to.
Whereas, with KVAL, you get a telecast and then...
POOF! It's gone, and all that is left is the memory of your perception. You have no chance to ask for more. The participants have no chance to explain in depth. And, unless you videotape and archive every show, you can't go back and check it once it's gone.
I have power here. And while I appreciate Lars and all the support he's given me, it's no setback to get bumped from the show so Peter DeFazio can come on. By now, most people who were listening to DeFazio have already forgotten a lot of what he said (partly because it is the nature of the medium, but also partly because most of what he says is simply forgettable). And an hour after you read this, you will have forgotten most of what I typed... but you can come back and read it again.
Of course, the durability of the written word is nothing new. People have been writing down their thoughts since the dawn of time. But blogs are making the written word more accessible to the masses. Back around 600 years ago or so, the printing press made it possible to mass-produce and distribute books. But for 600 years, the cost of printing still made it impossible for the average person to spread his word effectively: you had to get someone to fork over money to make it work. The rich, of course, could finance themselves. And governments could take money from the people in order to subsidize the publishing of anything supportive of their agenda. Otherwise, you had to get people to pay you money in exchange for your words. That turned the publishing of news into a business driven by profit, and as such, news content got watered down to the lowest common denominator. Accordingly, more people today read The National Enquirer than The Wall Street Journal.
Blogs are changing that. You can read blogs for free, and blog publishers can reach thousands, even millions, of readers for a relatively small cost. And with some very minimal intrusion from advertising (hint: go click on my ads), most bloggers can recoup any costs incurred from bandwidth and hosting. I am not beholden to big corporate advertisers who might be offended by my content. I am not dependent on subscribers who demand a certain type of content. And I sure as hell don't need taxpayer subsidies (*cough* NPR *cough* PBS)! I can write what I want, when I want, and know that you will read it.
This scares the hell out of the mainstream media. So naturally, they don't want to encourage anyone to turn to blogs for information. But at the same time, they can't completely ignore us. When blogs take down a giant like Dan Rather, the mainstream media has to take notice. So what do we get? We get fluff journalism like the KVAL piece: just enough to get the thousands of people writing in asking for a story on blogs to tune in, but not enough to show anyone that blogs are worth reading... and as a consequence, their own ineptness adds credibility to my theory that the mainstream media is outdated and blogs are the medium of the future.
So I'd like to thank Congressman DeFazio for giving me a chance to think about this and spell it out for my readers. And Lars, don't forget, you promised me some sausage from that elk you bagged!
Well, I watched last night's "news" story on blogs, courtesy of KVAL. It was lame and uninformative. In case you missed it, here is a condensed-but-accurate report of all that transpired:
KVAL Anchor: And now, our Info Babe will tell you everything you need to know about the next big thing... er, Internet web blogs!
KVAL Info Babe: Blogs are really cool! Lot's of college kids are all about blogging! Let's talk to one now!
Drunken Sorority Babe: Um, blog? Like, is that, you know, some kind of, like, drink?
KVAL Info Babe: And now let's hear from someone who actually finished college!
OSU Professor: Blogs are very, very important. Just look at Blogs For Bush and MoveOn.Org!
(editor's note: MoveOn.Org is not a blog - Resistance is futile!)
KVAL Info Babe: But where did blogs come from? Let's ask a local computer programmer who wrote some blogging software!
Local Computer Programmer: Blogs are great because they let you get your message across without getting interference from traditional media outlets that...
(editor's note: at this point, the Local Computer Programmer was still visible on the screen, talking and making hand gestures, but what he was saying was cut out by a voice-over from the KVAL Info Babe - Resistance is futile!)
KVAL Info Babe: And now let's go back to the Professor!
OSU Professor: Blogs are very, very, very important!
KVAL Info Babe: And now, back to you, KVAL Anchor!
KVAL Anchor: Thank you, Info Babe! Well, now we all know all about the, er, blog-oh-sphere! Now we can spend 20 of the remaining 25 minutes of our broadcast telling you that there might or might not be rain at the Civil War football game, which might or might not be won by either Oregon or possibly Oregon State!
Now that I have provided you with this highly accurate report, you have no need to watch it on KVAL. And if this is the best they can do, is it any wonder that more and more people are getting their information from blogs?
Last week, I wrote that it is highly possible that some of the "more qualified" candidates for the Supreme Court may have been asked to take the job, but declined, resulting in Bush settling for Harriet Miers. Some people said I was on drugs. But this morning on Rush, I heard that, according to James Dobson, Karl Rove said that other people were asked and said no:
“Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list,” he said, according to a transcript obtained last night. “They would not allow their names to be considered because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter that they didn’t want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it.”
This sounds to me like a combination of my scenarios A and B...
But what do I know? Dr. Dobson and I must be on drugs.
I had previously predicted we'd be hearing about Supreme Court nominee Janice Rogers Brown by now. We are still waiting. I may have been off on the timing, but I am standing by the prediction, now even more so. Why? Read this. Now, consider what names are mentioned and in which contexts:
Janice Rogers Brown isn't listed at all as one of the seven "frequently mentioned" candidate. Nor is she even one of the five "less frequently" names. And she isn't Hispanic; the AP goes out of their way to emphasize with the closing of the story that there has never been a Hispanic on the Supreme Court (although they ignore the fact that a Hispanic, Justice Benjamin Cardozo, served on the court nearly a century ago...).
But they DO mention quite prominently that Janice Rogers Brown is one of the "filibusterable" candidates that the democRats will "fight to the bitter end."
All the more reason to expect Janice Rogers Brown; the press never gets this stuff right!
President Bush: bring it on! Let the democRats filibuster. The time has come to invoke the CONSTITUTIONAL option and end filibusters of judicial nominees. If it comes to that, and you push for it, you will shore up support among the conservative base and have a real issue in your Party's favor heading into the 2006 election cycle.