Valley Advocate: “Vox Bloguli”

Alan Bisbort raises a cheer for blogs in “Vox Bloguli”, published in the July 12 Valley Advocate. He asks, Where do the American people find the truth today?


Just look at the political stories that have dominated the past two years. During that time, print and broadcast journalists got their asses kicked by the new voice of the people–vox bloguli.

The two biggest national news stories–the Plame case/Libby trial and the mass firings at the U.S. Attorneys’ office–were both driven by the doggedness of blogs…

Members of the media based in the Nation’s Capital have themselves to blame. Now, not only are their jobs at stake, their very profession is in tatters. Why? They suck.

…Only [Talking Points Memo]’s Joshua Micah Marshall’s tenaciousness kept the [prosecutor purge] story alive long enough for the mainstream press to get off its collective barstool, stagger over to their laptops and do a Google search or two.

Bottom line: support your favorite blogger. Bloggers are the Songs and Daughters of Liberty.

See also:

NoPornNorthampton’s One-Year Anniversary
The Internet, commonly viewed as the pornographer’s best friend, has
shown its power as an activist platform. We have published nearly 500
entries during our first year–close to 400,000 words. The
searchability, flexibility, and low cost of online media enables us to
gather and publicize a great deal of information, reproduce primary
sources, offer multimedia content, and cross-link related subjects.
Other citizen blogs following a similar path include NO V.I.P. of Berlin, CT and Keep Johns Creek Safe of Johns Creek, GA. The ability to share knowledge and strategies within a community and nationwide is priceless… serves 200+ visitors on a typical day (Quantcast). At certain points this year, NoPornNorthampton has had more unique monthly US visitors
than, one of the websites of the Daily Hampshire
Gazette. Activists are not nearly as dependent as they used to be on
traditional media to communicate their messages.

The Republican: “Web serves as great resource for activists”
The March 15 Republican reports on the growth of blogs and websites for local activism. Daryl LaFleur posts public documents at Paradise City Forum
so people can review them and “come to their own conclusions,” without
having to troop down to City Hall. Granby resident Mark Bail hosts Granby01033, a blog to bring more attention to Granby issues.

Daryl LaFleur, “Blogging is a value added service”
Bloggers are providing an entire industry with new competition, and
that is great NEWS for consumers and voters alike. Perhaps bloggers are
succeeding because many of the people that tuned out because they
recognized there is too much information that is unheard of, unspoken
of, and unwritten about by the mainstream media, are tuning back in now
that they have a refreshing new resource for unedited discourse that
stems from a phenomenon created by and for humans known as cyberspace.

The Washington Post: Abilene
The Lion’s Den, a chain of more than two dozen [porn shops], has
targeted rural America on account of the cheap leases, lax ordinances
and under-titillated population.

When workmen appeared at the site a little over a year ago, Bruce Owen
was told that the new store would be selling cowboy boots. Then, one
Sunday morning in fall 2003, the Owens awakened to see the word ADULT
hovering, floodlit, outside their back window.

A retired military man in Abilene, Philip Cosby, organized a protest.
For 100 days, around the clock, through frozen winds and slushy storms,
Bruce, Donna and some of their neighbors waved signs outside the Lion’s

Cosby said the community raised $5,000 in one day to put up the anti-porn billboard…

The Owens disclosed this story cautiously, because they had no
confidence that we would report it honestly. “We watch the news,” Bruce
said. “It seems like they think they know everything. They look down on

“They seem arrogant and above it all,” Donna added.

“We aren’t all hicks out here,” Bruce continued. “I was national
service manager for AT&T. For that matter: You try running a farm
out here these days. One combine can cost as much as a house. My son
runs a multimillion-dollar farm.”

Catharine MacKinnon: Mass Media Reflexively, Subtly Protect Pornographers
Media reports of victims’ testimony at the time of the hearings
themselves were often cursory, distorted, or nonexistent. Some reports
by journalists covering the Minneapolis hearings were rewritten by
editors to conform the testimony to the story of pornography’s
harmlessness that they wanted told. Of this process, one Minneapolis
reporter assigned to cover those hearings told me, in reference to the
reports she filed, “I have never been so censored in my life.”

Harvard Law Professor Frederick Schauer’s “The Boundaries of the First Amendment”; Government Regulates Many Kinds of Speech
understandably are particularly vigilant about freedom of the press.
Claiming a threat to freedom of speech is therefore an effective way to
get sympathetic media coverage of your issue.

“Sex-Positive” Debate-Killing Tactics Stretch into Their Fifth Decade
Mary Whitehouse [an anti-porn activist]…helped lead a campaign in the 1960s to criticize the media in the United Kingdom…

In the event, the support was overwhelming. But what we did not bargain
for, in those early days, was the speed and aplomb with which a handful
of elitist media men–and women–would seek to present this public
outcry as the voice of a tiny group of eccentric busybodies. Neither
did we anticipate the intensity of the counter-campaign which would
turn common sense into the least common of virtues, and virtue itself
into an unacceptable social gaffe.