Alexander Cockburn has some withering words for the state of the so-called "blogosphere."
Writing on his Counterpunch web site, Cockburn notes:
In political terms the blogosphere is like white noise, insistent and meaningless, like the wash of Pacific surf I can hear most days. But MoveOn.Org and Daily Kos have been hailed as the emergent form of modern politics, the target of excited articles in the New York Review of Books.
Beyond raising money swiftly handed over to the gratified veterans of the election industry both MoveOn and Daily Kos have had zero political effect, except as a demobilizing force.
The effect on writers is horrifying. Talented people feel they have produce 400 words of commentary every day and you can see the lethal consequences on their minds and style, both of which turn rapidly to slush. They glance at the New York Times and rush to their laptops to rewrite what they just read. Hawsers to reality soon fray and they float off , drifting zeppelins of inanity.
Harsh words. Cockburn, however, saves most of his contempt for what he calls blog "obsessions."
Welcome to blog world. They’re loonies, beyond any sanction or reproof by reality. These people are going to stop a war, change the direction of our politics? They make Barbra Streisand sound like Che Guevara.
At the Kos convention if we are to believe – which I do – the hilarious reports by Michael J. Smith on our CounterPunch site – the ugly matter of the war in Iraq was scarcely raised, as the Kosniks reserved the surge of their passion for… Joe Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame.
Meanwhile there are lines around the block for Al Gore’s movie about global warming. Can we “take back” the weather? Of course not, unless by pharmaceutical means. The FDA has given final approval to GlaxoSmithKline to launch Wellbutrin XL, to combat “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. Is there any good political news? Yes, Jack Murtha says he will challenge Steny Hoyer for the post of Democratic leader, for the 2007/8 Congress, if the Democrats recapture the House next November. Such would be an encouraging prospect, but this is the party that couldn’t pick up Duke Cunningham’s seat in southern California, after the Dukester donned his prison overalls.