A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another MSM Convert?

Now, granted, Eugene Kane starts out his column about starting his own blog by implying that nobody reads most of them and notes that the Internet is "overrun with blogs." But even he, a thirty-year columnist at the Jourtinel acknowledges that "they are making an impact." One of his stated reasons for starting his blog, Raising Kane, was a "desire to explore this new and exciting form of expression and counteract some of the rabid partisan constituency that wants to dominate the field."

Fair enough-- counteracting rabid partisanship has always been one of my stated goals with my blog as well. Except, though I do come from a conservative viewpoint-- and hopefully acknowledge that-- I try to counteract rabid partisanship from both sides. Eugene, not so much-- at least so far. In his introductory newspaper column decrying the partisanship of so many blogs, Kane sites an active blogging community here in the Milwaukee area, and then moans that some of it is a "byproduct of right-wing talk radio, which makes reading those blogs akin to listening to four hours of our local blowhards rail against liberals...."

No mention of any rabid left-wing blogs in Milwaukee. You know, like this one. Or this one. And, of course, this one. Not that there's anything wrong with those sites-- blogging, as Kane may well discover to his chagrin, tends to pull one towards the ideological extremes-- but it is revealing that Kane only mentions rabid right-wing blogs. And not by name or link, either, just 'trust me, there's lots of 'em.'

Kane then singles out this small blog for having called him names in one small post a year and a half ago. It was "the most surprising blog" he had seen. Er... how many did you actually look at, Eugene-- two? I mean, it's a nice "this is my life" blog-- more of an online journal or diary, that, if the comments are any indication, is read even less often than mine. The owner, Cat, posts about once a week, and the vast majority of the posts are about her efforts to lose weight, her struggles to make her company go, or her love of the Wisconsin Badgers. Late summer and fall of 2004 she increased the quantity of her political posts to several-- maybe because of that election thing? One would've thought that this or this would be more surprising.

But whatever. In an unintended exercise in delicious irony, Kane follows up this paragraph:
It's my humble opinion that the best blogs - like mine at www.jsonline.com/links/raisingkane - don't rant and rave as much as refer readers to interesting stories and commentary from other sources.
with this paragraph:
Blogging is best when it's a clearinghouse for ideas rather than a long-winded exercise in self-congratulatory rhetoric.
Um... like proclaiming your brand new blog one of the best after less than four months of existence? Though in fairness, I guess that exercise in self-congratulatory rhetoric wasn't long-winded.

Kane concludes his column explaining his new blogging presence as, at least in part, a response to a former colleague at the Jourtinel "changing her spots." He never says it, and I don't really know why not, but he means Jessica McBride who used to report for the Jourtinel and has since become a vocal conservative blogger/columnist in Milwaukee, as well a journalist instructor at UW-Milwaukee. Some of the background to that story here and here. Kane's version of the story here.

Anyway-- so far Kane's actual blog has been closer to his ideal of avoiding rabid partisanship (a couple of shots at Bill O'Reilly and Republicans/Abramanoff excepted) than his introductory column in the paper. I'll pop in from time to see how he's doing at the whole blogging thing.


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