Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 1, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

SPINNING THE BLOGOSPHERE....Last night I wrote a post wondering aloud why the press corps spends so much time in "spin alley" when they know perfectly well that every opinion expressed there is completely fake. Do they actively want to be spun?

But I have the same question about the blogosphere. Here's the Republican effort to spin conservative blogs:

The "Debate Feed" will provide the GOP spin in real time to as many as 5,000 conservative Web outlets, according to Wired News. "Our rapid response effort is based on the premise that no attack or no misstatement will go unchallenged," Michael Turk, director of the Internet campaign, told the Web site.

And here's the press release from the DNC that I got yesterday:

Kerry Team Set for Instant Response

170 Pages of Bush Rebuttals * New DVD * Virtual War Room * Blogger Outreach * Grassroots Media

It's not surprising that the campaigns are reaching out to bloggers, of course, but as near as I can tell both sides are eating this up. Bloggers everywhere are basking in the illusion that they're sophisticated media operatives, actively collaborating to figure out the best spin for their guy. Emails are flying around from all parties pleading with fellow bloggers to stay on message.

This is insane. It's bad enough when the mainstream media spends too much time lazily regurgitating talking points, but doesn't the blogosphere supposedly pride itself on being fiercely independent, a small band of brave truthtellers immune to the spin and cant of professional politicos?

Immune? As near as I can tell, bloggers are delighted to find themselves being spun by professionals. It's a real rush.

Kind of boring, though. For what it's worth, I think the blogosphere is made up of some pretty interesting people, and I'm a lot more interested in reading what really pops into their heads than I am in seeing the DNC and RNC discover yet another media outlet. Maybe it's time to divorce ourselves from the spin machine, folks.

Kevin Drum 2:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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