BOSTON—It’s worth remembering that the blogosphere is still so new it baffles spell check. For that matter, if I type “blogger” on my screen, my retro software offers alternatives like “loggers,” “floggers” and “boggler.”
It “boggles” my mind to realize how quickly a piece of Internet terrain has gained power in politics. By now, the political blogosphere is to the left what talk radio is to the right. It is a forceful, sometimes demagogic, message-monger organizing tool for the progressive end of the Democratic Party.
The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait recently called the netroots “the most significant mass movement in U.S. politics since the rise of the Christian right.” In fact, they’ve amplified the antiwar, anti-Bush views, become an alternative fundraising operation, and linked cyberliberals across the country.
Last week, these progressive political bloggers not only attracted 1,200 to Chicago for the YearlyKos convention, but made it a designated stop for seven out of the eight Democratic candidates.
Nevertheless, there is another, less flattering way in which broadband has followed broadcast and the liberal political bloggers mimic the conservative talk-show hosts. The chief messengers are overwhelmingly men—white men, even angry white men.
Next year, YearlyKos will undergo a name change. The assembly of progressive bloggers will call themselves Netroots Nation. But when will the members of these netroots look more like the nation? (Ellen Goodman’s e-mail address is ellengoodman(at)globe.com.)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"The Virtual Glass Ceiling"
Ellen Goodman (Boston Globe):