Potency revealed

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Roy Eccleston, Washington correspondent for The Australian, encounters blogging’s trickle-up effect:

The blogosphere’s potency hit me in the final days of the US presidential election campaign during an interview with an Amish couple attending an election rally for George W. Bush.

“You’re Australian aren’t you,” said a bystander, listening to our conversation. “So what do you think about John Kerry’s sister interfering in your election campaign?”

I was stunned. Here was a particularly well-informed American – he not only knew Australia had held an election but also seemed aware of a small story of mine that The Australian had published on page 15 six weeks before. The piece quoted Diana Kerry claiming Australians were more vulnerable to terrorism because of John Howard’s support for Bush in Iraq. It wasn’t alleging any interference in the Australian election – but some obviously saw it that way. Yet how did this man come to know about it?

In my case, the Kerry comments had angered conservative bloggers – such as captainsquartersblog.com – who bounced it caustically around the internet, where it was read by mainstream conservative columnists in Washington. The story eventually had the ultimate conservative treatment: a piece in The Weekly Standard, a prominent political magazine, and a column by Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Not bad for a piece originally buried on page 15.

UPDATE. From a fine Seattle Times piece on blogging, by James J. Na:

What is the difference between conservative and liberal nerds? Conservative nerds have guns.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/16/2005 at 10:21 PM
    1. So the Amish know and understand the power of the Blogosphere, while the mainstraem media persist in categorising it as a “lynch mob” or “people in their pyjamas”.

      Makes you wonder which of the two groups is really the backward one, technologically.

      Posted by The Mongrel on 02/16 at 11:16 PM • permalink


    1. As I am newish to blogs, I just (unfortunately) had my first look at the moonbats blog/web’diary’ on SMH – truly stunning

      the current ‘discussion’ on Iran and nukes is mind boggling – and guess who the usual whipping subjects are? **it isn’t Iran**

      some of the links provided as ‘evidence’ are….well you get the picture

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 12:45 AM • permalink


    1. to be fair there were some dissenting opinions – however they have been roundly defiled as evil neocons

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 12:47 AM • permalink


    1. Worth Reading

      Posted by Rose on 02/17 at 12:49 AM • permalink


    1. I thought it a surprisingly balanced article from Roy Eccleston. He usually leads the Australian’s anti-Bush cheersquad.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 02/17 at 12:52 AM • permalink


    1. How long does it take one to “get” an idea or concept?

      Do we have to work for months and years of therapy to achieve through the proper steps, usually 12, a realization?

      Whatever the throwback Amish are having, I’ll take some too.

      Posted by J. Peden on 02/17 at 01:30 AM • permalink


    1. prapp I just (unfortunately) had my first look at your contibution.

      It is so enlightening, I can see now and you are in my sight.

      Welcome, welcome to the right side of the blogosphere where little things creep out to patch themselves hovels in the marred shadow of your gift.

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 03:30 AM • permalink


    1. ‘salim’ is that some sort of threat, “you are in my sight”? – whoever you are? spooky

      how very telling of your ideology – ps your english is appalling

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 03:42 AM • permalink


    1. prapp put your tin-foil hat away. What are you some kind of moonbat conspiracy theorist?

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 03:49 AM • permalink


    1. By the way prapp it is ‘whomever” in the context you used not “whoever”. Back to ESL school for you.

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 03:54 AM • permalink


    1. “patch themselves hovels in the marred shadow of your gift.”

      ha ha Mills and Boon?

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 03:55 AM • permalink


    1. T E Lawrence actually

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 03:58 AM • permalink


    1. thats lovely thanks for your ‘contibution’

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 04:00 AM • permalink


    1. That would be “That’s lovely. Thanks for your “contribution”.  Perhaps prapp your think your papp is proper prose, but your total sum is less than one that takes it up the nose.

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 04:03 AM • permalink


    1. “less than one that takes it up the nose”

      you must be bored after school, try and make a relevant comment about the subject

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 04:06 AM • permalink


    1. Not bored now you silly sow making a pig’s ear of a profile. You have no idea, that’s been made quite clear and now you’re roundly defiled.

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 04:11 AM • permalink


    1. only in your mind clown enjoy your night amusing yourself

      Posted by prapp on 02/17 at 04:15 AM • permalink


    1. Not just myself. My cousins like it too.

      Posted by Salim_Ahmed on 02/17 at 04:20 AM • permalink


    1. O-kay. Moving right along: the validation we crave is a little thin on the ground here.
      The great thing about blogs is that you get a chance to participate in the argument and the humour.
      If you lack the skill to do either with any aplomb, it becomes a bit of a sad spectacle.
      Similarly, if you attack too viciously the fellow commenters, things tend to degenerate.
      If that is your goal, Andrea will get you.

      Posted by blogstrop on 02/17 at 05:08 AM • permalink


    1. An undercover photographer risked his life (the Amish target journalists) to get these photos of an Amish lynch mob.

      Posted by Donnah on 02/17 at 06:31 AM • permalink


    1. Salim and prapp, both of you, this isn’t a forum where you can conduct private cat fights, or whatever it is you are doing. Stick to the topic or get banned.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/17 at 06:54 AM • permalink


    1. English as a second language – it is not politically correct to use that term now Salim.

      Posted by crash on 02/17 at 08:29 AM • permalink


    1. What amazes me is the tendency to treat “the blogosphere” as a foreign entity of some sort, landed in Roswell and hatching forth alien mischief, perhaps from pods.

      “Caustically bouncing the Kerry comments around the internet” is really no more than saying “Took someone at his word and publicly disagreed.” It’s finally re-introducing the old concept of accountability to the political scene; an official can’t as readily get away with verbal outrages with the willing compliance of the MSM.  Instead of writing letters to editors we can post them on the Web and let anyone who pleases see them.  We can include the links to the sources so the first quotes don’t get snowed or pooh-poohed.

      The game is up.

      Posted by Nightfly on 02/17 at 01:28 PM • permalink


    1. That Amish couple weren’t the only Americans offended by what John Kerry’s idiot sister did Down Under during the elections. Thankfully Austrailians had the good sense to ignore her…

      However, some of us are also a little upset with the Austrailians over this incident as well. We were all sort of hoping that y’all would take darling Diana snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef and forget to pick her up. You know, like Open Water. But you Aussies just wouldn’t take the hint…

      Posted by Wes S. on 02/17 at 11:11 PM • permalink


    1. Wes S., what, and put all those Great White Sharks in danger from pollution?  And think of all the coral reefs that would be destroyed.  That’s inhumane, man!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 02/18 at 03:24 AM • permalink


    1. Blog potency?  If blogging persists for more than four hours, consult a physician…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 02/18 at 10:52 AM • permalink


    1. Eccleston actually did a bad job of reporting the full blogging achievements. On Rather, he reported he was only ‘lashed’ by ‘claims’ that he used forged docoments.  Couldn’t he admit the claims were fully proven long before CBS reacted??
      And on Eason Jordan he wrote just about ‘no transcripts’, but failed to report that the UN refuses to release an actual FILM of what was said.
      In my view Eccleston is in partial denial about the efficiency of blogging.  Makes you want to trust the MSM less when he writes so coyly.

      Posted by Barrie on 02/18 at 08:21 PM • permalink


  1. An undercover photographer risked his life (the Amish target journalists) to get these photos of an Amish lynch mob.

    Surely you jest, Gatorgirl.  The Amish haven’t injured or maimed, much less killed, any journalists in years.  Not since the infamous pitchfork incident of ‘72, I believe.  And Geraldo had that one coming to him. (What?  You thought all those pock marks were acne scars?!?)

    Nice choice of tunes, BTW.

    Posted by Sylvan on 02/19 at 05:03 PM • permalink