Unimpacting adams

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Last updated on June 10th, 2017 at 05:15 am

Phillip Adams reports:

There’s a prevailing delusion that the unmediated world of the internet is creating a vibrant, electronic democracy—a parallel universe that will reshape political dynamics and counterbalance mainstream media. The other day I asked Bob Carr if he’d noticed the net changing Australian politics and his emphatic response was, “no, not at all”. Despite the strident blogs, the exuberant conspiracy theorists and the new tribalisms of the web, it’s hard to see solid evidence of significant impact. Yet.

Tell it to Eason Jordan, Phil. Let’s flip this notion around, and ask; has any recent Phillip Adams column changed Australian politics? Any “solid evidence of significant impact�? due to the works of Bob Ellis or Alan Ramsey?

No. Not at all.

(Via Boss Hog)

UPDATE. Michael Barone:

So what hath the blogosphere wrought? The left blogosphere has moved the Democrats off to the left, and the right blogosphere has undermined the credibility of the Republicans’ adversaries in Old Media. Both changes help Bush and the Republicans.

A similar deal is happening in Australia, although the left isn’t as influential. Who knows; perhaps Margo’s new site can become our Daily Kos.

UPDATE II. Jonah Goldberg:

The righty blogs have taken down Dan Rather and Eason Jordan. That is big game. The lefty blogs got this Talon news guy. I don’t think this has anything to do with the skills on one side or the other. Give the lefty side credit, they’re smart and they’re tenacious. They’re just as good at digging up old quotes, finding inconsistencies etc. as the guys on the right. In some cases they may even be better. So at that level there’s really no difference. But when it comes to going after the mainstream media they really don’t have the taste for it. Why is that? Well, the obvious reason is that they don’t particularly disagree with the stuff the Dan Rathers and Eason Jordans say or do. Sure they may tear apart a bad poll or criticize a quote out of context if it suits their purposes. But at the end of the day, at the macro level, the fact is that the lefty bloggers and the Mainstream Media are on the same side of things.

UPDATE III. Scott Campbell examines the Jordan-like claims of the BBC’s Nick Gowing—who still has his job.

UPDATE IV. Eason Jordan’s only crime? He cared too much, according to Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review’s CJR Daily:

The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail. (Where is Jimmy Stewart when we need him?) This convinces me more than ever that Eason Jordan is guilty of one thing, and one thing only—caring for the reporters he sent into battle, and haunted by the fact that not all of them came back. Like Gulliver, he was consumed by Lilliputians.

Will Collier responds. So does the Boston Herald’s Jules Crittenden:

I am alarmed that Steve Lovelady, managing editor of CJR Daily, is baffled by the uproar over Eason Jordan’s remarks. If this helps, it is because Jordan reportedly accused American soldiers of purposefully murdering journalists, without citing any evidence, and without his news organization having reported it. While he backtracked and claimed he was misunderstood, apparently CNN found his transgression serious enough to accept his resignation.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE V. Someone posting as William Boykin:

Eason Jordan has just been tire-necklaced by a bloodthirsty group of utopian, bible-thumping knuckledraggers that believe themselves to be bloggers but are really just a streetgang.

Time Warner/CNN is spineless if not completely corrupted by its shareholders’ thirst for petro-dollars.

It is now clear that all pretenses to journalistic ‘objectivity’ benefit the torturing, gulag-building blood-cult known Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld’s Republican Party.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/12/2005 at 09:27 PM
    1. What happened to No Thappy John?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 12 at 11:10 PM • permalink


    1. Margo Fulminates thus:

      History tells us that democracy is not a natural method of governance. It has been fought and died for for centuries, by the people, to wrest power from kings and dictators. It constantly tends towards concentrating power in the hands of unelected elites, with politicians as their salesmen.

      So when a democracy is in trouble, as Australia’s is,

      With riots in the streets, martial law being declared, dissidents sent to Concentration Camps… except that hasn’t happened, has it?

      There’s a genuine disconnect from reality here that goes beyond partisan politics. Don’t they realise that every time they make such irrational statements, their already shaky credibility is eroded just a little bit more? Have they so lost touch with the Real World that they can’t stop digging?

      Christ knows that the Howard Government is not perfect, there’s a mountain of valid criticisms that can be made (though IMHO a rather larger mountain of praise is in order). But instead of discussing truly debateable points, they continue navel-gazing and preaching to the converted with their Bush/Howard=Hitler schtick.

      And the situation in the US is, if anything, worse, with the Deaniacs in charge of the asylum.

      Maybe Margot’s right in that regard : Two-party Democracy is in trouble, if one side descends from neurosis into full-blown psychosis. Never mind, a replacement will doubtless be created in time.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 02 12 at 11:11 PM • permalink


    1. Can anybody count the mistakes, unsupported assumptions and general whoppers in just the first four paragraphs?  Good times ahead…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 12 at 11:14 PM • permalink


    1. Want to see solid evidence of significant impact?  Walk up behind John Kerry and yell, “Blog!”  He’ll hit the roof like a cartoon cat.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 12 at 11:19 PM • permalink


    1. This is what “the rule of law, not of men” means.
      Yes, the rule of law that in Victoria has seen Christian pastors taken to court and found guilty under “vilification” legislation for accurately describing Islamic teachings – in fact, quoting from the Koran.
      People in a democracy can be let down by bad law or the bad application of law.
      I doubt that Margo’s site is going to improve our democracy.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 02 12 at 11:30 PM • permalink


    1. Why didn’t Phil ask someone who knows?

      The blogosphere (turn right at the corner of Google and Yahoo) really seems to get up people like Phil’s nose because it allows a diversity of views and challenges the hegemonic dominance (big words from me) of people like him.

      Impact is a slow thing, which happens by a process of osmosis.

      Margo’s new site is a nice colour. Nothing further to add about it really.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 02 12 at 11:41 PM • permalink


    1. “perhaps Margo’s new site can become our Daily Kos.”

      The problem with this plan is that, while Kos is repugnant, Margo is an idiot.

      Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 2005 02 12 at 11:42 PM • permalink


    1. It’s hard to measure the impact of blogs on a national level, but I can say this.  My 63 year old mother reads ‘em.  Hell, sometimes at dinner we’ll debate something she found on LGF or Davids Medienkritik.  This is a woman who still calls me when she uses her CD player, and she’s reading blogs.

      I would say bloggers are at least getting their ideas out enough to catch the attention of a 63 year old woman in Ohio.

      Posted by atlashrugg on 2005 02 13 at 12:01 AM • permalink


    1. What Brain said.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 02 13 at 12:03 AM • permalink


    1. How long will margo’s intro page lie there unchanged? I say six weeks, at least.

      Posted by chuck on 2005 02 13 at 12:29 AM • permalink


    1. Don’t they realise that every time they make such irrational statements, their already shaky credibility is eroded just a little bit more? Have they so lost touch with the Real World that they can’t stop digging?

      Catez at Allthings2all has a post (February 12th) titled “Cognitive Dissonance and the Call of Conscience” which describes why they don’t realise.

      “When faced with the choice of either admitting that their whole belief system is wrong, and thus their whole investment in it has been a waste, or continuing with the group, many deny their cognitive dissonance by continuing with the group. Conscience regarding the truth is overridden, and new beliefs are constructed … In cults and controlling groups the crisis of admitting that everything one has believed is wrong is staved off by finding new explanations for discrepancies in the group’s ideas and rules. Excuses are used to reinforce belief in the group as the basis of one’s life.”

      If you’ve never heard of cognitive dissonance (or if you’ve only ever heard the very idiosyncratic definition of it that academic education teachers use) it’s worth a read.

      Posted by Janice on 2005 02 13 at 01:18 AM • permalink


    1. One thing to note about Barone’s article is the difference he sees between left and right hatreds. The American right hates the MSM; the American left hates President Bush and the GOP. Yes, many of us Republicans hated the Clintons, but not like this and we don’t flat-out Hate the Dems and Everything They Stand For. Certain things about the Dems’ hatreds particularly bother me.

      Dean is powered by a hate machine. It would be politically difficult for him to adopt a more moderate style even if he wanted to. When Dean said “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for,�? he wasn’t just being loose-lipped about his personal feelings; he was stating the theme which he knows very well powers his political engine.

      Barone points out that hatred of Bush and the Republicans is a Dean theme and a Dem Internet money generator. With Dean as DNC chairman, i.e., the Dem party’s leader of fundraising, this locks the Dem party in as a hate machine, an anti-GOP hate machine.

      The world’s media and elites focus and use hatred against the USA, and the US Dems focus and use hatred against Bush and the Republicans. It goes beyond the hatreds that we GOP rabble talk about having, and none of our major pols thematize or revel in their hatreds—yet the Dems sometimes claim to be trying to ape our success. This is sick stuff. I doubt it’s good for the Dems, and it’s certainly bad for the country.

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 02 13 at 01:31 AM • permalink


    1. One aspect that Goldberg fails to touch on is that, unlike a lot of lefty blogs, there seems to me to be a lot of substantive discussion of ideas on what it means to be a righty.

      Besides the war and it’s conduct, matters such as gay marriage, abortion, the Patriot Act, drug legalization, ssmoking in bars, etc, get self-identified righties arguing vociferously amongst themselves. There is room in the Big Tent for South Park Republicans as well as Born Again Christians.

      Another feather in the cap of righty bloggers was forcing Republican Senator Trent Lott to step down from an important position after his idiotic statements re: Senator Strom Thurmond. That happened so fast that the Lefties and the MSM were barely aware it happened.

      If Kos and his cronies went after frauds on the Left like Michael Moore and Ward Churchill, they might have a shred of credibility but the bottom line for them is constant Bush-bashing.

      Witness rapper Eminem. He was lambasted by gay and lefty activists to the point where they picketed his concerts but when he releases a song critical of Bush, they run out and buy it.

      Posted by JDB on 2005 02 13 at 02:41 AM • permalink


    1. The chief effect of blogs is you notice you’re not the only one baffled by the crap that the MSM puts out.  Up until now 90% of the population had been thinking they were alone.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 02 13 at 03:57 AM • permalink


    1. He cared to much.

      This is the problem with the left.  They care too much about things that advance their cause, and too little about telling the truth.

      Posted by SB on 2005 02 13 at 04:16 AM • permalink


    1. Steve Roberts on Washington Week in Review one time claimed that evryone in the Pentagon was covering up the the cause of the “gulf syndrom” sickness then backed about 10 seconds later without being challenged.

      My thinking for why he did a 180 on the claim is he realised that it was just as much an indictment of SoD William Cohen, who he and his wife probably knew from social gatherings if not outright freinds with Cohen and his wife, and other clinton civilian and military people at the Pentagon. The other “journalists” said nothing when he made the charge and said nothing when he retracted it.

      Posted by zefal on 2005 02 13 at 04:21 AM • permalink


    1. the torturing, gulag-building blood-cult ..
      Yes, there have been quite a few of these in communist countries throughout the last 100 years.
      Didn’t seem to bother the left commentariat too much.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 02 13 at 05:10 AM • permalink


    1. I voted for Bush because of guys like William. I wanted to make damn sure we were not on the same side.

      Posted by terryelee on 2005 02 13 at 07:54 AM • permalink


    1. If Mr. Boykin had mentioned Hitler and Halliburton, he would have achieved a 100% score in the “Moonbat Leftoid Hatred Test”, and thus be awarded an honorary commision as Field Marshall in the Moonbat Brigade.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 02 13 at 08:57 AM • permalink


    1. Damn you The_Real_JeffS.

      You did forget to add the following though:
      The Plastic Turkey
      stolen election

      Posted by bc on 2005 02 13 at 09:20 AM • permalink


    1. So why would you harvest, and give attention to, boykin’s flaming. It draws attention away from substantive discussion. You do want substantive discussion, don’t you?

      Posted by sbw on 2005 02 13 at 07:02 PM • permalink


    1. Speaking of substantive discussion, is anyone else giggling at the name “Steve Lovelady”?

      I guess he should count himself lucky it isn’t “Loveboy” or, for that matter, “Ladyboy”.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2005 02 13 at 07:26 PM • permalink


    1. sbw — Yes, but boykin’s all the left gives us.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 13 at 08:22 PM • permalink


    1. “You do want substantive discussion, don’t you?”

      How the hell can anyone have substantive discussion with people like William Boinkin’?

      My sweetie was just stuck in an impromptu politicial conversation where someone bleated “You voted for Bush?  The first president to take us to war in one hundred and fifty years???

      You can’t have substantive discussions with people like that.  You give them candy and toys with soft round edges that are too big to swallow.

      And then you savor their delicious stupidity and share it with your friends until the fools are shamed into silence

      Posted by Sortelli on 2005 02 13 at 10:19 PM • permalink


    1. Ah, it’s lovely to see the loonies call Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA, lifetime ADA rating of 99) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT, lifetime ADA rating of 84) salivating lynch mob morons and bible-thumping knuckledraggers.

      I mean, it was the testimony of these anti-war Democrats that fuelled the takedown.  In the absence of the tapes, it could have become a righty-lefty he said/he said, but the statements of Frank and Dodd made it clear Jordan was not merely “caring too much”.  While the right-blogosphere led the charge, it’s these liberal Democrats that handed them effective ammunition.

      And so, cheers for Frank and Dodd.  I’ll try to eviscerate them policically tomorrow, but for all that they’re wrong on policy, they’ve shown they have honor.

      Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2005 02 14 at 12:10 AM • permalink


  1. Well, bc, I figured he implied those checklist items when he said ”…torturing, gulag-building blood-cult…”.  But maybe I should have included those, they are pretty specific.

    We’ll just give Mr. Boykin an honorary rank of private, OK?  🙂

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 02 14 at 07:12 AM • permalink