Blogs as Paragons of Intellectual Virtue

While we seldom agree on politics, Chris Bowers is one of the more thoughtful essayists and shrewdest analysts on the blogosphere out there. Sometimes, though, he swings and misses. Case in point:

By speaking directly to the members of the electorate who are the most politically active and intense consumers of news, we can wield a lot of influence while simultaneously not playing the idiotic games of “gotcha” and faux outrage that have been used to try and sway low-information voters for the past several decades (no wonder low-information voters are dismissive of politics, considering how stupid people often assume they are).

There are a lot of blogs out there, including MyDD (and I hope OTB), that eschew “gotcha” and faux outrage. For the most part, though, those techniques are the sine qua non of blogging. Take a look at the most highly trafficked political blogs. I think you’ll find that those which are primarily thoughtful, rational discussions of the issues are greatly outnumbered by the hotbeds of outrage and vitriol.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. That’s a shame. I usually find the hotbeds of outrage to be annoying, even when I agree with the author’s basic points. But I’m in the minority, I guess.

  2. lily says:

    I think that he meant that thhe audience for blogs was a different froup of people than thhe audience for faux outrage noise machinne attacks via TV and thhe radio.

  3. Bithead says:

    You think Bowers eschews “gotcha” and faux outrage?

    You’re kidding, I must assume.

  4. James Joyner says:

    I think that he meant that thhe audience for blogs was a different froup of people than thhe audience for faux outrage noise machinne attacks via TV and thhe radio.

    I think that’s right. I just think that, for the most part, he’s wrong. Just as there are civilized discussions taking place on some talk radio and television shows, that’s happening on the blogs. A whole lot of both, though, are all about the red meat.

    You think Bowers eschews “gotcha” and faux outrage?

    Relatively speaking, yes. He’s generally quite analytical. And I think his occasional outrage is genuine.

  5. carpeicthus says:

    Yeah, his analysis is just plain weird. I pretty much only read blogs that aim at some moderate politics, not because I think centrism is all that great, but because it’s harder to be intellectually dishonest.