Sunday, March 12, 2006

Whither the JBlogosphere?

People blog for all sorts of reasons--and more power to them...and to us, since the same of course applies to the JBlogosphere as well. But for those of us who write about current events--on matters Jewish and Israeli--what is our goal?

Through the medium of blogging we expect to:

  • share our feelings and frustrations
  • share items in the news that may be missed
  • critique news items and the people who appear in them
  • share our opinions about events in Israel
  • open discussion on any number of Jewish issues

But some of us in the US have another goal in blogging, an accomplishment that one occasionally finds in the Blogosphere in general, but not in the JBlogosphere: making the MSM take note and have an impact.

The general Blogosphere has some major victories under its belt:

  • making Trent Lott's comments about Strom Thurmond an issue, leading to his resignation as House Speaker
  • giving broad exposure to the Swift Boat ads and forcing the MSM to address them, a major blow to Kerry's Presidential campaign
  • exposing the Killian documents as forged and forcing the MSM to take note, leading to Dan Rather's early retirement

This in addition to bringing issues of double-standards, hypocrisy, bias, and outright lies to the general public.

We in the JBlogosphere who like to draw attention to the double-standards, hypocrisy, bias, and outright lies found in international relations with and media coverage of Israel--can we ever hope for anything as impressive, or are we limited to preaching to the choir?

The main enemy is the media which sets the agenda and influences public opinion, and even the general Blogosphere does not win every battle against it. Case in point: the Air America scandal (see here and links at bottom of post) has been virtually ignored by the media, though if the issue was a Conservative radio network, one might expect there would be all kinds of coverage.

One could argue that even the successes of the blogosphere need to be taken in context:

  • Trent Lott, as a Republican who was attacked by liberal bloggers as well, was an obvious target for the liberal media
  • The Swift Boat ads and the Killian documents were issues directly bearing on a Presidential election. Though in both cases the media was reluctant to cover the issues, it was difficult to avoid once the Blogosphere's coverage reached critical mass.

These are exceptions to the general lock that the liberal bias has on the media.

Even with the growing recognition of the Blogosphere, besides the lack of attention to Air America, we still see all kinds of media bias in its coverage of Bush and Iraq as well as domestic issues. But even without being able to dictate what are the headlines that people will see in the press and on TV, the Blogosphere provides a strong alternative source of information for those who are looking for it.

However, regardless of what you think of the potential of the Blogosphere to grow into a force for the MSM to reckon with, and even if the Blogosphere will have growing influence and pressure on the media, it won't help the JBlogopshere.


First, because no matter how opposed the liberal media is to President Bush in general and US policy in Iraq in particular, when it comes to Israel--Bush and the media are now on the same page.

The media not only supports the Road Map, but after the required perfunctory declarations about Hamas, the media working its way towards supporting the need, if not the obligation, to deal with them.

Secondly, with everything else happening in the world and the pet issues each blogger has, how much attention is really being paid to Israel by the general Blogosphere?

How often does Instapundit cover Israel or has a post about Hamas and its election?

Little Green Footballs is a great exception, but it is still an exception.
Powerline also covers the situation in Israel from time to time--but how many of the big blogs do?

As things stand now:

  • The media follows the liberal line in covering Israel.
  • The general blogosphere does not cover Israel to the degree it covers other similar issues.
  • The general blogosphere occasionally will link to a post in the JBlogosphere, but not often.

If we can barely appear on the Blogosphere radar, how can we expect to get the attention of the general public as a whole, the media, and eventually the elected officials and policy makers?

If Israel is a topic that is not covered by the big blogs in the general blogosphere, what reasonable goals can we set for ourselves, and how do we go about achieving them?

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