When I was out at a cafe this afternoon discussing the changing online world and the good things about the networks getting in line with streaming their shows, my friend asked me about blogs. I mentioned a few blogs that I like to read and that's when I came up with my idea. I'd be curious to see how a politically conservative blog and a politically liberal blog covered the same story. Right now, I can look at the news and I can see which stories, say, Michelle Malkin will get all het up about, and I can see the ones Daily Kos will get fired up about. Rarely will you see coverage on both blogs on the same topic.
To me, this is the major issue with blogs. Bloggers like to think they're a check on the media, but hello, they're not. They are biased, they look for the information to support their point of view, and they don't have any reason to look at the other side of the story. This is why Daily Kos and Michelle Malkin will only give you their spin on the story and only cover events/stories that are in their best interests and their readership's interest (?). It's not the truth in any shape or form -- only one version of it. The truth is somewhere in between, but you only can get it at if you can put both coverages side by side and figure out what's what.
I also think that people stick to what they're comfortable with. This is something I've said before, but I do think it's true that people don't want to be challenged, don't want to read something that they're in conflict with, and don't want to feel the pressure to re-evaulate where they stand. I'm totally guilty of this too, I admit it. But I don't think reading blogs of one particular persuasion is the way to go. Of course you're going to become a more diehard liberal/conservative if that's all the information you're getting -- you're not going to see anything else.
In the last election, a friend told me he was surprised John Kerry had lost because he was convinced that there was no way because of all the blogs he'd been reading. I was incredulous. Hadn't he been paying attention to the media that said Kerry was trailing? Losing was always a very possible and realistic option, but my friend never saw it coming because he never ventured out beyond the liberal blogs.
Anyway, I think it'd be an interesting project -- put conflicting points of views together, with all necessary linkage. Unfortunately, I don't necessarily have the time for it, so it'll just be one of those "nice to have" ideas for now.
Link of the Day: Newsweek prints two different covers -- one for International audiences, one for domestic --, as if Annie Lebovitz is more of concern to the majority of Americans than the possible and very real resurgence of the Taliban. In Newsweek's somewhat defense, I did get the Annie Lebovitz issue in the mail today and the Afghanistan story is the top story in the magazine, but you wouldn't know such hard-hitting news was inside because of the cover (which includes three golden-curled cherubs).