We tuned in to CNN this afternoon for "Inside the Blogs," a new feature on Judy Woodruff's "Inside Politics" [via Hugh Hewitt] and were pleasantly surprised. Blog Reporter Jacki Schechner (above right) reads blogs for a living and did a great job reporting on the buzz out here in the sphere. Not taking sides, she and her fellow blog reporter (didn't catch his name)covered the bases from left to right in a refreshingly fair and balanced manner. Even so, Schechner reported with obvious delight Jeff Jarvis's demolition of Maureen Dowd's hollow claim that "even Nixon didn't do what Bush is doing with fake news." As a tad, Jarvis happened to have been interviewed by Nixon's re-election commitee for a fake news job.
"Some say the bloggers aren't that big a deal," Judy Woodruff says provocatively, setting off the sparks between her two guests this afternoon on "Inside Politics." Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg doesn't get it. Media reporter Howard Kurtz is starting to get it big time. A few excerpts:
Stuart Rothenberg: There's this orgy of media attention to blogs. It's just another fad. What about the issue of accountability?
Howard Kurtz: "People have to be smart. Blogs can be irresponsible, but they can also be provocative and funny and cover things the MSM misses."
Rothenberg: We don't know who these people are. Everybody needs an editor.
Woodruff: What about the fact they are having an effect on the real world?
Kurtz: I think you're a little too quick to write them off, Stuart.
Rothenberg: The amount of time I have, there are lots of magazines and newspapers out there. Do I have additional time to spend on reading blogs? No, I don't.
Kurtz: A lot of newspapers are losing circulation. It's a competitive world out there. We don't control the conversation anymore. We don't have a monopoly anymore, and I think thats a healthy thing.
The Rothenbergs of this world, who don't have time to check out the blogs, are Darwinian toast, soon to be left in the La Brea Tar Pits of history (did you know they had toast back then?), but it looks like CNN itself is starting to get with the program. 'Will have to check out Kurtz' show, "Bloggers: Truthtellers or Vigilantes?" on "Reliable Sources" this weekend (We NEVER check out CNN at home). See. They're no dummies. They've piqued our interest.