THE SELF-CORRECTING BLOGOSPHERE….Atrios is right to mock the pretensions of right-wing blowhards who loudly insist that the blogosphere is superior to old media because it’s “self correcting.” Their notion that someone else pointing out your errors counts as “self correction” is risible. By that standard, everything in the world is self correcting.
What makes this all the more mock-worthy is the longtime aversion of conservative bloggers to comment hosting, which is the only genuine self-correction mechanism in the blogosphere. Yes, my comment section might be full of trolls and their vitriol, but anyone who has a factual disagreement with what I write has a forum to point it out in the same place as the post itself.
But take a look at the Ecosystem. As I write this, the top ten conservative blogs are Instapundit, Powerline, LGF, Malkin, Captain’s Quarters, Sullivan, Hewitt, Volokh, Wizbang, and The Corner. Of those, only three have comments, and the LGF folks do everything in their power to keep anyone outside their own sycophantic fan base from contributing.
There aren’t enough liberals in the top 30 to even make a top ten , but the top six are Kos, Marshall, Atrios, Washington Monthly, Crooked Timber, and Yglesias. All but one host comments ? and if we could just get Josh off his butt we could make it a clean sweep.
The most laughable member of the conservative blowhard group, of course, is my very own fellow Irvinite, Hugh Hewitt. The man just wrote an entire book about the glories of the fast acting, self-correcting, interactive blogosphere, but his own blog has no comments. I’m not sure what he’s afraid of, but apparently “interactive” and “self correcting” aren’t really at the top of his list of virtues.
Tight message control has always been a key characteristic of conservative politics. It’s emerged as a key characteristic of the conservative blogosphere too.