Bloggers Fail to Prove on E-Night?
BL Ochman takes issue with Frank Barnako, who claims "Bloggers Blew It." I have no brief for Barnako, but I believe he's mostly right. Ochman also claims timely reporting from bloggers, and there she's mostly wrong.
Over here in Denmark, it made sense to sleep early and rise early to catch the returns. So at 5AM (11PM EST), I had the RSS rolling, CNN and BBC on the telly, and my friend Adam Gould in my cellphone (Adam thinks faster than 99% of the population).
I fully expected to be "ahead" by following the blogs. But, no, I always got my first news from CNN and the Beeb. Not only that, but I felt I got far better analysis of the news from "old media". While there were occasional snippets of insight -- and to their credit, I should say jewels of insight -- from Gadflyer and Joshua Marshall, Kos was overrun and crashing with the banal comments of every sophomore in America. Bull Moose and NewDonkey? Forget it.
In short, if you wanted timely news and generally good analysis, you were better off turning to old media. And if you had any ability to read body language, you were even better off -- Larry King's scowl, arm folding, and petulant silence after Wolf Blitzer called Ohio "too close to call" showed the true fate of Ohio better than any speculation on Kos.
The truth is, old media does events like election night pretty well. Better than bloggers ever will. And there's no surprise in this: old media, when it focuses all of its attention on one thing, is faster and better than tens of thousands of independents. Sorry BL, that's just the way of it.
But... old media can't stay focused on one event. If Ohio's vote count was in doubt; if New Mexican voters were intimidated at the polls, if ballot boxes in Iowa turn up three weeks from now, I'm sure my RSS Bandit will bring me the news. That's the power of the blogosphere -- someone is always watching and ready to report.