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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Thoughts on Liveblogging


    Before i lay some links down I want to say something about liveblogging.

    I don't mind it, per se. I think it's useful to have some people laying out impressions as whatever it is happens. It's a decent idea. I've done it myself. It's kind of a neat idea.

    But. Long before blogging came around there was a revolution in political analysis. Every station now has all of its commentators in a panel, all watching the event and ready to give their impressions immediately following the event. This has always been the way, and live on-the-spot analysis is fine. I have often gotten the impression though, that a lot of these people would be better served by letting their thoughts percolate a little. Taking time to read over the transcript and collect your thoughts, consider them, form arguments and all that.

    The impression I get is that people who live blog and journalists who are sitting on cable news panels are all thinking of what they are going to say during the important part when they should be listening. I know some are better at this than others. I just think that having to also type and update my blog during the body of what I am trying to form an opinion on gets in the way of a solid opinion. I think the cycle of news NOW and analysis NOW is a bit too much to ask. Yeah, I want the news and analysis as soon as you have it. But I don't want it just for the sake of you having it. I don't want it to be the first analysis you've got to throw. Come on, prep that bird to fly before you kick him out of the nest.

    It isn't like I'm trying to really change cable news, or how you blog. I have tried it myself though, and while I could definitely use Tivo, I find it much more helpful to keep myself focused on the event at hand when I am trying to come up with something to say about it later. So that's why I won't be liveblogging too much. I don't rule it out, but a debate just moves too fast and is too chock full to be distracted by thinking about what JUST happened while the thing is still going on. There is something happening NOW too, and I'm missing it to try and make a comment.

    I just think a little space for the thing to happen is needed. I can't put it all together without a shower and a long process of reconsideration and doubt. I've got to solidify things in my mind a little bit before I can do anything more than say drily what it is I saw. The things that get liveblogged are the ones which have immediately graspable meaning. That's fine, but those are also the things that everyone and their stupid brother can grasp themselves. Without Chris Matthews pointing it out, or even more comically, me. All of those guys on MSNBC are paying attention, but mostly to what they themselves will say about it. It's kind of defeating the purpose of the event, in favor of their own egos. Yes, I love to hear myself talk and see myself in print too. On the TV I bet my ego would swell to fill the studio. If I knew everyone was going to be watching and I had to have some intelligent sounding things to say...well I probably would ignore most of the event to compose my intelligent thoughts.

    I think liveblogging is the same. My whole point in blogging is to come up with intelligent things to say about stuff. Ok yeah, big challenge I know, but even bigger if I'm doing that on the fly. I think any blogger that can do it well, should. I'm just talking about me. I think groups of bloggers like the Corner at NRO (and maybe groups of analysts on TV too) are possibly better at getting around the workload of it, and I tend to like reading their unfolding commentaries. But I've watched the Corner long enough to know that you can tell how big a story will be almost mathematically by the way Jonah Goldberg weighs in at the very very start of the story.

    Case in point, the CBS memos. As soon as this story broke I checked it out and there was enough evidence already assembled that told me that while I wasn't certain what would happen there were some serious questions regarding the documents. I checked over at the Corner and JG had thrown down his opinion (which was not wrong, but cautionary more than anything) that he didn't have much hope that this was a big story, and only a bit more hope that it would be a medium story. Fair enough, but at the time I don't think he had the whole story available yet. I think what happened was that he considered first what he *wanted* to be true, and then in commendable intellectually honest fashion discounted everything that pointed to the story he *wanted* and heavily weighted everything that said *not so fast, Goldberg*. So his first post was something like "yeah, interesting, but even if true I doubt it amounts to much at all".

    At the early stages of the story, that's a smart thing to do. But not out loud, I think. Three days later Jonah wrote a column stating quite an opposite opinion, one that included him, the story and some creamy nougat. To say the least, he really liked the story. And he generally gives intelligent commentary out, from interesting points of view, and I really like reading what he thinks. So how much less without a clue might he have looked if he just said that morning "yeah, looks like something weird and we'll have to see what happens"? I think it was more the urge to weigh in with a smart sounding, not quite mainstream opinon than it was anything else. I understand that, but he was also one of the guys liveblogging the first debate that said "Kerry is killing Bush!" which was sort of true in the style sense, but after some reflection from everyone it wasn't really what happened. I understand that,too.

    For instance, I just started out wanting to say "I don't think I'll be liveblogging the 2nd debate but I'll have something to say about it later". And now I've written a book here, of just my opinion. Which I might change tomorrow. Ok, I'll put in some links to make up for it.

    Misreporting the Duelfer report, mainly through the headlines. Glad to see there is a news article to point to when I assert this to people now. Two days ago that got me in trouble heheh.

    Well, I saw the first part of this coming. But methinks things have swung WELL past "reality" on these shows.

    Anthropomorphization--A sword with two edges. Are you a pet sadist?

    There's a decent online art gallery here, which I need to skim through a little more. I didn't used to appreciate art that was not on an album cover. I really recommend actually going to museums now, but at least by going here you don't have to go to 1500 of them.


    Hamster Wheel Technology
    , writ large.

    If you're a Jedi Knight, as several Brits told the Census they were, you don't actually need to make contact when you fight. But then again, why would you have to do so much moving around? Or answer census questions, for that matter.



    posted by M@ at 6:56 PM   0 comments links to this post

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