An interesting piece this week in the Colorado Springs Gazette commented on what I call The Great Opening: the effect of improved communications, especially the Internet and blogs, to reduce the insularity of our political discourse.
In 2004, the Democratic National Convention offered press credentials to about 30 bloggers.
Back then, even though the blogosphere was already burgeoning, they were treated as a sideshow. News coverage looked at these online commentators like zoo animals – showing them furiously typing away in corners of the convention hall.
This time around, blogs have come of age and the Democrats are bending over backward to open the doors of Denver’s Pepsi Center to bloggers for the Aug. 25-28 event. More than 120 blogs will be represented at the convention.
So, if CNN or the New York Times (or, say it ain’t so, The Gazette) isn’t providing the convention coverage you’re looking for, you could try Beliefnet, a national, nonpartisan religion and spirituality Web site, or Disaboom, a site focused on the interests and issues of disabled people, or My Left Nutmeg, a New Hampshire political blog. Or Blue Mass Group, or Crooks and Liars, or a hundred other sites.
Is my thesis accurate? Do you think that the internet in general and blogs in particular are opening up politics, or is this just the political equivalent of Olympics commentary: alternately interesting and enervating, but in no way determinative of results on the field of play. (The excellent My Left Nutmeg, incidentally, of course, is from CT not NH).