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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

BLOG, how do blogs interact with local politics?

Forest Park Review (Dave McCarthy) wrote about blogs in local elections focusing on village races in Forest Park.

McCarthy's points:

1. Blogs provide forums for candidates and voters to interact.
2. Blogs often fill a niche under served by other media outlets.
3. Mayor Calderone engages in criticizing of the Forest Park Review.
4. The popularity of the website formerly known as ForestPark.com was discussed.
5. Calderone and Doolin criticized th discourse on the website formerly known as....
6. The expert said that bloggers are often partisan and there is mudslinging.

The web statistics are off slightly b/c McCarthy use the counter on the profile pages. Many people visit blogs without going to the profile page. And in cases where someone writes multiple blogs the profile page predates the more recent blogs.

John Plepel made a good point about the mudslinging. Blogs didn't invent it. Blogs are merely a new medium for it.

In the 1998 primaries three Democrats were vying for Secretary of State: Tim McCarthy, State Senator Penny Severns and then Recorder of Deeds Jesse White. Through what was probably a mishap I was invited into a closed-door meeting with a powerful ward boss who was backing Severns.

The ward boss sought to disparage McCarthy getting shot while protecting President Ronald Reagan. He concocted a story that Secret Service agent McCarthy had skipped out on protecting Reagan and was getting a hot dog when the shooting occurred. To cover for his dereliction of duty McCarthy shot himself.

So, count me as agreeing with Plepel. Politics was nasty before blogs were conceived.

What are your thoughts about the role of blogs in local politics?

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  • Inveterate blogger that I am -- I have to admit that the local newspaper still seems to be
    the most informative source for local politics -- presumably because professional journalists feel the greatest responibility to be accurate, fair, and non-partisan.

    For reasons which I do not understand -- all of the candidate websites are nothing more than the old fashioned, superficial, vapid campaign flyers that have been scanned onto the internet. Are candidates afraid to get any more specific about their issues and qualifications?

    Meanwhile, the blogs and listserves just seem to be a festival of anonymous irresponsibility -- with puerile name-calling, invective, and rumor mongering.

    Just look, for example, at how Josh Adams (in the Forest Park Review), tells us more about
    the candidates, and last week's forum, than any of the discussion either here or on the "website formerly known as forestpark.com"

    Maybe the Forest Park internet world will grow up -- but right now it feels like the high school cafeteria (of a very bad high school)

    By Blogger chris miller, at 10:26 AM, February 07, 2007  

  • There will be a weeding out of blogs over the next couple of years.

    But, as far as I'm concerned there will always be a place for a candidate/public official blog.

    The problem will be getting them to do it.

    Al Arnold

    By Anonymous Al Arnold, at 1:11 PM, February 08, 2007  

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