Bloggers - Bush Cheerleaders Or the New Stasi?Klassekampen ("The Class Struggle"), an openly Communist newspaper in Norway, questions whether bloggers can truly challenge the power of big media when so many of them are "reactionary Bush supporters". The paper brings up the "memo gate", where bloggers such as Charles Johnson of LittleGreenFootballs exposed Dan Rather and CBS News for publishing a fake memo about President Bush, as an example of how bloggers have effectively become "footsoldiers for the American presidential power". More recently, Norwegian blogger Bjørn Stærk made waves in Norway after he revealed that Dagsavisen, a leading Leftist newspaper, had, well, manufactured a story about how Norway had been put at risk for giving some microscopic aid to the Americans. Klassekampen isn't too concerned about the fact that in both these cases, the bloggers were correct. What is unforgivable is that they criticized liberal or left-wing media. As Bjørn Stærk says, this isn't even about right-wing vs. left-wing, it's about sloppy journalism. Or is a lie told by the Left better than a truth told by the Right?
Perhaps Klassekampen will feel better about blogs when they hear that some compare us to the informers of the old DDR, a country a significant number of Scandinavian extreme leftists had friendly relations with until the 1980s:
Hint: It's Hyperbole
We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out. We're always under surveillance. No matter who you are, someone is ready and willing to rat you out. Even the rats themselves have to look over their shoulders, because some smaller rat is always waiting in the wings. Bloggers are the new Stasi. All the timidity this engenders, all this watching your mouth has started to feel positively un-American.
It's not even a Western thing. In India, a media blog was forced to shut down after legal threats from the Times of India. The blogger had, among other things, written about its MediaNet initiative, where businesses can buy photos and profile stories in the Times' editorial section -- what it calls "edvertorials." And a mufti claims that blogs are not permissable in Islam. I almost get the feeling that somebody out there doesn't like us. On the other hand, rumor has it that more politicians write blogs to bypass mainstream media, including Socialist Left party leader Kristin Halvorsen in Norway.
That's the spirit, Kristin. If you can't beat them, join them.