by Peter Daou
A SEMINAL MOMENT IN BLOGLAND: Part of my focus on the Daou Report is to draw attention to lesser known blogs from across the political spectrum, so along with the well-trafficked biggies, you'll find a bunch of new and under-exposed blogs. Having said that, it's important to keep in mind that the major bloggers have earned their success. Lately, there's been a burst of energy in the progressive blog world, with dozens of great posts from high profile - and high traffic - bloggers on Daily Kos, Eschaton, HuffPo, C&L, FDL, MyDD, TPM, and several others. Among those blog entries are two seminal posts, one by Digby, the other by Glenn Greenwald.
Digby's post, entitled "Dispatches From The Fever Swamp," rightfully claims a crucial achievement by the progressive netroots:
"I know that without us there would have been virtually no critical voices during the long period between 2001 and the presidential primary campaign during 2003. We were it. The media were overt, enthusiastic Bush boosters for well over two years and created an environment in which Democratic dissent (never welcome) was non-existent to the average American viewer. In fact, it took Bush's approval rating falling to below 40% before they would admit that he was in trouble.
I believe that if it had not been for the constant underground drumbeat from the fever swamps over the past five years, when the incompetence, malfeasance and corruption finally hit critical mass last summer with the bad news from Iraq, oil prices and Katrina, Bush would not have sunk as precipitously as he did and stayed there. It literally took two catastrophes of epic proportions to break the media from its narrative of Bush's powerful leadership. And this after two extremely close elections ---- and the lack of any WMD in Iraq."
Digby's take on the "liberal" media* is particularly resonant for me, paralleling my recent blogging about pro-Bush narratives flooding the traditional press:
"I have written before about this and made it clear that I do not wish to destroy the mainstream media. I do not believe that this country can do without a credible press. But after waiting in vain for more than a decade for the press to shake off its torpor and exert its prerogatives as the fourth estate, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that our (and their) only hope was to join the fray and pull as hard as we can on the opposite end of the rope.