Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The blogosphere is self correcting

Except when editors get involved. I seem to have missed the big blog kerfluffle yesterday. Apparently, Matt Yglesias posted some silly throwaway post the other night and made a snarky comment about some organization called The Third Way, describing their "domestic policy agenda as 'hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit,' in addition to noting that the group's policy ideas 'are laughable in comparison to the scale of the problems they allegedly address.'" I have no idea what The Third Way is, but apparently they occassionally partner with Matt's home think tank, Center for American Progress and the acting chief exec felt compelled to commandeer Matt's blog to issue a disclaimer. You know, the usual, "Matt speaks for himself and his views do not necessarily reflect the views of CAP" sort of thing.

It being a slow news day and all, the board at Memeorandum lit up with bloggers weighing in, mostly in Matt's defense and predicting the impact of such editorial interference. I thought Steve Benen had the best take of the ones I read and John Cole also has a good roundup of reactions.

For myself, I have to agree that the 'correction' was a bit ham-handed and unnecessary. It was probably counterproductive in terms of doing anything to improve the perception of Third Way's work but I doubt it will really destroy Matt's independence. I've always thought he was fairly cautious blogger anyway and assumed it was because he has to tread some kind of line between what he really would like to say and how he expresses it.

Anyone who blogs for some establishment entity self-censors to some extent. I do it myself at the DetNews. I have complete editorial freedom, but there are some things I wouldn't post there. That's why I started this blog, where I can risk pissing people off and the only one I can embarrass is myself. Anyway, in the long run, I doubt this will have any lasting impact. But it does prove my belief that it's always the throw-away posts that get the legs. The ones you slave hours over, are most often ignored.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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