The New Mission of the Liberal Blogosphere

Strangely enough, the new mission of the liberal blogosphere looks an awful lot like the old mission of the liberal blogosphere.

One of the primary purposes of the liberal blogosphere has always been to challenge a mainstream media that is either too lazy to challenge their own stories, too beholden to corporate sponsorship, or too paralyzed from calls of bias to actually engage in the kind of investigative journalism that could have spared us the quagmire-like occupation of Iraq (among many other things).

Whether you believe the media has a liberal bias, a conservative bias, or an afraid to be called biased bias, one thing that most bloggers tend to agree upon is that the mainstream media is largely impotent.  Thus, our job has been at least in part to try and keep the media honest.

Never could this be more true than what we are likely to see this fall.  Right now, John McCain is largely being ignored by the media in favor of covering the Democratic primary which is, admittedly, far more exciting at this point.

But an incident picked up by Crooks & Liars gives us a glimpse into the kind of reporting we could expect to see once the dust clears over the Democratic primary.

ACOSTA: But it was earlier this week in Alexandria, Virginia, where he [McCain] visited a high school—a uh, high school…Episcopal high school in Alexandria, Virginia–where apparently a student there started heckling the Senator and John McCain then had to respond. So here is John McCain responding to what appears to be a student heckler earlier this week in Alexandria, Virginia:

STUDENT: We can see that this isn’t completely absent, uh, political motivation isn’t completely absent, yet we were told this isn’t a political event. So, what exactly is your purpose in being here, not that I don’t appreciate the opportunity, but I’d just like some clarification.

MCCAIN: I knew I should have cut this thing off. [laughter] This meeting is over. [laughter] Um, this is an opportunity and part of a series of visits that I’m playing…paying…we started in Mississippi, uh, where my family’s roots are back to the middle of the 19th century, to here. We’re going from here to Pensacola, Florida, to Jacksonville, Florida, and a couple of other places where…we’re going to Annapolis, where I obviously attended the Naval Academy. And it’s sort of a tour where we try to not only emphasize the values and principles that guided me and I think a lot of this country in the past, but also portray a vision of how I think we need to address the challenges of the future, and a lot of that is in retrospect, but a lot of it is also advocacy and addressing certain challenges that face the nation. I hope that attendance here was not compulsory.

ACOSTA: So there you have it, John McCain, who is no stranger to incoming fire, able to handle that heckler there...

Can’t you see the little heart bubbles bursting over Acosta as he pretty much fails basic journalism?  While Acosta gushed, what he apparently missed was that the inquisitive student actually had a pretty solid question that McCain almost completely failed to answer.

Instead of anyone bothering to ask if McCain is running around high schools to cherry pick young voters under the guise of something that is supposed to be largely apolitical, this has become a story about how great McCain is at dealing with hecklers.

Now, I know heckling, and the question the student asked was not heckling.  Asking John McCain if he was so old he wouldn’t even be able to hear the red phone when it rang at three in the morning, now that would be heckling.  Asking him how often he has to change his Depends in a day, THAT’S heckling.

The question the student asked was a valid one, and it would be kind of nice for the media to recognize that.

More from memeorandum:  TBogg, Orcinus and Hullabaloo


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