MikeByrd.net | local knowledge without a net.

Political blogging is not always a trivial pursuit

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on September 23, 2010

In 1993, Stephen Carter in his important book The Culture of Disbelief argued that religious expression is trivialized in public discourse because of political habits of reducing it to a purely private pursuit or hobby with no authority and little influence in public life. Conceding all of the ways that blogging and religion may be different from one another, I intend to underscore a significant way they are alike in American culture: except for the very large, influential houses, they are both politically and economically trivialized as subjective and individualized expressions impinging little on society.

I do not intend to argue that personal, private expressions of opinion do not carry any intrinsic value or have their own kinds of influence. Hobbies and subjective pursuits are invaluable and can give rise to significant projects. What I am more focused on is the way writing as blogging is hemmed in and marginalized by attitudes that power, authority, and legitimacy arise elsewhere.

I am also not attempting to skirt the truth that blogging has often brought the minimizing on itself. Blogging has turned the publishing world on its head. (more…)


SouthComm City Paper editor takes one step forward, two steps back on Metro Council member

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on April 27, 2010

Of all the shortcomings of the establishment press today, none is more central to the corruption of the profession than the decision to prioritize balance over accuracy.

Josh Marshall

Recently ensconced City Paper editor Stephen George created a blogospheric, twitterific stir yesterday with his profile of Metro Council member Emily Evans. Despite his confessed efforts to deflect charges of sympathy for or hits against Evans, he incurred the wrath of several social mediarites, including Aunt B, who cavorts in the twilight zone between bona fide blogging and local news media.

On the one hand, I believe that George is correct in arguing that “Convention center crusader” is neither a sympathy piece nor a hit piece.  On the other hand, the narrative of the story belies a profound bias against Emily Evans as a parent who both “bailed” on her job and generates extreme reactions from quarters from which George distances himself as reporter. (more…)