I was going to do a nice staid article about the Fed and regulation but frankly it’s a nice sunny, tropical Sunday down here and it just doesn’t seem kind to overwhelm my brain or yours with Barky Frankisms and tales from the crypt of A(ll)yn Greenspan. I scoured my usual sites for inspiration over coffee and landed on Memeorandum. The source didn’t thrill me but the headline was superb.
There it was on The Other McCain screaming ‘You’d be surprised what some of those Morons write on the Internet.’ Then there was The Public Editor over at the NY Times discussing how the Gray Lady handled the Acorn case versus Fox News. What grabbed me on The Other McCain was this bit which sent me off to Andrew Sullivan’s blog. You know, there is certainly a lotta crap out there under the catchall term of political blog.
By the way, there is nothing conservative about Southern populism.
We talked–after the election–about the direction the Blogosphere might take during 2009. I think we can already see the role of Twitter and the role of live blogging things like the Honduran Revolution or the Iranian protests over the Election. As an ‘institution’, if you will, we forced CNN out of its weekend complacency cocoon to cover real news stories instead of running pablum over and over with a few Youtubes and talking heads thrown in. That is probably the thing that will turn into case studies in Journalism schools around the country. My take is that this is a good thing.
There is also the increased patronage on wonky finance and econ blogs because more than the nation’s PhD students in Financial economics now have an interest in Financial Derivatives and the Federal Reserve Bank. There has been an increasing link between the worlds ‘scholars’ and the blogosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been watching the the dissection of the financial crisis and macroeconomics play out in a public forum outside of the peer review process and I find it fascinating. I knew I always had trouble with Lucas, Fama, Cochrane et al when I was studying the efficient markets hypothesis and forced into recreating the results of various ‘seminal’ works but was basically hushed into silence by awed lecturers on the Gods of Finance. It’s been nothing but entertaining for me to see the wonkier macroeconomists point out basic errors in their arguments such as mixing up endogenous and exogenous variables. This is so basic that it would probably cause you to flunk a qualifying exam. I can only imagine that similar things are going on in the wonkier science blogs on issues ranging from climate change to RNA transcription. Again, my take is this is a good thing. It turns every one’s lap top into a lecture hall and specialist meeting. I’m all for this.
However, I front page at The Confluence which specializes in examining everything from the vantage point of politics. This is where I’ve noticed some distinct morphing over the year since the election. The political blogosphere seems to have split into three distinct camps now. Those that just exist to promote whatever firebrand idea of so-called conservatism they burnish who pick up and run on any tidbit that seems to support the ideology; factual or fishy. Those that support the current administration and apologize and rationalize every misstep and pick and run with any tidbit that seems to support their view of the world; factual or fishy. Then there’s a third group that either follow a group of issues or are just trying to figure out how best to get the issues brought into the discussion and action realm on top of all the ideological or partisan screaming. I think I can say as a member of the front page editing team that we really really try to fall into the latter group.