Editor's note: Janet says I should go back to doing these round-up link posts. In my defense, I haven't been doing them because I haven't had the time to do as much online news reading, but now I'm thinking about a new way of handling the volume of sites I try to track. Let's consider this an experiment in process. -- dc
ALITO MORE TO THE RIGHT, NOW: I'm hardly in the mood to be flip about this. Those of us who oppose the continued plundering of the Constitution by our current ruling Washington cabal cannot be happy about today's confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr.
Was his confirmation inevitable? Probably. Do I think the Democrats missed yet another opportunity to define themselves and their opponents via a statement of values and principled opposition? Absolutely. Considering the way the Alito nomination came about, this may have been the ultimate opportunity to define the Republican party in terms of the entrenched interests it represents.
Once more, with feeling: When you can't win, you must turn the act of your defeat into something meaningful. By focusing on Alito's individual qualifications, the Democrats squandered the chance to talk about what is really in play in America: Competing values. Ironically, had they done this, they might have actually pulled over some pro-Choice Republicans and won. Instead, the Noise Machine recast the story as mean Democrats making some nice guy's wife cry. Nice job, boys.
Anyway, we're hosed. Again. Talk amongst yourselves.
KILLING ANOTHER STEREOTYPE: In yet another study (via J.D. Lasica's New Media Musings) , The Pew Internet and American Life Project says that the Internet actually makes people MORE social, not less so.
Further rebuking early studies suggesting that the Internet promotes isolation, Pew found that it "was actually helping people maintain their communities,'' said Barry Wellman, a University of Toronto sociology professor and co-author of the Pew report.
"About five years ago, I went to the Herald and I told them, 'I've got this blog and maybe you'd like to run it.' They said, 'It's a what?' But then they had a committee meeting or something and now they want everybody to have a blog. They want the security guard to have a blog."
By the way, Porter is en fuego these days, rising up the charts with a bullet... (Tim, you put that bullet down this instant! You'll put somebody's eye out!)
SPEAKING OF PRESS STUFF: Jay Rosen has posted the new introduction to the latest edition of Neil Postman's classic "Amusing Ourselves to Death" over at PressThink, and the cool thing is that the intro was written by Andrew Postman, Neil's son (Neil Postman died in 2003).
STANDING UP ... TO THE LITTLE GUYS? Crooks and Liars posts video of Jon Stewart comparing how Oprah smacked-down what-his-name, that phony memoirist, to the way supposed TV journalists treat actual public figures who lie as naturally as they breathe. A reminder to myself and my colleagues: Beating up the little guy is not proof of bravery or toughness. Going toe-to-toe with the bully who beats up the little guy is where we prove our worth. Just don't ever expect a merit badge or a bonus, even if you win.