Saturday, June 23, 2007

Can Blogs Be Trusted?

This presentation was supposed to feature 2 bloggers: Jason Zengerle of The New Republic, and Eric Alterman of The Nation. Alterman never showed up. Zengerle's remarks, I thought, seemed designed for an insider political blogging crowd. I'm not sure that's what was in attendance. I follow the political blogs a bit but a lot of his discussion focused on events I was unfamiliar with, and I'm sure many others in the audience were having trouble following along as well.

In the photo above, Zengerle is in the blue shirt sitting at the table. The other 2 people are looking for Alterman.

Can program descriptions be trusted? I don't recall the write-ups of this presentation I saw before the conference advertising it as what I heard. I find this is a problem with not only ALA but SLA as well: pre-conference program descriptions promising one thing and delivering another.

I have to question the choice of speakers as well. Zengerle and Alterman are both liberals. Propping both of them up on the stage with no countering conservative would have been like listening to a two-headed monster (if Alterman had actually shown up). Why was no conservative blogger invited? There are plenty out there. I fault the Law & Political Science Section (LPSS) of ALA/ACRL which seems to be the party responsible for this presentation. That is not competent event planning. Should I conclude that the people running LPSS are a bunch of liberals who have a psychological problem handling an opposing viewpoint?

ALA has earned a reputation as a biased left-wing outfit that shuns a large portion of the American political public. This doesn't help.

Zengerle got in a few good shots at his right-wing counterparts. "Power Line used to write about Bush as if he were Einstein," he said, claiming he reads that blog "just for amusement." And Hugh Hewitt "writes about [Mitt] Romney the way Power Line writes about Bush."