Bloggers As Watchdogs: Liberal Blogging In A Democratic Administration

For those who have been patiently waiting, the video has been uploaded for the panel discussion that I participated in a couple of weeks ago at UPenn Law School in Philadelphia.   

The panel discussion was sponsored by the Philly chapter of the American Constitution Society, hosted by Adam Bonin, and including John AravosisBaratunde Thurston and Daniel Urevick-Ackelsberg. It was a discussion about blogging, citizen activism and accountability:

The blogosphere began during the early months of the Bush Administration with opposition and criticism being the dominant modes for online progressives. With a new administration in the White House, how will the role of the netroots change? How do leaders of online opinion see their responsibilities with respect to the new President?

It was a pretty lively back and forth, we got some great audience questions, too.  I know several of you have asked if the video was available yet. Well now, it finally is

 
22 Responses to "Bloggers As Watchdogs: Liberal Blogging In A Democratic Administration"
Elliott | Saturday February 21, 2009 12:34 pm 1

way cool
off to watch!


katymine | Saturday February 21, 2009 12:57 pm 2

Good afternoon everyone….. yawn… just up from my nap..


barbara | Saturday February 21, 2009 01:13 pm 3

Video viewing . . . . stand by . . . . *g*


dakine01 | Saturday February 21, 2009 02:03 pm 4

Book Salon up at the Mothership The War Behind Me by Deborah Nelson


cinnamonape | Saturday February 21, 2009 02:17 pm 5

Interesting find…from a consumer of blogs. Someone scrubbed Phil Gramms wiki reference to omit his Chairmanship of UBS Bank…between February 12-13. I suspect that would have been about the time that UBS was being told they had to turn over the names of their American investors.

Odd that someone would think that Gramm needed his history expunged…given the fact that this association is widely found everywhere else on the net. But the timing is interesting…and the facft that it’s the only sentence removed by this “editor”.


TomThumb | Saturday February 21, 2009 03:26 pm 6

This video was helpful. I will try to read my sources more carefully when I make a comment on them, especially people who ’spoke on condition of anonymity’. As long as big Media continue to serve as spokespeople for corporate interests and political operatives, we will need blogs.


ohbytheway | Saturday February 21, 2009 05:53 pm 7

Just read a New York Times article concerning President Obama’s plan to cut the deficit by letting the tax cuts of the Bush administration expire in 2010. That however is not my topic here. All through the article, the NYTimes refers to our President as Mr. Obama.
Am I not properly schooled here or isn’t that bad form or even some sort of subtle descrimination?


eCAHNomics | Saturday February 21, 2009 05:53 pm 8

Thanks for posting this Christy. I watched the whole thing. Much confirmed the observations and conclusions I had reached about the role of liberal blogs and how FDL fits into the genre (and loved some of your stories), but also learned some new things about blogs.


druidity36 | Saturday February 21, 2009 07:07 pm 9
In response to ohbytheway @ 7

Got a link for that?

I’d be happy to help raise a stink…

really disrespectful, if you ask me. Who authored the article?


Knut | Saturday February 21, 2009 08:05 pm 10

I think we have first to set the table. The thing about the Bush administration was that you knew when they were lying because their lips were moving. It was a given, and it was true. The Obama administration are not lying. They may not tell the whole truth, because the whole truth, as Oedipus learned to his personal destruction, is not always the truth you really want to know. But so far they aren’t lying. They aren’t lying because they are secure.

So I think that bloggers should, unlike with Bush, assume that the Obama administration are playing straight until demonstrated otherwise. That doesn’t make us a cheering section. It means, we debate on the substance rather than the message. This is tougher, because you have to know stuff to debate substance. I know stuff about the economy, but I don’t know as much stuff as people who do Treasury or Commerce or Labor for a living.

I say, fight like hell, but suspension of disbelief for six months on Obama’s plans.


ohbytheway | Saturday February 21, 2009 08:34 pm 11
In response to druidity36 @ 9

So sorry that I didn’t get back to you in time. It’s all been sanitized. It was an article by the New York Times as reported by Google but that is no longer there. I did write an email to President Obama’s White House Web Page. Someone must have caught it and yanked it.


ohbytheway | Saturday February 21, 2009 08:41 pm 12
In response to druidity36 @ 9

Got Lucky and found it with a Google Search:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02…..f=business
I reread it and it refers to President Obama all through the article as Mr. Obama. If I can help let me know but I’m sorta of short on the “raising hell” thing.


Millineryman | Sunday February 22, 2009 07:52 am 13

Thanks for posting this. It was a interesting exchange, and I think beneficial for all.


MSSS | Sunday February 22, 2009 09:41 am 14

A watchful blogsphere has an important role in a democracy.

But the fear response — in which Obama is villified for not having included every single progressive idea in a project or legislative proposal — seems too prominent to me.

I give Obama and staff great credit for reaching out, proposing realistic solutions, making changes.

As Machiavelli said: The person who makes changes is doing the most difficult thing: Those who would most benefit from the change offer tepid support; those who benefit from the status quo are loud and strong in their denunciations.


MSSS | Sunday February 22, 2009 09:42 am 15

Machiaveli said that those who seek to make change have the most difficult task:

• those who would most benefit from the change offer tepid support
• those who do not want change and wish to keep the status quo are loud and strong in their denunciations


selise | Sunday February 22, 2009 09:52 am 16
In response to MSSS @ 14

i guess it depends on whether you see obama as someone who wants to make change or as someone who wants to preserve the fundamental status quo.

so far, i’m seeing status quo.


selise | Sunday February 22, 2009 09:54 am 17
In response to Knut @ 10

fisa? lied.
lobbyists in the administration? lied.
transparency? lied.


STTPinOhio | Sunday February 22, 2009 10:09 am 18
In response to selise @ 16

so far, i’m seeing status quo.

Then you are not looking very hard.

To say Obama represents the “status quo” is just not accurate, let alone fair.


selise | Sunday February 22, 2009 10:22 am 19
In response to STTPinOhio @ 18

then please educate me – where can i look to see obama challenging the status quo in more than the competency of it’s execution?


STTPinOhio | Sunday February 22, 2009 11:21 am 20
In response to selise @ 19

then please educate me – where can i look to see obama challenging the status quo

Do us both a favor and read any (of several available) summary of Obama’s first month in office that details his accomplishments; from the Lilly Ledbetter act, to SCHIP, to the stimulus bill that Bush dragged his feet on, none of those accomplishments are ’status quo’.

I recognize you certainly have every right to remain cynical regarding Obama’s administration, but it seems unfair to gloss over major pieces of legislation that most liberal/progressives have wanted passed for years as ‘more of the same’.

Because clearly it’s not.


selise | Sunday February 22, 2009 11:31 am 21
In response to STTPinOhio @ 20

rather than putting ‘more of the same’ in quotes and attributing it to me, i wish you would argue with what i actually wrote.

i did not say that obama was more the same wrt bush – what i did say is that i don’t see obama challenging the status quo and by that i mean the elite status quo.


STTPinOhio | Sunday February 22, 2009 12:04 pm 22
In response to selise @ 16

My bad for the quotation marks, but I still think I addressed your point.

So, as not to make the same mistake again, your words were

someone who wants to preserve the fundamental status quo.

so far, i’m seeing status quo.

The ‘elite’ part was nowhere to be found until your reply @21, so all I had to work with was the above quotation.

On to ’status quo’; I found the following as a definition from Wiki:

To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are.

To say Obama wants ‘to keep things the way they presently are’ I don’t believe is based in fact.


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