Monday, March 07, 2005


There is an interesting article in today's edition of Globe from Norman Spector (subscription is needed, but Normie has put it on his website here).

He talks about Canadian bloggers' role (if any) in contemporary Canadian political affairs of the day. Firstly, from his description, as a blogger I am:

a) a dork;
b) antisocial;
c) pigheaded;
d) Not all that bright.

Now, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point. Apparently, bloggers in Canada (except, I'm assuming, Stormin' Normin there) are just bitter, angry and "incapable of compromise".

He theorizes that this attitude is the principle reason behind why bloggers haven't brought in a big fish like Rather:

"But the weakness of Canadian conservatism -- a coalition united principally in opposition to lefties and Liberals -- explains the failure of Canadian bloggers to strike any significant blows against mainstream media."

That weakness being fear, anger, hate--you know, the Dark Side of the Force.

I don't agree.

I think most of it is a simple lack of coordination and a failure to do independent research. Let me deal with the second point first.

I might be talking out of ass here, but from what I see, much of the Canadian Blogosphere of the Right (CBR) is mostly about commentary. Myself included. We post interesting articles, use other articles as references and even link to other blogs for corroborative tools. Bloggers like Brock: On the Attack have done a great job in gathering info (Top Liberal fundraisers is a great example, but he loses points for the big-ass pic of himself).

That's all fine and good, but its not really enough to get to where the US bloggers find themselves these days.

As you might recall, "Rathergate", the trophy buck for conservative bloggers in the US, was successful to a large extent because bloggers started to dig. It all started after the "Killian documents" were released in a report from CBS and Dan Rather. On the Internet forum Free Republic, blogger "Buckhead" started to question the authenticity of the documents, backing it up with research, experts, etc. His post:

"Every single one of the memos to file regarding Bush'‘s failure to attend a physical and meet other requirements is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatine or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing (especially in the military), and typewriters used mono-spaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction high-end word processing systems from Xerox and Wang, and later of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's.

Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang and other systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used mono-spaced fonts. I doubt the TANG had typesetting or high-end 1st generation word processing systems.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively."

See? Independent research.

Which brings me to my second point.

After "Buckhead" started carping, US bloggers got the word out and it spread like wildfire.

Weeks later--one less Dan at CBS.

This is because the network of bloggers (and the existence of uber-bloggers like Instapundit) in the US is unparalleled. There is really nothing like that here in Canada (not that I know about anyway). In fact, until Blogging Tories came around about a month ago, there was really no large network for Canadian conservative bloggers at all.

Now, there might be groups, but there is nothing to link those groups. Blogging Tories is a great start, but its nothing like what you see in the States. It is difficult to disseminate (potentially damaging) information to a group large enough to create a critical mass and actually have an effect. Without those linkages, there is no sum of its parts, as it were.

So, I disagree with Normie. I don't think our lack of a "Rathergate" has anything to do with how we see the world.

Its how we run our blogs that's the problem.

Once we stop regurgitating the news and start making the news, then we'll have an impact.
Hit me up if you think I'm wrong.

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