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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, January 26, 2004


media navel-gazing

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
I am here to defend the media. Why? Because this "article" by Howard Mortmann, at, does the media a disservice by claiming to be a part of it. In fact, Howard Mortman is a regular contributor to NRO, and stated on NPR that Enron didn't qualify as a political scandal. The article linked above is a collection of blogger quotes, without any reference to where the quotes came from or any links. I am going to give Howard Mortmann the benefit of the doubt and assume that every unnattributed quote is accurate, because I don't see any reason to think he is a liar. But a column saying that bloggers are biased from, well, Howard Mortman is at least deliciously ironic enough that it becomes a good story. It's a familiar modus operandi for Howard Mortmann, though. I wonder when he gets around to doing a similar expose on what the folks at Free Republic say?

But there is a real media bias, as opposed to political-opinion-writer-masquerading-as-real-journalist bias. And you can find no better rigorous documentation of that bias by consulting one of the finest new blogs on the web - the Campaign Desk from the Columbia School of Journalism. The blog is fantastic (and doesn't spare the Dean campaign or any other - keeping us a bit honest too). One of the recurring topics is "Spin Buster", which documents exactly how the media feeds on itself. Their systematic dissection of how Dean's Rebel Yell became the Angry Dean meme is essential reading in understanding how reporters end up writing pieces "devoted solely to the storyline that they have helped to create."

Keep the CJR blog on your reading list - and you'll learn what media bias really is.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.