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August 04, 2007

 

Blogging and Democracy: Redux

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There is a marvelous passage within a 7/30 New Yorker magazine article regarding the rampant increase in (citizen) journalism that was ascribed to the advent of democracy in the French artist Courbet's epoch.

The Title of the piece is "Painting by Numbers, Gustave Courbet and the making of a master, by Peter Schjeldahl." (link, page 2)

The passage so intriguingly resonates with hundreds of recent op-eds and articles explaining, haranguing or lauding the growth of internet blogging. The passage follows, below:

--"A new means was at hand: journalism. In 1836, Chu writes, Paris's daily newspaper circulation was eighty thousand. By 1870, it topped a million. Publications large and small engendered what the great conservative critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve called "industrial literature," churned out with "audacity and naïveté" by men "with this single device inscribed on their banner, 'to live by writing.' " Sainte-Beuve saw the development as an inevitable consequence of democracy. He noted, unhappily, that it was in line "with our electoral and industrial customs that everyone may have his page.""--

I found it interesting. Oui? No?

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When Chris Matthews of "Hardball" condescendingly sneers the MSM adopted sobriquet, "These bloggers, they're mostly living in their parent's basements'' it shows to me that he is rattled by the phenomena and sarcasm is his little-minded response.

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Comments:
Ah hah! That line totally caught me and I meant to read the whole thing. I forgot about it though, so thanks for reminding me . . .
 
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