Media / Media Bias
Blogs relatively unknown
By Arthur Weinreb
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that most Americans are unfamiliar with blogs. A little over three quarters of respondents said that they used the Internet, but slightly less than one quarter said that they were familiar or somewhat familiar with blogs. At the extremes, 7 per cent said that they read blogs a few times a week while 48 per cent said that they had never read them.
What is interesting is the major effect that blogs have had on the mainstream media considering that so few people seem to be familiar with them. Bloggers have been credited with helping to bring down Dan Rather after the former CBS anchor aired the story of George W. Bushs National Guard service on 60 Minutes. Within hours of showing the documents that showed the president having been AWOL from service, bloggers took to the Internet and pointed out that the documents could not have been produced on 1970s era typewriters and were therefore forgeries.
Last week, web logs achieved a new status when the first media day pass was issued to a blogger to cover White House press briefings.
As with other technological advances such as the Internet itself, resort to blogs is bound to increase. In spite of the fact that so few people seem to currently read blogs, they have successfully been able to hold the mainstream media that previously enjoyed monopoly status over the news, to account.
Resort to blogs on the Internet is so relatively low now that its numbers can only go up. The fact that blogs have had such an impact on the mainstream media while most of the population is unfamiliar with them does not bode well for the future of the mainstream media.
National Post infomercial
The National Post that is still considered to be a conservative newspaper, Stephen Harper notwithstanding, ran a column by ultra leftist and radical feminist Judy Rebick on International Womens Day. There is, of course nothing wrong with providing balance by giving a column to Rebick; the problem was what was in it.
Rebick has written a book that was to be released on the same day, International Womens Day. Her column was nothing more than a plug for her book, including giving positive reactions to some people, oops, women, who had read it. The entire column could have been summed up in three words: Buy my book.
The National Post should have known better.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org