9/11, Blogging, and the Campaign

Posted by Katherine | September 12, 2008 – 10:02 am
Never forget
[ccho / Flickr]

Sarolta Cump just discovered Cass, who writes a blog called Villainous Company. Cass describes herself as a “dyspeptic Marine wife/tech wench,” and it was the aftermath of 9/11 (her husband survived the attack on the Pentagon) that pushed her to the blogosphere. In this post, Cass weaves together three BallotVox-y strands: 9/11 and its aftermath, bloggers vs. mainstream media, and the campaign.

Blogging is corrected and informed by the voices of literally millions of readers who continuously fact check, snark, cross reference, question and argue over our posts in real time. They are our ‘rigorous layers of editorial control’, and they have caused us to correct ourselves and to retract our mistakes. They improve our content as well as add to it.

Blogging is, as I wrote many years ago, a vigorous conversation over the backyard fences of America and it has renewed and revitalized our interest and participation in civic life in a way that is particularly heartening in this era of political apathy and cynicism. It took a former housewife and mother with no interest in politics and turned her into an avid follower of current events, conversant with both foreign policy and economic trends. It got me engaged.

But there is little doubt that I would not be blogging if it were not for 9/11 and the war on terror. […]

I think we all lost something on that day and some of us - many of us - live with ghosts now: ghosts who never quite leave our sides. We are at once made richer and poorer for that experience. Oddly, 9/11 initially bound us together as a nation as we drew near in grief and shock and horror. It is easy to light candles and mourn the dead. It costs us precisely nothing.

But as the shock wore off and the tiresome burdens of reality began to settle in, 9/11 also drove a wedge between us. As so often happens in political life, we mostly want the same things: freedom, security, affluence, happiness.

We disagree about the best methods of achieving them. As we went off to war, the deep divisions between us only worsened.

Cass isn’t shy about which side of that divide she’s on or about her support for the war in Iraq, and in the rest of the post she lashes the MSM for what she sees as its liberal, pro-Obama bias. True to her view of the role of blogging, though, she does immerse herself in opposite views: “I pick up a newspaper or browse to Slate Online, not to have my political biases confirmed but to learn more about the world I live in. I subscribe to The Atlantic and The New Republic because it does me good to read authors I disagree with, even if they make me angry sometimes.”

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