InstaGlenn in the WSJ today:

….the Cambodia revelations happened not in the face of big media laziness, but in the face of active big-media opposition. (Even now, newspapermen like the Star Tribune’s Jim Boyd are criticizing bloggers for covering the story, though without admitting that the bloggers had the facts on their side.)

Does this mean that blogs will work in the Bush campaigns favor? Not inevitably, and there are plenty of lefty blogs doing their best to beat Mr. Bush. But so long as the mainstream media are lazy, and biased — and strongly in favor of a Democrat — the fact-checking and media-bypassing power of the blogosphere is likely to disproportionately favor Republicans. That’s not so much a reflection on blogs, alas, as it is a reflection on big media.

Not unlike what I’ve said in the past. In that post, I identified the reason the press has lost it’s authority, as does Glenn… the MSM’s vices… or as I put it then, their abuse of the authority given to them. Nice to see someone else gets it.

What is slightly more subtle, but is implicit in my original write-up… and it’s a point I wonder if Glenn understands… is a warning… and perhaps I should make it a bit more explicit.

Blogs now find themsleves in a position of “authority’…. which is actually better described as a position of trust… because of the abuses of the media they’re competing with. The relationship between authority and trust is interesting to me just now, and perhaps I’ll explore this later, if I think of it again.

The MSM is in trouble now and has lost their position of authority because they demonstrably have abused that trust… as people like Bosell have been trying to tell us for years, now.

The warning here is that it’s not outside the realm of possibility, and is even likely, that blogdom can be replaced by anything else, at need, if the trust given them is abused. Perhaps in this cynical age, such trust will be harder to build up. But for all that, such trusts will also fall faster, and be more fragile.

I do not see this as a bad thing; I see this as a natural check on abuse that’s been lacking.. a natural check that Blogs (and Fox, before it, for that matter) provided against the MSM.

Because of the abuses of the MSM, we’re being looked at with an only semi-trusting eye by the public. It’s up to we Bloggers, how long that trust, that authority, lasts.

Update: John Venlet notes my use of the word ‘authority’ and questions it, apparently preferring the use of the word ‘respect’. To which I have replied thus:


As I said in my own older post that I linked to in that discussion… the issue of the relationship between trust, and authority is of interest to me just now, because I think that bears on many issues of today… including the presidential election. (In my view it comes down to, as it always has, the issue of whom you trust more in this election in the position they’re running for. That issue is of the same import now as at any other critical time in our history, I think. Zell Miller did a good johb of addressing that issue of trust last night, though indirectly.  It also bears directly on the issue of the MSM vs their replacements.

I haven’t quite got it worked out as yet, but I’m convinced that…. (Absent force of law, gun, or lack of competition, or a combo of all of these) …authority is granted only as a matter of TRUST.

I alluded to this point in the post you link to; that perhaps the word “authority” was misplaced, and perhaps trust is more appropriate.  But then I got tangled on the relationship between trust and authority., and I wonder now if I didn’t get it right the first time.

Consider my line of thinking, please…You don’t give someone in your employ authority to run a machine, for example, until you trust him with it. You don’t give them the passwords to the computer, (and thereby the authority to use it) the keys to the safe (ditto) or anything else, unless you trust them. Authority, of ANY kind, where it is freely granted, is granted only to the level of trust the situation engenders. PAW, you usually grant someone only the level of authority you trust them with.

If you trust someone to give you the news, you grant them authority to tell you what’s news.

For many years, the MSM had the authority of being the sole power, the sole authority, if you will, the sole arbiter, of what was news. The MSM was trusted by the people because of a long-standing trust and by the fact that there was little in the way of serious competition in that area. Usually, people had no way to judge how well they handled that trust…. That authority. In a sense, the people were under force to accept the MSM and to grant them the authority insofar as what was and was not news… and often as not, what was truth, particularly in political and social areas.

Other voices coming into the scene changed all of that. The added information undermined that trust, and with it, the authority attached to it… and I think rightly so.

I’m suggesting in my post that Blogs are becoming more popular because in large part of a greater trust at the moment,. But I’m also suggesting that they can and will fall victim to diminished trust… diminished authority, should they fall to the same abuses the MSM did.

Your use of the word ‘respect’ is useful, becuse it certainly qualifies as that, but I submit that respect is built up by proving one’s self trustworthy with the authority granted.

We seem to agree there’s a relationship there; what’s in the discussion stage now is the order in which these different levels come in.

Does that make any greater sense to you now?

And by the way, I note Fox news exceeded all three mainline networks as well as all other cable networks last night. If we hold that Fox is still outside the realm of mainstream media, then, I suppose we can argue that the replacement of the MSM has been completed.

(In fairness, it should be pointed out that the trust/authority given Blogs is perhaps less than that initially given the MSM simply because the expectations were set lower going in… perhaps worthy of a sub-topic all it’s own, that point)