Friday, June 20, 2003

Osama’s pyrrhic victory


Victor Davis Hanson lists a bunch of postive developments that would have seemed unimaginable on the evening of 9/11, including the takedown of Saddam and the Taliban. But one item in this litany of success rings a little false: “(A)ll troops slated to leave Saudi Arabia — and by our own volition, not theirs.”


Well, kinda. One of Bin Laden’s key goals was getting us infidels out of Saudi Arabia, and our departure follows in a direct path from the events precipitated by his terrorist attacks. The rest of his agenda, of course, is looking quite a bit less robust, and the changes in Saudi society he has set into motion may not break his way. But in the same way that Hitler deserved to be Time’s Man of the Year, Osama deserves some credit for the repositioning of US troops in the Middle East.


I got the link from InstaPundit, who follows up Hanson’s lament that the media is reporting only negatives with a remarkable statement: “If we lose this war, that will be why. Fortunately, however, what Andrew Sullivan correctly called a "fifth column" back in 2001 is limited in numbers and influence, despite its broad representation in media.”


Sullivan quickly backed away from the term “fifth column,” which means “traitor,” and I don’t think it needs to be revived now.

11:59:59 AM    comment []

I am happy to announce the panelists for the BloggerCon discussion of weblogs and the media. The media panel will discuss weblogs as tools for practicing journalism.


The panelists are Josh Marshall, Glenn Reynolds, Scott Rosenberg, and me. I’m the moderator, wish me luck. We hope to cover a lot of ground, and our best subject matter may crop up on the morning of the conference, but we’re likely to talk about stuff like this:


·         how reporters, writers, and pundits can and will use weblogs

·         how traditional media outlets will use and adapt to blogs and bloggers

·         changes in institutional media culture caused by weblogs

·         the future of weblogging for pay

·         celebrity bloggers

·         interplay between blogs and the rest of the media

·         the rights of media-company employees to maintain private weblogs

·         peer editing and fact-checking in the blogosphere

·         blogs as sources of localized and international news


BloggerCon will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2003 at Harvard Law School.


The panelists:


Joshua Micah Marshall, author of the Talking Points Memo weblog, is a columnist for The Hill and contributing writer for Washington Monthly. A pioneer at reporting stories on his blog, then synthesizing them into more fully-realized versions in physical form. He was instrumental in keeping the Trent Lott story alive last year.


Glenn Reynolds, aka InstaPundit. This University of Tennessee law professor links to and comments on an enormous volume of material each day, and has become in the process an influential opinion-maker in his own right, complete with his own column.


Scott Rosenberg is managing editor of the seminal online magazine Salon and shepherd of its weblog community. A veteran of newspaper and Web journalism, he spent ten years at the San Francisco Examiner as a theater critic, movie critic, and technology columnist.


Edward Cone has written extensively about weblogs and their use in journalism and politics. Currently a senior writer for Ziff Davis Media and an opinion columnist for the Greensboro News & Record, he has been a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, and a freelancer.

10:01:08 AM    comment []

Happy birthday to Luna, aka Tunafish, Lunatic, Lovely Lady, etc., dawn bed-jumper, champion office-couch sleeper, favorite of drunks on South Elm Street, coprophagous morning exercise companion, keeper of secrets, canine Einstein, hide-and-seek player, best friend to man and man’s wife and kids, good dog. She  turns one today (new pic coming soon).

7:56:35 AM    comment []