In the May/June issue of Mother Jones, George Packer writes that there is "something peculiarly stale and tired" about political blogs. He reads them anyway.
First, a confession: I hate blogs. I'm also addicted to them. Hours dissolve into nothing when I suit up and dematerialize into the political blogosphere...
My private habit (and others') has emerged as the journalistic signature of the 2004 campaign. Although only 13 percent of Americans regularly get their campaign news from the Internet — still far less than from local, cable, and network TV news — nonetheless a whole industry of analysts has risen up to declare 2004 the dawn of a new political era. Part of the mystique of blogs is their protean quality: They work both sides of the divide between politics and media, further blurring the already fuzzy distinctions between reporter, pundit, political operative, activist, and citizen.
The constellation of opinion called the blogosphere consists, like the stars themselves, partly of gases. This is what makes blogs addictive — that is, both pleasurable and destructive: They're so easy to consume, and so endlessly available. Their second-by-second proliferation means that far more is written than needs to be said about any one thing. To change metaphors for a moment (and to deepen the shame), I gorge myself on these hundreds of pieces of commentary like so much candy into a bloated — yet nervous, sugar-jangled — stupor.
Link via JD Lasica's New Media Musings.