Recently, the organizers of the WisPolitics Blog Summit, to be held on April 28 at Marquette University, sent a survey to various bloggers, asking for comment on this year’s event, which has drawn some criticism from various quarters for various reasons. I haven’t weighed in on these issues, but I thought I would answer the survey and share it with my readers.
I hope the folks at WisPolitics take these comments as constructive. I value my spot as a featured blog on the always-interesting WisOpinion page. There is a bit of "biting the hand that feeds me" here, but 1) it’s hard to avoid, under the circumstances; 2) Elvis Costello raised such "biting" to a reputable art form on "Radio, Radio"; and 3) part of the blogging experience is taking chances in the interest of making one’s voice heard.
If anything can be said about the panels developed for the summit (agenda), it is that it is weighted toward the right-wing perspective and establishment-types. GOP-surrogates Charlie Sykes and Jessica McBride are emerging from their studio cocoons for the day, hopefully not with rules in place that will prevent honest debate. Although this is supposedly a summit for bloggers, Sykes and McBride are not bloggers. They only use their web presence to post their show-prep, self-serving e-mails from Scott Walker and David Clarke, and various links to RNC-inspired web content. In addition, if you can’t post comments – as is the case with all Journal Inc. personality-sites – it’s not really a blog.
Ed Garvey notwithstanding, there is no countervailing progressive perspective that will be able to challenge the talking-point recitations of the TMJ wing-nuts. God bless ‘im, but my guess is that Ed (from Madison)is not tuned in to what Sykes is up to on a daily basis on the radio in Milwaukee. The excruciating McBride is the only officially-opinionated person on the "what is blogging doing to journalism" panel -- like she would know. Other than the diversity panel, he only "real" bloggers invited are the dutifully on-message right-winger (and, natch, Sykes TV panel talking-head) Owen Robinson and the eccentric sometimes-progressive Jay Bullock. Both, apparently, also led the same panel last year.
Anyway, here are my answers to the Summit Survey:
Suggestions for Ideas to Discuss at the Summit:
- Establishment vs. pajama bloggers: Who is more interesting?
- Should radio talkers who put their show prep on-line be allowed to call themselves "bloggers"?
- Given the message discipline of right-wing bloggers, do we need more than one of them?
If you are attending (and I am), why are you?
- To see if any true dialog is going to take place.
- Can't get enough of Charlie Sykes and Jessica McBride.
- To see if Folkbum brings his guitar (if so, I'll bring mine)
- Missing Mike Gousha.
Suggestions for Future Panels:
- How to Maintain and Reward Independence and Creativity.
- How to Avoid the Development of Hierarchy that Stifles Fresh Voices.
- Recognizing the hijacking of the blogosphere by paid or otherwise-rewarded hacks advancing their own careers or bank accounts.
Who would you like to see on next year’s panels?
- Anyone other than those on this year's program.
- At least one "pajama" blogger who broke through recently.
- A lefty whose message is not under-cut by excessive eccentricity.
- A right-winger with an original thought (I know -- this is a tough one).