Mother Jones: Smoke Filled Chat Rooms - Rolling Stone
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Mother Jones: Smoke Filled Chat Rooms

“It’s fucking Skull and Bones, man. The very secretive, behind-closed-doors nature of it is anathema to everything that blogging is supposed to be about: accountability. We are supposed to be showing the way, not skulking around behind closed doors, coming up with strategies. Those are the people who we’re trying to fight. I know about ‘the real world’ and all that shit. But we’re the idealists, aren’t we?”

— A member of the Townhouse email list — on which significant players of the liberal blogosphere strategize in secret — quoted in Meet the New Bosses

If you’re interested in the intersection of politics and technology you owe it to yourself to pick up the latest copy of Mother Jones, which features a LOL cover with World of Warcraft Obama facing off against Karl Rove.

Unlike their cover about Iraq, this issue is not “For Dummies.” Frankly, a lot of the lingo (‘socnets,’ ‘crowdsourcing,’ ‘the long tail of politics’) went over my head, and I write about this shit for a living.

But the most intriguing part of this challenging package — which has received some inexplicably cranky and, for my money, thick-headed coverage over at Huffington Post [full disclosure, I write for both] — is the notion that the blogosphere isn’t so much opening up politics to the people, as enshrining a new, wired, somewhat more democratic, still overwhelmingly male political elite.

I’m not sure I swallow the whole thesis, but the troublingly secretive agenda setting on Townhouse, as well as the win-at-all-costs ideology represented in a quote like this —”if it’s not against the law, I don’t want to hear about it… [from] the campus blogethicists” — sure offers plenty of meat for thoughtful Netroots progressives to chew on.

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