I had the chance to watch the video last night, and Maura is just so. awesome. I've never seen the blogosphere as I experience it so perfectly described, nor could I be any prouder as a female political blogger to have such a splendid representative. I daresay Al Gore would also be very pleased with such a great explanation about how the internet reconnects people to politics after television rendered them asunder.
But truly, the best part is when the host wants to know "What's the dark side [of the blogosphere]? What are some of the problems?"
Maura: It's hard for me to discuss problems, because I think, in a way, it's almost an unalloyed good to have more people have a voice in politics. I would say that there are some things that make politicians very nervous about blogs, and one of them is the idea that we don't have editors—so, you may have to get your story fact-checked by a hundred people; I can just post something up tonight without being fact-checked by an editor first. However, we have a very high standard for accuracy, and what we see is we have a really engaged readership, and they will call me on it if I put up something today—for instance, just before I left I put up a story about the Connecticut Catholic bishops have just announced today that they're going to disperse emergency contraception—I could not just put that up there without a link to a source or a second source, because my readers would immediately say, 'Maura, where's your link? Where's this coming from? Where did you get this?' So, politicians are a little bit nervous about that, because they're used to having a few layers of filters before something gets published.
Then there's a little exchange about anonymity and/or pseudonymity in the blogosphere, which the host introduces by referencing "anonymous slander." Maura won't really go there, though, so he tries to pique her again with "It is fascinating stuff, and it's not regulated at all, right? It's just kinda [makes a face like he smelled shit] out there?" And that's when she lets him have it with the sweetest smile.
Maura: No, it's just pure free speech, which is great. That's kind of the way our country was founded, with anonymous pamphleteers like Thomas Paine, or pseudonymous pamphleteers. So, I think we come from a great tradition of people being engaged through discussion.
Right on. Well done, grrl.
And credit to the host, who, despite that last little bit of poking, generally just let her go and didn't make it an interrupt-a-thon the way so many of these things are now.
[The show's website is here, although I'll be darned if I can find a transcript.]