Melanie Phillips on IDS the Bloggers’ Friend

Melanie Phillips has picked up on Iain Duncan Smith’s article in The Guardian.

Phillips, I shoud point out, is someone I read for the same reason people pick scabs. It irritating, slightly painful, but nevertheless weirdly addictive.

Anyway, her point is that:

blogging democratises the national conversation by providing an alternative discourse to the world view of the left, which the mainstream media (MSM) regards as the neutral middle ground. This warped perception means not only that it presents news through a distorting prism, but that by definition it cannot acknowledge that it is distorted, thus creating a closed thought process. This phenomenon is what leaves the BBC, in particular, unable to fulfil its public service obligation to objectivity and fairness.

Zzzzz. Typical wittering about media bias. The British media has always been biaised towards the party in government. There weren’t many complainst from the Tories during the 80s about not getting enough screen time.

Throughout Phillips seems to take delight in using words like ‘blogosphere’ but clearly doesn’t understand what she is talking about. She doesn’t even allow trackbacks on her posts, let alone comments. Where’s the relationship building here? To me, this is hectoring to a dumb audience who can’t respond.

For political blogs to work, they have to encourage participation. This means making facilities like trackbacks and comments available and taking the time to monitor and respond to them, and to sort out problems when they occur. Otherwise, how does the ‘blog’ differ from any other website?