Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Celebrity Culture Invades the Blogosphere

I hereby join the chorus of naysayers expressing doubts about whether the world really needs a group blog that offers an opinion vehicle for the likes of Joe Scarborough, Bill Maher, Walter Cronkite, Ellen Degeneres, and Gary Hart. What, these people have been desperately seeking some means of communicating with the public? I'm referring, of course, to the much ballyhooed Huffington Post, which is now online with its rather formless cacophony of generally low-energy postings ("a pudding without a theme" like the one Churchill complained about).

On NPR the other day, Huffington was asked whether the notion of providing a blogging platform for Hollywood celebrities and others whose opinions are already well-circulated didn't contradict the central premise of the blogosphere, which is to give voice to the otherwise voiceless. Not at all, she replied; in fact, just the opposite. The Huffington Post, she explained, validates the power of the new paradigm by showing how the famous and powerful are now willing to participate in the great, democratic conversations facilitated by the blogosphere.

Sounds plausible--until you actually visit the site and realize that there is no way to offer comments on the celebrity posts. So we lowly readers are free to listen to the wisdom offered by those in Arianna's Rolodex, and keep our reactions to ourselves. Since when does "conversation" = "monologue"?
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