The Reverend Representative Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) tells an interesting story in this blog's comment section about civil discourse and the mainstream media. The good Hickey discusses the media inquiries he got right after Judge Karen Schreier's ruling Monday that South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution:
True story: when the Court decision came down this week my phone started ringing. Apparently in this moment of time I'm the media's go to person for the other view on this issue. Many media calls came. Something different happened this time. I did every interview pretending my friend Steve Hildebrand was sitting next to me. The concerns I voiced were nothing new but I guess I did leave out the creative and biting rhetoric that easily comes to me. Only one media source dropped a quote from me in their story. Usually when they call me, they quote me. Makes me think there is a hunger out there for us to be beating each other up. I didn't feed it this time and civility apparently isn't as newsworthy [Steve Hickey, comment, Madville Times, 2015.01.15].
Rep. Rev. Hickey, a vociferous opponent of same-sex marriage and homosexuality, discusses the issue while imagining he is in the same room as a passionate gay-rights advocate. He tones down his rhetoric—just as I have seen we tend to do on this blog in the comment sextion when we speak to each other with real names instead of pseudonyms. The professional mainstream media comes away disappointed not to get the money quote and leaves the good Hickey's tempered response mostly out of their coverage.
Elsewhere, I notice that KELO reports on the proposed increases in vehicle registration fees by talking to three men in the street. The KELO report offers no indication of the three men's qualifications as objective, informed commentators on public policy. The KELO report is just three guys' opinion.
I thought the mainstream media beat blogs because blogs lean toward extremist, inflammatory discourse, while the mainstream media strive for more tempered reportage. I thought the mainstream media beat blogs because blogs are just some guy's opinion, while KELO et al. give us authoritative facts.
The above two examples suggest that we bloggers are producing journalism not that much different from our mainstream counterparts... except our product costs less and is more fun.