We already know that historically speaking whites in general and black elites want blacks to be damn near perfect in order to get the RIGHT of citizenship. We saw this here also with at least one black blogger (who shall remain linkless because I don’t want to embarass him) making some of the same claims about how perhaps the 6 should have just taken consistent beat downs, threats, and symbolic terrorist harassment, in order to make a much better claim.
We also know that significant components of the white progressive blogosphere has been focused on the bush administration in general and on Iraq.
But what I haven’t seen is a discussion about the political-economy of blogging. There are bureaucratic, economic, and ideological determinants of story choice in the media. The media focuses on urban poverty in large part because the victims are black and easily tagged as irresponsible (ideological), but also because they don’t have to spend much money to send reporters to cover urban poverty as opposed to rural poverty (economic).
Check out this quote written about MoveOn:
MoveOn’s management team — led by Eli Pariser, a 25-year-old Internet whiz — runs a sophisticated political operation, and its main preoccupation, beyond ending the Iraq war, is to keep growing. To do that, MoveOn is always looking for what Mr. Pariser and his team call “the message object” — the controversy of the month that will viscerally attract more liberals to sign up and write checks.
An attack on MoveOn from the Bush White House is, of course, the mother of all message objects. Six months after Mr. Bush’s re-election, when opposition to the Iraq war suddenly seemed to be breaking out like a rash around the country, Karl Rove publicly accused MoveOn and its liberal sympathizers of offering “therapy and understanding for our attackers,” and membership soared. That probably explains why MoveOn was eager to run the provocative Petraeus ad in the first place.
In a sense, MoveOn is shrewdly gaming liberal politics in the way the National Rifle Association has long gamed conservative politics; the more controversy, the more members it attracts, and the more power it has to leverage on their behalf.
How much money is MoveOn likely to garner by focusing on Jena 6? On Shaquanda Cotton? Moving from MoveOn which to be fair isn’t a blog, TO blogs….how many more trackbacks and visitors is blogger X likely to garner by focusing on an issue that makes their readers feel uncomfortable? The blindspot they’ve got then isn’t only the function of their own decisions about what is important and what isn’t, what they’d need to see to prove racism and what we’d need to see…it’s also about their assumptions about their readers and the community of bloggers they want to speak to.