Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Thomas Website and Party-Line Voting, Sloth in the Mainstream Media

I came across the Thomas website by way of The Daily Dish. For an instant, I wished that we had similar resources in Japan. The thought faded almost immediately though, as I remembered that party-line voting and the relative lack of significant Diet member-sponsored made such a database near-worthless in comparison to the US. However, It would be useful have a compilation of up-to-date membership in these caucuses, partisan and non-, that are cropping up all over the place. They usually do not have websites, and even the hard-copy dailies usually publish only the names of the main instigators.

By the way, the Andrew Sullivan post is a great indictment of the mainstream media. Unfortunately, so much of the work of the media consists of latching on to a piece of conventional wisdom and dressing it up with anecdotes and other illustrative (but infrequently illuminating) odds and ends. From trope to meme, with no substance in between.

Mr. Sullivan is exercising false modesty when he says, “I'm just an amateur. I have a full-time job doing something else,” though. He’s a professional writer blogging for a commercial enterprise. Still, this is a good corrective and could catch on, first on other blogs, and from there, make it onto the mainstream media. This interaction is becoming increasingly common, and it’s a good thing.

No comments: