Who broke the Edwards pick? Most Americans might not even care to know, but in the world of up-to-the-minute campaign coverage, everyone seems to want the credit. NBC and its army of anchors continue to insist that Andrea Mitchell had it first yesterday morning when she announced it on the Today show. Today's Washington Post confirms that the NBC veteran broke the story, with Fox News and ABC just minutes behind. But politicalwire.com claims that the story first broke the previous night on an aviation blog -- someone had caught an early glimpse of the new decals on the Kerry-Edwards jet and posted the sighting for his pilot buddies. Even better, the blog post is still up, dated 9:44 p.m. on July 5, 2004. Sorry, NBC, this one belongs to the aviation bloggers.
Yeah, I emailed Geraldine Sealey who is the editor in charge of Salon's War Room, and she promptly revised the article, (she responded moments after I sent it... I was expecting it to sit in an inbox for a few hours or so...) but it goes to show "blog"--formerly "weblog"--is a ill-defined, and very nebulous term. When I wrote to Ms. Sealey, I defined it as a "diary formatted chronologically updated" website. I probably meant to say "chronologically listed" but you get the idea. However, several will define it as including links and commentary about current events, usually to exclude diaries like the ones that predominate LiveJournal.com (that's the stereotype...they probably predominate Blogger.com as well. BTW, I blame Blogger for popularizing that word. It's an ugly sounding word.) Others define a weblog by the software you use. I'd call Bartcop, as well as Mark Evanier's old "News from Me" site and Josh Marshall's old Talking Points Memo weblogs, but since they coded and updated the pages by hand, others wouldn't. If you hear about it in the media, you're likely going to hear about the subspecies that focus intently on politics. That's the group Adam Penenberg (famous for discovering Stephen Glass was most definitely making it up) was referring to when he says, "I'll dissect blogs, which some believe could lead to a democratization of news (although in my opinion they merely represent the democratization of punditry)." (Though when this gets published in a major newspaper, the bar wasn't very high to begin with.)
Well, whatever a weblog is, it isn't much different from the rest of the internet.