Onward And Upward In Insta-2011

Pretty average blah blah boilerplate from Professor Reynolds:

... The country is on the verge of bankruptcy, the federal government is at a low point in terms of popular legitimacy, and not just Congress, but the entire political class, is on probation. "Don't blow it" is fairly unspecific advice, but it's important here. Don't be distracted by the many, many things that seem important in Washington but that don't really matter ...

And then:

...ignore the press. The establishment media still have their power, but they've never been weaker, and they're perceived by an ever-greater percentage of Americans as simply an arm of the political-class Democratic Party. If you pay attention, they have power over you. If you do what you think is right, they don't.

I've been banging around the blogosphere about as long as Insta and I think the entire endeavor has been a terrific rocket up the ass of a complacent, insular press corps. But the point, as far as I was concerned, was improving the press, not abolishing it.

The key to that is an awareness of one's own bias, a fanaticism for fact, and a curiosity that is not pack-led. Some of this will come from the blogosphere or from new sources or from Wikileaks or a new writer or expert who can suddenly blaze a Silver trail. But the core function of the press remains - and it is a vital conservative function. It's designed to puncture pretension, expose lies, challenge lazy arguments, provide new perspectives, tell untold stories - and without a solid press corps able to do this, democracy is threatened.

There is a kind of nihilism to some aspects of the current right that really does seem deeply suspicious of institutions. This is an odd place for a conservative to be. What matters for a conservative is a reformation of institutions, not a destruction of them. And that includes the press. Which, of course, Professor Reynolds honors in the breach. How many links to the MSM on his front page? I stopped counting.