Murky mix of bloggers
and advocates will chronicle everything"> Cynics say its just a matter of time before small questions about Robertsan almost lifelong Washington lawyerwill become magnified by online conversation and discussion. After all, much of the funding that organizations expected to lobby for and against Roberts nomination comes from folks who approve of the work theyre doing. And theres nothing like a big political fight to convince supporters of the need to donate even more. And given the sometimes murky connections between advocates and bloggers, many Washington insiderspress folks as well as lobbyists and other professional politiciansare also focused on Web logs and the people who run them.Shes not alone. Writing as part of an exchange posted last week on Slate.com, Cliff Sloan, a Democrat who shepherded Justice Stephen Breyers nomination through the U.S. Senate sounded this alarm: "John Roberts Supreme Court nomination will be the first of the Internet age, which will turn up the heat even more." Viet Dihn, a Republican doing a similar sort of work for his party on behalf of a group of lower court nominees, echoed Sloans concerns: "The process has become even more invasive and divisive since the early 1990s, which from my vantage point seem like the good old days," Dihn wrote before he started pointing fingers. Internet tax debate gets stickier. Click here to read Chris Nolans column. "There are several reasons for this devolution. The first is technology. The rise of the Internet and the blogosphere has created an echo chamber that is much more instant and loud than the old Beltway-Heartland connection through traditional media. Technology has also changed how information is gathered. There is no need to keep files anymore because Google is the biggest filing cabinet out there." That Internet. You never know where it will lead you. And as with the record and movies businesses, the transition for politicians isnt smooth. eWEEK.com technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology every day in her Politics from Left to Right Weblog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.
"The blogosphere has shown it can act as this massive human parallel processor, like they did to Rather," says Carol Darr, director of George Washington Universitys Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. "That does, to me, seem to be a legitimate fear."