Times Story on (All-White, All-Male) Blogging Mafia Provokes Backlash

We at AlterNet love our fellow liberal bloggers--so often our allies who inspire us and challenge us--and are thrilled when they rise to prominence. Still, we joined the rest of the progressive internet in sighing with frustration about the New York Timesarticle this weekend which singled out four young, white, male, liberal-to-moderate bloggers to dub the "juicebox mafia," or "the brat pack." The story was about a clique which has left their juiceboxes behind and collectively now ascended to mainstream acceptance.

The only women mentioned in the story were their fiancees and girlfriends, or older women complaining about their popularity.

The problem, as Amanda Marcotte joked at Pandagon, is obvious: these aren't the only bloggers who have ridden "blogging"'s upward trajectory as a form of journalism. She writes: "according to the New York Times, all the members of this curious tribe of bloggers-turned-professional have penises.  And they’re remarkably pale of skin tone."

Ann Friedman wrote a paragraph-by-paragraph response piece about herself and her group of more racially-diverse female friends who also blog and report in DC, who have also achieved mainstream success, but have not been heralded as the new incarnation of media power and who often feel invisible.

And even beyond Friedman's cohort are a group of powerful activist-bloggers like Digby and Marcy Wheeler and many more who have combined their writing with engagement with the movement at large, who break stories and affect real change but who don't necessarily get the MSM attention of the "brat pack" type.

Stories like this in mainstream media outlets highlight the subtle and less-subtle ways people look out into any field, any profession, and light upon those who look and sound a certain way, erasing the rest. Women, people of color and journalists who engage in activism instead of pure punditry have many barriers left to overcome even in a "liberal" environment.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at March 28, 2011, 7:19am

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