Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Keeping Score: The Maye Case Blogstorm

Talk about letting the cat out of the bag!

Well, so much for waiting around for other sources, the Corey Maye case is now a full on blogstorm. What is really cool is Clicked's link to Battle Panda where they're actually dividing the blogosphere into teams (Red/Blue/Libertarian/Red-Blue/MSN) and keeping score. Go there and take a look.


patsbrother said...

I for one am not quite so trusting of blogs. Especially when it appears they are merely cutting and pasting each others' information. If I am correct, a captial punishment case receives an automatic appeals process, where clear error (such as those Blogger Bloggerland suggests) is scrutinized and corrected. I suspect there is more that is pertinent to this case than we are hearing at the bad end of this persuasive-online-essay game of telephone. We should regard this case with the same critical disbeleif we judge other possibly manufactured "controversies", such as The Evil Anti-Christmas Conspiracy.

You can cite 1000 more blogs that all say what a terrible tragedy this is, but 1000 blogging monkies is no more beleiveable than 10. Before I'm going to rally against a State and the evils of the South, I'm going to want to know something to be so. For that to happen, telling me isn't going to cut it. Perhaps I am a closet Missourian, but you're going to have to show me.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Perhaps you didn't notice, but as of right now, the Agitator is the onliest blogger or 'credible' journalist doing any work on this case whatsoever.

Right now, the MSM is too concerned with a death penalty case out in California because of something called 'ratings.'

The good stuff to come out of all of this (and the benefit of things like blogs) is that, with the blogstorm already reaching into the Mainstream Media, the eyes of the world will begin to move from the celebrity of California to the muddy banks of the Mississippi.

Mr. Mayes doesn't have an army of academics and movie stars to nominate him for any peace prize.

But he does have the eyes of thousands on the internet who now know his name.

If you can't see the value of that to the cause of justice, then you aren't paying attention.

Matt O. said...

I defintely agree with Pat here. Maye is getting the shaft (and the needle) unjustly without mainstream backing, while "Tookie" got all the headlines because of the star power involved - Arnold, Snoop, Simmons, it's California, ties to the Crips.

I do believe the blogosphere serves a huge purpose. If we get the word out that something is fishy or has gone awry, hopefully, it will trickle into the mainstream media. There has been huge evidence of it already. Blogs do have a serious impact and, with care and attention, can be very beneficial.

P.S.: Thanks for the comment and the blogrolling, Pat.

patsbrother said...

I find it somewhat suspect that four years later a feverish storm of concern arises of a sudden. Sadly, it is entirely possible someone simply googled "capital punishment" to learn more about Mr. Williams and came across an old missive.

Why, I ask, wasn't this an issue in 2001? Yes, it is entirely possible (though unlikely) this fell through the cracks. However, absent compelling evidence in favor of the State, a lot would have had to have happened for the Bloggon Empire to have acquisition by discovery of this little gem of injustice:

* you must assume that the black population of Mississippi (close to 40%) didn't care enough to raise hands and ask questions;

* you must assume that the NAACP, which does in fact exist outside of the Great Wooly North, doesn't care about those cases where an innocent black man is prosecuted by a corrupt, vengence-seeking honky, convicted by twelve, mouth-foaming whites, and sentenced to die;

* you must assume that the ACLU and all the other proactive anti-death penalty groups, who are ususlly so effective in advertising injustices less clear-cut than this, whose websites seem conspicuously absent from those cited, just decided to sit this one out; you may choose to assume those groups simply do not know where Mississippi is, but I would ask you what those groups are for, then, in all those states wihout the death penalty;

* you must also assume that the legal community - which not only includes a large contingent of active liberals but also, irrespective of political bent, has an interest-at-large in the system working properly, as well as enjoys super-expansive networks of acquaintences who tend to talk to one another about such things - didn't know, didn't listen, didn't care.

Perhaps if this case is so important the blogswell should pool its money together and hire a reporter to actually go and find out real facts, or maybe one of you could actually drive to Mississippi and ask questions for yourself, as it does not appear any of the major media outlets, who monitor the blogoshere, find this case at all interesting.

Funny, that, as from the Happy Holidays imbroglio they seem so desperate for anything to talk about.

Patrick Armstrong said...

The point we're trying to make is that the guy over at the Agitator, is, in fact, actually reporting on this case, and is currently the only media individual - anywhere - who is doing so. He has called the prosecutor, the defense attorneys, and has requested transcripts and court documents.

And he's doing this of his own volition in what would be considered, by your field, to be 'pro-bono' work. We don't need to raise money to 'hire' a 'real journalist,' to go and do this stuff for us, because we already have one. I have already linked to his page.

Having been an actual paid and published 'journalist,' and having worked with several in the past, I can tell you there isn't much difference in blogging and 'really real journalism.'

The difference is in how you use your medium. For example: most of the things on this page are news citations and opinion/editorials. That's where I give you links to what others are saying and then give my opinion on the issue. If someone wants to cite an opinion of mine, they have but to link to this page to do so.

Our sports page is almost exactly like every other sports page in the world, because we speculate on probable outcomes of games based on what we have watched on TV or in person.

The 'New Orleans Journal' that I kept, however, is actual reporting of news on a first hand basis. That's called freelance journalism, whether it appears on a blog or not.

I don't understand why someone as smart as you can't understand this very simple thing. Newspapers and media outlets and cable news are exactly as reliable/unreliable sources of information as blogs. You'll get the same biases and the same fact checkers from some, you'll get nothing but garbage from others. (The New York Times in recent years and Dan Rather come to mind for some reason)

As for the ACLU, NAACP & Amnesty International type organizations, I can tell you why they haven't paid attention to this case before now: there is a conscious effort on the part of such organizations to only highlight cases based on high profile in relation to merit. They, like every other organization in the world, operate on a limited budget and must put their money where it is going to be the most effective. They must pick and choose their fights.

Bloggers, on the other hand, require no such budget, as this is something many of us do as a pasttime.

The blogosphere was also very limited back at this case's happening. Today, everyone who wants to can blog and talk about what they want. This allows us to cover significantly more ground when it comes to finding these things out.

Like I said, the blogosphere's main contribution is to get thousands upon thousands of readers focusing their eyes on something, quickly and effectively, which will then force the MSM to pay attention to things that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Yes, that is a double edged sword, but I'm a big believer in pros outweighing the cons.

Patrick Armstrong said...

To kinda prove my point, have you ever seen a 'real journalist' put out a story that looked like this?

If more folks did news like this, Dan Rather might still have a job and the New York Times may not have a credibility gap.