John Leo

The crisis over sex abuse by priests has brought a lot of Catholic bloggers into the field. Some of the commentary has been first-rate, particularly on Sursum Corda (http://sursumcorda.blogspot.com) and Amy Welborn's site In Between Naps (www.amywelborn.blogspot.com). Protestants weigh in heavily, too. (A list of 120 Christian blogs is available at www.MartinRothOnline.com.)

Political bloggers are mostly right of center, either conservative or libertarian. The conventional wisdom is that the strong rightward tilt is a reaction against the mandatory liberalism of the modern newsroom. But nobody knows for sure. Bloggers have given encyclopedic and favorable analysis to Bernard Goldberg's charge that the "right wing" label in journalism is applied much more commonly than the adjective "left wing." Blogworld has strongly supported the war on terrorism and is famously quick to point out logical and moral failings of anti-war relativists.

Out of blogger-induced fairness, I hereby recommend two liberal sites. One is the site of Tom Tomorrow, the cartoonist and commentator (www.thismodernworld.com). He's fair, funny and a friend. The Daily Howler (www.dailyhowler.com) is a useful check on conservative excesses, though sometimes over the top. Be sure to read "Our Current Howler: Part II -- 03/12/02" with the synopsis that reads: "The American way of life has been challenged. But whose side is John Leo on?"

Now the corporate world seems to be heading blogward. Fox News hired blogger Ken Layne and put him on its Web site (www.foxnews.com). National Review Online (www.nationalreviewonline.com), an indispensable site, recently added a blogging section. ABC.com now runs a blog-like political commentary, "The Note," which recently mocked the "Forrest Gump-like existence" of Sen. John Kerry and the role of the Boston newspapers in keeping Kerry's reputation aloft.

In two cases, bloggers have prepared the way for new newspapers in major cities. SmarterTimes.com, a running account of the sins and omissions of The New York Times, led to the founding of the New York Sun, New York City's new conservative daily paper. A similar path is being followed in Los Angeles, where LAexaminer.com regularly snipes at the Los Angeles Times to prepare the way for a new anti-Times daily paper. Check in with blogworld. It's worth your time.


John Leo

John Leo is editor of MindingTheCampus.com and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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