On GlennReynolds.com. What to make of the fact that the political blogosphere (along with the "MSM" and Congress) has allowed itself to become so consumed with hysterics over the Terri Schiavo issue? I agree with Professor Reynolds that it seems eerily reminiscent of the Chandra Levy/Shark attack/pre 9-11 summer. And before anyone starts going on about how appalling it is to compare the Schiavo conundrum to the shark attacks, remember people did die in those attacks, multiple people, which for those who fear our slippery slope into a "culture of death", should mean that they were an even graver and more important news story than the Schiavo shout-fest, which involves the death of one person who is in a situation which overwhelming majorities of Americans in poll after poll at least claim they would consider worse than death.
The monomaniacal Schiavo fixation in the political blogosphere could mean a variety of things. It could simply mean that there is no better topic, that the lack of a major terrorist attack against Americans for 3 and a half years and the progress in Iraq, Lebannon, the Palestinian territories, and elsewhere, does indeed mean that we're doing so well in the Terror War that it's no longer a subject of much interest to non-specialists. It could mean, as Professor Reynolds's e-mail interlocutor suggests, that we're about to get hit hard again. It could just be that the Schiavo controversy is an irresistible topic for bloggers, because it relates to all sorts of big ideas and because no degree of lack of expertise is a bar to having a strong opinion about it seemingly.
To me (no big surprise) it dovetails with my recent post about the degeneration of the political blogosphere. Perhaps the unpredictability, intellectual stimulation, and attention to foreign news ignored by Big Media which political blogs offered from 9/11/01 to roughly late 2003 was an early phase destined to end, like the glory days of some underground music movement before it's co-opted by the mainstream? Without the unifying topic of the terror war political blogs accelerate the process of becoming no more than an adjunct to the cable shout shows.