At the end of 2004, Time magazine dubbed Power Line their first (and possibly only) “Blog of the Year”:
Power Line (www.powerlineblog.com) has been named Blog of the Year by TIME magazine, in this week’s Person of the Year issue. George W. Bush was named 2004 Person of the Year.
“Before this year, blogs were a curiosity, a cult phenomenon, a faintly embarrassing hobby on the order of ham radio and stamp collecting. But in 2004 blogs unexpectedly vaulted into the pantheon of major media, alongside TV, radio and, yes, magazines, and it was Power Line, more than any other blog, that got them there,” writes TIME’s Lev Grossman.
And having been forced to compete with them, five years later, Time now wishes the Blogosphere would simply go away, as part of a surprisingly embarrassing (even for the current state of what passes for journalism in old media) Big Picture wrap-up called “The Decade From Hell”:
Even many of our heroes turned out to be badly flawed, from doping by athletes in baseball, cycling and the Olympics to the endless political scandals and sex scandals. And yes, we couldn’t get enough of them on the 24-hour cable news, blogs and reality TV that chronicle and reflect this unsavory maw. The rise of all manner of new media and the lack of barriers to criticism from the blogosphere seemed to intensify every scandal and left very few public figures unsullied.
The lack of barriers to criticism? Huh. Yet more schizophrenia from Time, which was just a tad more pro-populist not all that long ago.
Still though, the writers at Time should pat themselves on the back for one thing — in spite of such an endlessly maudlin and depressing article, assuming they’re taking their headline literally, it does finally resolve the query that an earlier iteration of Time asked four decades ago.
Related: Curiously, in terms of bemoaning “The rise of all manner of new media and the lack of barriers to criticism”, Time and the president are remarkably simpatico.