So much for the commonly held idea at the start of this long winter of our electoral discontent that the growing community of Canadian political bloggers would have a profound influence on the vote. Indeed, there's little indication that it made much of a dent at all with the great huddled-against-the-cold masses.
True, there was the storm about the Liberal attack ads that was heightened by bloggers who parodied the spots. But the mainstream media (MSM) were all over that disaster right from the beginning.
Oh sure, the Canadian blogosphere can probably take credit for keeping the income trust scandal alive while the MSM, which broke the story, were waiting for new developments. But the blogs didn't really advance the story, they mostly just railed about how the media weren't ranting enough about it.
Bloggers also made a number of missteps, notably spreading false rumours about two CBC employees.
One was that CBC Radio One's Promo Girl, Shauna MacDonald, was the voice of the Liberal attack ads. She wasn't.
The other was that a hapless researcher for The National was trying to engineer one-sided, anti-Harper coverage. An email she sent out in an attempt to solicit candidates for a gimmicky election program was misinterpreted, and circulated among the right-wing blogs. It cost her her job.
In the end, the one person who most felt the blogo-sting is Parkdale-High Park Liberal Sarmite (Sam) Bulte whose altogether too-close connections to movie, music, publishing and television industry lobbyists gained notoriety on the web, thanks mostly to the work of legal expert Michael Geist, who also pens a column for the Star.
One: Nothing against blogs or bloggers. But I do think that they give themselves more credit than they deserve ... at this point. Despite how some of them boast about all their hits, I have to wonder how many of them are ''unique,'' and not just returnees just coming back for another comment or clicking to see what's new. I'm not saying that Canadian blogs won't achieve a critical mass by next election, or sooner. I just find that there's a lot of talking amongst ourselves. So far anyway. Just a thought.
Two: I think the voice of the attack ads, and this is my guess, was actor Maggie Huculak who is not, repeat not, a CBC employee. Perhaps the Cons who falsely pinned Promo Girl as the voice thought MacDonald narrated the ads were confused because Huculak read the scripts for CBC's Canada: A People's History. Just another thought.