Can LGBT blogs influence the national Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell debate?
That’s a question asked by Simon Owens at Bloggasm.com:
Last weekend, Bil Browning received an email from John Aravosis, a gay activist and blogger for AMERICAblog. Aravosis and other bloggers were organizing something called a “blog swarm,” an attempt to essentially create a firehose of public outcry aimed at a single target: the Human Rights Campaign, considered by many to be the most influential LGBT lobbying group. With over 700,000 members, the organization wields significant power, a clout that extends into the White House and Congress.
And, according to those who participated in the blog swarm yesterday, this clout has not been put to good use, specifically in how much pressure it has placed on President Obama to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “HRC may argue that it’s already told the President it would like to see DADT repealed this year,” Aravosis wrote in his post announcing the swarm. “Well, that’s not enough.”
“I think it’s always a good idea, especially as bloggers and community journalists, to keep our own organizations on the right path,” Browning, who runs the LGBT blog The Bilerico Project, told me in a phone interview. He said that the goal of the project was to create a flood of communication — phone calls, emails, blog posts, and articles — aimed at HRC to convince them that more firm action should be taken on DADT.
While it remains to be seen if the “blog swarm” will be effective, Owens notes that since the “blog swarm” began, the Human Rights Campaign has issued responses, mainly defending itself.
I’ve always been curious as to how much influence blogs really have when it comes to shaping the debate on issues, so it will certainly be interesting to see how the “blog swarm” over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell shapes that debate.