HuffPost's Homepage 10/27
Suck on this, mainstream media. Today, President Obama made history by meeting with five heads or contributors of progressive blogs so that they could openly ask him any question they desired. He explained his rationale for the hosting the "summit" of sorts at the beginning of the roundtable, saying, "The blogosphere creates a conversation that encourages activism across our citizenry, and I think that's absolutely crucial. We benefit from the constructive feedback and criticism that we get, and it helps hold us accountable. But you guys obviously have also done a great job holding the mainstream press accountable, and that's really important to us."

The bloggers included Joe Sudbay of AMERICABlog, Duncan Black of Eschaton, Barbara Morril of DailyKos, Jon Amato of 
Crooks and Liars and Oliver Willis of his self-titled blog. I'm curious about how these five writers in particular were chosen and why some other important folks weren't included as well.

full text transcript of the meeting is available on The Huffington Post, where issues like the economy, home foreclosures, immigration reform, allying and cooperating with Republicans, and gay marriage (which Obama still refuses to say he supports) are discussed. Strangely, none of the bloggers mentioned WikiLeaks—or any foreign policy for that matter—or asked for Obama's views on how the leaks will impact the war. 

Of course, what's most interesting to me are the 
LGBT-related questions from Subday (transcript of these questions available here), who probed about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and marriage equality. This meeting makes Subday the first member of the LGBT media/blogosphere to ask Obama any questions about his stances on these issues. When Subday inquired about the disappointment within the gay community over the President's lack of action, Obama responded, "We have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history [which, as an editorial aside, is not impressive since no president as ever really championed gay rights]. I've appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any President in history...I'll be honest with you, I don't think that the disillusionment is justified."

Regardless of the sometimes-evasive responses to questions like the marriage equality one, the meeting brings new legitimacy to the world of blogging that has dominated indy media for the past several years. And if Obama's "Appreciate it. 
We'll do it again," conclusion means anything, it's that he truly recognizes the importance of independent media and bloggers and is willing to dialogue with them to reach conclusions on important issues.

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