Bhutto in the Blogosphere

As always, I fired up my feedreader first thing this morning to go through headlines for today’s Daily Digest. I found out about Benazir Bhutto’s assassination from an unlikely source, William Beutler’s Blog P.I. blog, where Beutler, a conservative blogger, usually writes about the 2008 election and conservative politics.

Leaving aside for a moment the fact that I tend to hit the feeds first before reading news from “traditional” sources like the New York Times, where I would have seen news of Bhutto’s assassination front and center, it’s pretty incredible to see the way her death instantly reverberated across the web.

Global Voices’ Neha Viswanathan has a superb write-up of blog coverage of the assassination from across the Pakistani and Indian blogosphere, and the site has set up a special coverage page devoted to online analysis of the terrible event, from which Pakistan and the world will be reeling for months, if not years.

Political assassinations like this are always world events, rarely confined to the locality in which they occur, so it’s fitting that Global Voices links to posts from Venezuela, Brunei, the Caribbean, Singapore, and Cuba.

As Chris Matthews and his fellow American narcissists* blather away as they consider how this might be good for John McCain and bad for Barack Obama, bloggers around the world are busy weighing the human relevance of such a profound and tragic event. It’s too bad it takes the emergence of terrible moments like this — events like the deadly earthquakes or the Asian tsunami — to remind us of what an essential part of our lives the blogosphere has become.

*[UPDATE] It’s not just the pundits; the candidates are also guilty. “The leading Dem candidates for president appear to be in a pitched battle to make the most craven and insipid uses of the Bhutto assassination for immediate political advantage,” wrote Josh Marshall.

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