In the unlikely event someone asked me to describe the progressive blogosphere, I’m not sure what my complete answer would be but I know for a fact that I’d point to Scout Prime and say, “That woman? That one there? She’s a prime example of the very best of it.”
I remember hanging out at the old ScoutPrime site after Katrina. She was talking about stuff that wasn’t yet getting talked about much of anywhere else online, though soon enough it would be. Then she was researching, building bridges to the amazing NOLA blogosphere, then she went there, with not much money and a little camera. I remember watching that wobbly first video of driving through the Ninth Ward. And even though I thought I’d “gotten” what was going on there, I watched that video and saw I hadn’t. Not at all. It seemed to go on forever. And there was this part of me — despite all odds, despite the scale of it, despite the first-hand accounts even — that had still been thinking somehow we would, they would, someone would, fix all of that. Then I saw Scout’s video and knew I’d been dead wrong.
It wasn’t that Scout was doing this single-handedly, she was one of many. It wasn’t that she was smarter or doing dangerous things on a huge scale, working miracles, wielding a big ego. I think what was the most profound thing was that she was just a citizen who wasn’t going to take it anymore, that was going to do her own research, find her own news, talk to the folks there firsthand, one person who was going to stand there and witness. And not pretend she hadn’t seen what she’d seen. And not stop talking about it.
For that, and everything else (including having a lapse of judgment and being the first person to ever blogroll me), thanks, Scout. Many happy returns of the day.