Blogger Power and Cory Maye

No, bloggers can’t save an innocent man, unless they can get actual reporters and actual politicians to pay attention.

The United Blogosphere has spoken: Cory Maye must not die. (Once Atrios agrees with Instapundit, it’s fair to say that the sense of the meeting has been taken.)

This is as pure a test of Blogger Power as we’re likely to see. As far as I can tell, there’s no active dissent on the question in Blogistan. Radley Balko isn’t just jumping up and down on the question, he’s doing real investigative reporting and getting results. (E.g., the search warrant in the case doesn’t mention Cory Maye by name, and the affidavit submitted to obtain the search warrant is about as far short of “probable cause” as it could possibly be: it merely recites that the officer thinks someone might have drugs in that apartment.)

But so far, there is absolutely no mention of the case in any actual newspaper or other non-blog outlet indexed by Google, and as far as I can tell no statement on the case by any actual politician or any organization more powerful than the Innocence Project. If the save-Cory campaign remains confined to cyberspace, then we can confidently predict that its impact on Planet Earth will be negligible.

So now we get to see whether the combined power of the Blogosphere is sufficient to generate coverage from someone in the mainstream media, or a speech by an actual politician (Wesley Clark? Hilary Clinton? Bill Clinton? Mark Warner? Barak Obama? John McCain?) that would in turn generate mainstream-media coverage. It seems like a challenge worth taking. Personally, though, I wouldn’t wager a nickel on the outcome, either way.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: