I disagree with your claim that Cathy Seipp doesn't "get" what blogs are about, and your ancillary claims that blog format is more important than blog content as free speech is more important as a principle than as a reality.
The blog form is as old as the web, but it had very little importance to anyone but web developers - the elves - until Sept. 11 came along and we found a practical use for the immediacy of blog publishing and the value of rich hyperlinks to breaking news. Warblogs made the connection, for the first time, between professional journalists (outside the tech press, thank you very much) and the legion of concerned citizens with expertise and opinions on the subjects that were suddenly of concern to the citizens at large.
Before Sept. 11, the blog was a solution in search of a problem; now they're part of the national and global dialog on culture, politics, and war. That's a very important role, and the willingness of a bunch of gifted people with no special technical background to jump into the breach and make that connection is the primary reason the media take note of blogs today, where they didn't in 1991, when TBL wrote on web development, in 1993, when Andresson wrote "What's new", or in 1995, when several of us wrote on current events and politics.
It's not the technology, it's the people.