Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big media losing political stranglehold

That could well have been the headline on July 3's Wall Street Journal story actually titled "Conservatives find their voice on the web."

What happened to the immigration bill? Well, according to reporters June Kronholz and Amy Schatz, a partnership of conservative radio personalities and conservative bloggers proved instrumental in felling the bill, which was strongly backed by Bush and Kennedy.

Even Washington Post opinion-molder David Broder lamented the bill's defeat, blaming a "particularly vurulent stream of populism" that has "made official Washington altogether too responsive to public opinion." Broder didn't cite bloggers but he did knock "many talk radio stations" for giving the bill a bum rap.

The conservative bloggers seem to have finally come into their own, showing a powerful presence in the liberal-dominated blogosphere, the Journal writers say -- pointing out that liberal bloggers had forced Democratic presidential candidates to turn down Fox News' offer to host a debate. In fact, much of the antiwar lobbying hasn't been filtered through the traditional media, but has come from net activists.

Lieberman was bounced from the Democratic Party because of that phenomenon. Having big media, with all their craft and clever silences, in his corner did not prevent the sudden upset. In fact, Lieberman's reliance on the traditional means of political control may well have given him a false sense of security. Yes, he went on to win the general election, but nevertheless every Democrat in the country learned that one ignores the blogosphere at one's peril.

I daresay that blog activism had much to do with the bombshell disclosure last year that one-third of Americans thought the government was complicit in 9/11. In fact, there have been screams of outrage from both print and broadcast media about that poll, with bitter denunciations of the net "radicals" who are bypassing the gatekeepers of public reality.

In fact, more "new realities" are likely to suddenly appear seemingly out of the blue. Recently, one net writer pointed out that quite a bit has been going on in Congress that is paving the way for a double impeachment, but that the media overlords are playing dumb. An impeachment resolution could suddenly materialize -- with big media only belatedly noticing the dynamics, the writer said. I agree.


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