Monday, July 09, 2007

Independent bloggers fill vacuum left by old-style news firms

White House spokesman Tony Snow shot down a New York Times story that the White House was in fevered discussions over countering Iraq pullout pressures with a plan for a gradual withdrawal.

But, Snow didn't deny that the discussions are taking place nor their content, from what I can tell. Rather, he said that the troop surge has only been an interim measure anyway and that drawdowns could always be made for military, but never, oh never political reasons.

Even so, the frenzied discussions are obviously a result of fear of Republican defections and the political mechanics needed to avert a GOP stampede. Otherwise, why would Gates have postponed his Latin American trip?

The White House problem is that not even Snow's ex-employer, Fox News, can turn the trick for the hawks. Murdoch is edging toward "moderation" while the Times is throwing down the gauntlet in favor of rapid pullbacks.

All this goes to show that corporate media kingpins can no longer rely on "our thing" to keep certain issues under tight control. Congress and the White House are facing a stark, new reality whereby internet bloggers are filling the news vacuums left by the media coverup system.

Complain as you might about the blogging phenomenon, the fact is that the blogosphere is an open battleground that can spell the difference in many a political contest. Though most people get their "news" from television, it is the politically active who are most involved in political blogging and who provide the cutting edge of grassroots politicking.


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