Welcome aboard, Arianna
Arianna Huffington is now a blogger. I'm glad she's joined the group, since I honestly believe this is one of the forward units in the information wars and we can use all the high profile people we can get. I especially love her self-proclaimed mash letter to the blogosphere. In it, she makes this brilliant point:
That's when it dawned on me: The problem isn't that the stories I care about aren't being covered; it's that they aren't being covered in the obsessive way that breaks through the din of our 500-channel universe. Because those 500 channels don't mean we get 500 times the examination and investigation of worthy news stories. It means we get the same narrow conventional-wisdom wrap-ups repeated 500 times. As in "Dean is angry."
Paradoxically, in these days of instant communication and 24-hour news channels, it's actually easier to miss information we might otherwise pay attention to. That's why we need stories to be covered and recovered and re-recovered and covered again -- until they filter up enough to become part of the cultural bloodstream.
That's the reason that more people "know" that Dean is angry than that Bush admitted that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks. One gets pounded by every pundit with a microphone and the other disappears into the ether, never to be mentioned again.
Until the blogosphere. Make no mistake--we're not winning the media wars yet, but we have had some small victories. Arianna mentions Trent Lott. We've also kept the pressure on the major news organizations to get the truth out about the WMD story and called them on it when they've swallowed the Bush administration's story without question. We busted them on the story about Howard Dean's "I have a scream" speech, although the damage they did to him was irreparable (and unforgivable, but that's another rant). And we continue to hammer them on everything from Condi Rice's testimony to Ashcroft's obsession with porn.
And we'll keep on keeping on. I used to think that the people who characterized the internet as a great populist and libertarian tool were overstating their case. I stand corrected.