OpinionMeister

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Barone Credits New Media

Michael Barone's latest column credits new media for the gains of conservatives in elections and in getting things through Congress. Link.
[I]n the 2004 cycle, Old Media influence declined, while New Media influence increased. Old Media — /The New York Times/, CBS, ABC, NBC — is staffed mostly by liberals, and their work product inevitably reflects this. New Media — talk radio, Fox News Channel, the Internet Web logs, which together are called the blogosphere — are in many cases staffed by conservatives, and their work product reflects this.

In the old days, when Old Media had an effective monopoly on what most voters learned about politics and government, you would not have heard much about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charges against John Kerry and you would not have seen any questioning of the forged documents Dan Rather relied on in his "60 Minutes II" broadcast aimed at undermining George W. Bush. But in 2004, thanks to New Media, the Swiftvets got a hearing and Dan Rather's documents were proved dubious by the blogosphere in less than 24 hours.

For the last several weeks, George W. Bush and the Republicans have been taking a beating in Old Media. Yet when you look at the state of play, you find that they're not doing as badly as that coverage suggests.

The Republican Congress has passed bankruptcy and class action legislation with plenty of Democratic support. Last week, it passed a budget resolution with room for tax cuts and that seems to ensure oil drilling in the tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The House Republicans backed down and rescinded their ethics rules changes, but they did so in the confidence that Old Media's target, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, has done nothing that violates House rules. The Senate Republicans seem to be moving ahead toward a rules change that would allow a majority of senators, not 41 Democrats, to determine who will or will not be a federal appeals court judge or — the real stakes — a Supreme Court justice. [...]

At the moment, Democrats seem determined to reject this progressive approach [to Social Security]. But even Old Media's polls, often slanted on this as on other issues, show that voters recognize there is a problem. So far as I can tell, no Republican was defeated in 2002 or 2004 by a Democrat who pledged "no change in Social Security." Republicans who had a plan beat Democrats whose plan was a blank piece of paper.

There is nothing in this column that you would not know if you have been reading blogs, but it is nice to see it in a major column that reaches millions of people who do not read blogs. The hysteria on the left has more to do with their lose of the media monopoly than on anything else. They hold views that are rejected by a majority of the American people, but as long as they had a monopoly on what news the people saw and read, they could still triumph. Now that people can get the truth and the whole truth (but not nothing but the truth) from the totality of the available media, the left is doomed to minority status unless they start to listen to the people they want to rule.

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