Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Reason #127 Why Bloggers Are Better Than The MSM

In the context of the latest media grumblings about President Bush having the audacity to ignore the press for three whole days after the tsunami, at Powerline today, Hindrocket notes that:

"These press complaints are typical of the elevation of symbolism over substance that permeates newspaper coverage of many issues."

To me this is yet another example of the new media is running circles around the old. In the wake of the tsunami, bloggers were publishing first-hand accounts, offering original video, and leading fund-raising for relief organizations. When it came to offering aid, bloggers certainly noted the government's reaction, but hardly gave notice to what the president was gabbing about to the press.

And the mainstream press? Well, okay, certainly not all of them. But a certain segment was apparently sitting around waiting for a call to show up at a press conference. To them this was THE story. Why did they consider this so important? Because they see themselves as the only vehicle through which the public could possibly be informed about this stuff. That is a positively absurd notion in the 21st century, and those media dinosaurs who continue to cling to it will quickly become irrelevant.

Also, in a typical display of old-media arrogance and institutional bias, Powerline quotes media critic Howard Kurtz stating:

"Like it or not, Bush fostered the impression that he was painfully slow to react to the post-Christmas disaster while at the ranch."
That line may have worked in the past. But these days it's clear that those "fostering the impression" about the president are the mainstream press. The real story here was not Bush's attention to the press, it was his actual response to those affected by the tragedy. The actual response has been rapid and excellent. Yet rather than correct their own faulty assumptions from reading the tea leaves surrounding Bush not filling them in, they whip up a new spin stating that it's Bush's fault they make fools of themselves by reading too much into their own importance in this story.


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