Skip to comments.Twilight of the Press Gods ( Will Swift Vets Story Bring Down Lib Media, As Well As Kerry...?)
Posted on 08/14/2004 12:15:49 PM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
The genie is out of the bottle. The best efforts of the mainstream media to blockade the story of Kerrys lies about Cambodia, and the charges by the vast majority of men who served with him in the Swift Boat operations, have failed. Glenn Reynolds prints a telling letter from a reader who requests anonymity. Read the entire entry, but here are the key sentences:
...last night I was talking to a friend who is a hardcore liberal Democrat and is, in fact, a first cousin of a very well-known Democratic Senator. He was very upset about the Kerry-Swift Vet-Cambodia controversy. He blamed Kerry for the whole thing, saying he had set himself up for this problem by making Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. Two things struck me about this. First, this is a guy who gets all of his news from the biggies - the NYT, NPR, and CNN - and yet he knew all about the story. That means the Big Media filter isn't preventing the story from reaching people. Second, he had concluded that Kerry deserves the criticism and is lacking in credibility. This is a guy who, if there were any yes-but talking points in defense of Kerry, surely would have stuck to them. This says to me that if Big Media is in the tank for Kerry, they may actually have hurt him by not covering this story. They've abdicated coverage of a story that is negative to Kerry to the Blogosphere, thus resulting in more damage to their favored candidate than if they'd reported on the story, but with an eye toward knocking it down. They can pretend the story isn't there, but they can't make blogs go away.
...they're damaging themselves as more and more people notice that they're ignoring it.Just so. Credibility, once lost, is difficult to re-establish. Ask Bill Clinton.
In April, I used the metaphor of a driver stuck in snow, who presses the accelerator, and finds the spinning wheels only melting more snow, making traction all the more difficult. The current efforts of the press to define Kerrys lies as a non-event are destroying their own traction. The media eruption over far less serious charges about Bushs National Guard service is too fresh in the recesses of most peoples minds. And, of course, Bush didnt choose to run for re-election on the basis of his honorable, even brave service as a jet jockey, a highly dangerous occupation.
But it is summer now. So let me switch metaphors. The establishment press is facing its Gottedamerung the twilight of the gods. For decades, god-like figures handed down their version of the truth from corporate Valhallas like the New York Times and CBS News. The public credulously accepted their writ on what is important and what is not important.
But god-like pretensions are dangerous, indeed, often fatal. Especially when combined with mono-maniacal convictions on the need for their point of view to prevail. Post-modernity, a concept beloved of the bien pensants, cuts two ways. The public is skeptical of anyone who pretends to be an authoritative gatekeeper of knowledge. Kerry, who has never cut much of a figure as a genuine, warm, empathetic human being, is an ideal target for citizen skepticism.
The establishment press is coming across as every bit as pompous and conniving as the man who married two centi-millionaire heiresses.
They are, in fact, destroying themselves. Their industry is in serious trouble. Circulation scandals have hit major newspaper publishers, while the scandal-free press can take little comfort in their declining readership. Network TV news is a shadow of its former self, and its future is very limited. CNNs monopoly is shattered, and it boasts a poor fraction of the viewership of Fox News, the only cable news outlet fully covering Kerrygate with the same seriousness accorded Bushs National Guard service questions.
The blogosphere is the camel whose nose, and now a good part of its neck, is under the tent. Leadership in coverage of the self-destruction of the Kerry Campaign is in the hands of Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt (guru to many of us), Powerline, Captains Quarters, Just One Minute, and many other bloggers.
Nobody had ever heard of Bob Woodward until Watergate. Afterward, he became a powerful brand name, and his and Bernstein's work inspired generations of new journalists. The same phenomenon is taking place today, and journalism will never be the same again. The big difference is that this time around, there is a technological revolution compounding the destructive force operating on the old media. Hurricane Charley has nothing on the winds of change now blowing away the old media practices and economics.
Future historians are going to find this election deeply significant for not just War on Terror policy reasons. This is a transformative election for the structure of political information.
He's absolutely right on this one.
Let's hope it sticks...
I like it!
Unfortunately I think you're wrong. The media has(with John Mccains help) successfully dismissed this as Republican smear-tactics. If you listen to Talk Radio, or are on FR, youve heard alot about the story. But that is a very small percentage of voters, and they are almost all Conservative Republicans anyway. The vast majority of people are not really seeing this story, and if they are, its being presented as a smear-campaign. Foxnews, talk radio, and the internet are definetly very helpful and are growing while the liberal media declines, but the liberals are still in full control of the debate for probably 60% of voters.
Maybe. But there's some truth in the horror movies where they assume the monster is dead and it pops up again.
Rush said MSM had held a meeting recently where they put their heads together and decided how to coordinate political news from now 'til the election. Obviously, this was to bash Bush. But the Swift Boats story had legs and Kerry's flip flopping made it all worse, so cracks were appearing in the media's wall of silence.
This is not the first time. Remember Drudge breaking the Monica story? Before that the press had it, but refused to publish it.
There is some definite desperation in liberal newsrooms across America.
What if the "Major Media" (Socialist, UN Loving) elects Kerry? Their support is worth 15% of the electorate, I am told. Take the Democraps registration, about 43% and add this 15%. Here is a majority, that if true, will control government for years to come!
When the word from high in Chappaqua comes down, the dam will bust on Cabana Boy.
I agree. The only time this will come to the fore is if Kerry is elected and does something as president that the elites don't like. Then you will see him challenged for re election by H.Clinton and these damaging truths will be at the center of the attack.
I THINK IT IS TOO SOON TO SAY IF THIS IS A TRANSFORMATIVE EVENT. IF THE MEDIA START TO COVER THIS FAIRLY AND WITH AN OPEN MIND (AND THEY HAVE ANOTHER ONE OR TWO WEEKS OF GRACE LEFT) THEY COULD SAVE THEIR REPUTATION. THEIR PRESENT "CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE" IS SO WIDESPREAD IT IS MAKING THE SO-CALLED VRWC LOOK SMALL BY COMPARISON AND, IF THE MEDIA STAY ON THEIR PRESENT COURSE, THEY WILL SHATTER THE PUBLICS CONFIDENCE IN THEM ON A VERY BROAD FRONT.
Yes, the mainstream media is presenting this as a smear job, but more people than not, are realizing that this story does have legs and teeth. The polls of likely undecided likely voters are showing that about 60% of them are leaninging towards voting for President Bush in November because they believe the the Swiftboat Vets story and disbelieve the mainstream media and Senator Kerry's side of the story.
I think he might be right about this. Look at F911. Propaganda aside, it does illustrate that an independent entity - one man - has access to resources to do such a thing. Information and the dissemination of it doesn't follow the old models anymore.
The biggest lie that cannot be equivocated away is that Richard Nixon was president the Christmas Kerry was in Cambodia.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.