Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

What I Saw At The Reformation; Blogging Against The Machine

Hugh Hewitt offers an interesting theory of what happened to the MSM. He has theorized that an information monopoly has just fallen apart. He writes it in his new book Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That is Changing Your World, which I highly reccommend you buy and read if it didn't magically appear beneath your Christmas Tree this year.

Hewitt plants the axiom that the MSM had ingrown to the point where it no longer understood the regular world. They had no prolonged contact with anyone significantly different than themselves in philosophical orientation. It reminds me of a job I worked one summer where I met someone that lived in such a strongly liberal background that he was still surprised when I met him in 1991 that Ronald Reagan had beaten Jimmy Carter in 1980. This the sort of ideological and philosophical echo chamber that Hugh Hewitt describes the modern newsroom as.

Secondly, the MSM had no ethical compunction except to perpetuate their belief system. They had drifted out of the business of news reporting and now had taken to the evangelization of secular humanism and modern neoliberalism. Thus, belief and faith had become more important to them than legitimate evidence.

Like that forged National Guard Memorandum that felt just right to Dan Rather. It was in this environment where Jayson Blair was free to fabricate newsroom fiction, as long as Howell Raines could morally approve of the protagonist.

Finally, the MSM had grown used to demoninance and perogative. They didn't know competition when it took their audience. They had been raised to believe that the ideals of their opposition were ignorant and that they were enlightened.
The MSM did not respect the threat blogs posed to their information monopoly just by reinterpreting the news of the day without the spin or with a different flavor of sauce.

The LA Times called the blogsphere "the sizzle, but not the steak". Perhaps the LA Times could be described as the marble, but not the protien. Audience and market share were taken for granted, and the potential of the internet was never taken seriously by the print and TV media.

So was this event comparable to the invention of the printing press and the Protestant Reformation? I doubt it, but the rise of the blogs did matter. It mattered in the sense that traditional media firms now had external sources doing due diligence on their articles.

It mattered because a truth filter had been added to the mass information pipeline. It mattered because people of all backgrounds and walks of life were now transmitting information. This gave everyone greater courage to speak up and a better understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and agendas of our traditional media sources.

So yes, the monopoly has been broken. What happens now, remains up to the humble reader. If not of my blog, at least hopefully of Mr. Hewitt's timely and informative treatise on blogging against the machine.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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