Want to get a sense of the cluelessness of Big Media? Be sure to read David Broder's piece in this morning's Washington Post. Ostensibly, it is a piece of self-criticism, but get a load:
When the Internet opened the door to scores of "journalists" who had no allegiance at all to the skeptical and self-disciplined ethic of professional news gathering, the bars were already down in many old-line media organizations. That is how it happened that old pros such as Dan Rather and former New York Times editor Howell Raines got caught up in this fevered atmosphere and let their standards slip.This is just more of the same excuse-making that "pros" like Tina Brown made this past week; that you can't blame the Big Media shills for letting their standards "slip" because of the commercial competition involved. I'm not such a polyanna that I don't know that mainstream news isn't driven by money, but neither am I so jaded that I would deny, as Broder seems to, the potential of non-commercial news to provide me with a guide to the truth. Therefore, the blogosphere.
But how is the blogosphere able to compete with Big Media? It isn't because it's displacing it, really, because much of what the blogs do is react to the official line from the major networks and papers. In that sense, Big Media still enjoys its primacy ---if by no other virtue than its scale and scope. But where Big Media is losing its place is as a conscience or guide to the public's politics. That's because more and more people are coming to regard institutions like CBS and the New York Times as fallible and biased to the point of propagandism. It is at that point that the blogosphere comes along and declares itself openly as what it is: partisan, relatively non-commercial, and vastly more self-critical and self-correcting. The blogs literally represent individual voices ---unfiltered and uncompromised by editors and sponsors. How such a democratic movement in the dissemination of information can be dismissed by the old dinosaurs ---especially liberal ones--- in Big Media is not a mystery, but even more of a reason to continue to turn away from their brand of wisdom. They don't want you to stop listening to their spin because they see themselves as entitled to their power as opinion-makers. After all, they're journalists without the quotation marks.
Smash it all. Get your information where you want. Online, you can actually read legislation, transcripts, court decisions, expert findings, and anything else for yourself. If you have to, you can dress up in a coat and tie and sit in front of a camera while you're at it.
(See Tim Graham and Michelle Malkin for more on this.)