August 20, 2004

"But here's the bigger story:"

Dean writes:

...In the meantime, the Swift Vets have strongly answered the more recent press assaults on them, as well as other charges against them.

You can smell the fear in the Kerry camp: a huge collection of John Kerry's band of brothers hates his guts, including men who served on his Swift Boat, the commanders of the boats that served alongside his, several people who were in combat with him, and every single officer in his chain of command during Vietnam. More and more people are learning of this, and the best Kerry can do is ask Bush to make them shut up!

Meanwhile, the Swifties are showing up on more and more television and radio shows. Furthermore, as Instapundit notes, it appears that a growing number of very well-known reporters are meeting with the Swifties behind the scenes and finding them far more credible than they expected.

But here's the bigger story: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe are no longer the arbiters of what's important and what's not, of whose criticisms of our politicians will be heard and whose will be ignored.

The Internet has detected the mainstream media as a form of censorship and simply routed around them.

You probably noted that last line when it was mentioned by Glenn Reynolds. I think it's destined to be a classic, quoted again and again. It's the mainstream media that's that story here. Politicians crash n' burn all the time, and things go on much the same. But the breaking of the power of a few big outlets to shape public debate...that's a huge change.

And the change started before the rise of the Internet. It started with Rush Limbaugh, back in the 80's. I've got a book on his beginnings, and I've read various articles, and of course talked to people. And the one thing you heard over and over about Rush was, "Thank God there's somebody who expresses what I feel!" Naturally you hear it less now, because now there are lots of voices expressing publicly the outlook of ordinary Americans. But ten years ago? It was very different.


Posted by John Weidner at August 20, 2004 5:54 PM
Weblog by John Weidner