Saturday, June 2, 2007

Democratizing the Campaign Trail (By Fred Thompson)

Once again Fred shows that he is a populist conservative - and that he "gets" the web as an intimate communications means, not a mass push media, nor anything that new for the sake of being new. He gets its that the individuals, not the group, are the basis for American Politics - and the Internet gives the individual a powerful voice.

E-mailed links to the [Obama-Hillary Brave New World] Apple-1984 Video spread through offices like a bad joke list. Millions watched it on the Web. Millions more saw it on news shows. One cheap, anonymous campaign ad got more attention this season than any expensive, professional commercial.

Over 100 million Americans reportedly watch videos online, at least occasionally. The Websites of citizen journalists, the bloggers, have become truly influential, with an estimated 75 million Americans reading them. Cheap software and computers put tools into the hands of teenagers that used to belong only to networks and studios. YouTube and other video-sharing sites provide a cost-free forum accessible by nearly anyone.

There's no question that this is democratization. Professional journalists and campaign staffers no longer control the political debate. Individuals can now make headlines and directly influence elections -- though some of the accountability that once existed is gone.

Courtesy of Fred Thompson

Catch the Podcast at his blog linked above. (Originally in print back in March)

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