Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.


"HOWARD FINEMAN ANNOUNCES THE DEATH of the mainstream-media-as-political-party, an entity that he says came into being when Walter Cronkite announced against the Vietnam War and ended this year when it turned out that nobody trusted them anymore: 'It's hard to know now who, if anyone, in the 'media' has any credibility.

Fineman says that "Blogger Nation" has arisen. One example of that is Stefan Sharkansky... More evidence, if it were needed, that Fineman is right."

I don't know, watching Fox News Channel, I would say big media as political party is alive and well, at least on the Republican side.

This election didn't signal "the death of the mainstream-media-as-political-party" - not even close. It's the first time that traditional media outlets (ABC News, NY Times, etc...), lost in an attempt to discredit a person or policy and turn public opinion in their favor. If anything, this election shows the power of national media as political party in the form of Fox News and the Republican party.

All this talk about "new media" reminds me of the collapse of "brick-and-mortar" of the late 90s. The truth is, established media outlets have co-opted these forms of media for their own use, to further their message. For instance, Sean Hannity, a FOX News commentator, does talk radio, where he talks about blog stories (of course, only the ones that support his and his employers ideology).

This is the same thing "brick-and-mortar" retail did to online - they established an online presence to augment their physical operation, and today, there's no more "" or "", but there sure is "" and "".

Fox established itself as a major player in the traditional media, dealt a loss to the left, but the media as political party continues. Traditional media outlets need to change their approach to incorporate elements of new media to further their agenda.

The closest example is NBC - traditional NBC news with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, blog links on, Imus simulcast on MSNBC, with regular guest like Joe Biden, Howard Fineman, etc...if they could only incorporate some talk element into (and it's just a question of time if Air America takes off), they'll be in the same position as Fox in a year or two.

A vertically integrated media outlet pushing a political agenda with tools of traditional and new media.

The media as political party is far from dead - it's just getting into the 21st century.


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