I'm not prone to predictions, at least not writing them down. But I fear I might have had an epiphany, or maybe I'm in the slow-motion version of one. I'm currently reading the book, Slander, by Ann Coulter. Basically, a treatise on the overly liberal nature of the media. I'm also becoming increasingly reliant on blogs to get actual news. (This week has been amazing for that as many bloggers have been creditialed at the convention.) In fact, just today I witnessed Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, contradict himself within 24 hours. Just go here and read the transcript of an interview done with him (focus on the questions in the beginning about Kerry and Cambodia) and then go here to see McAuliffe's response to an almost identical question (Quicktime required).
You're probably saying,"So what, who cares?" Well, these two coinciding occurrences--the reading of the book, and dependence on blogs-- have made me realize some things.
(1) People are getting more and more put off by the "main stream" media each day. Conservatives get just plan hacked off, and the rest I think, might be able to sense the condescension.
(2) Many major media outlets, the New York Times and Newsweek to name two, now openly admit that they're liberal(Op-ed Piece making claim), and that they back Kerry to the point that they rely on a bump in Kerry's (link) numbers based on that fact.
(3) There is already a new type of media rising up. The Weblog world. Bloggers are able to post what they know, and let you decide. The McAuliffe example above proves just that. I don't need editors to decide what I should read, I can read it all, and see what stacks up. (In this case the Democratic party is on the verge of a complete melt-down.) Many of these blogs get more readers than some attempts by the media elite to have a web presence...Salon.com anyone? The fact that blogs are free doesn't help the big-business media either. The popularity and vitality of these blogs proves that people are looking for alternatives.
(4) The kicker was this...I had already spoken this mild "prediction" two nights ago, but then today these numbers come out on Drudge...
FOXNEWS BEATS BROADCAST NETWORKS FOR TUESDAY NIGHT COVERAGE OF CONVENTION -- HISTORIC UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS FOR CABLE
FOXNEWS -- 5.2 MILLION
NBC -- 5.1 MILLION
CBS -- 4.4 MILLION
ABC -- 4.3 MILLION
MSNBC -- 1.6 MILLION
CNN -- 1.5 MILLION
So the prediction. (Oh yeah...he did say something about a prediction). Based on the fact that the media is now in a --it would almost seem attempt-- process where they polarize themselves politically. Also that while they run from the middle--almost always to the left-- there will be left a void, an unbiased void of which the print media was supposed to be the last bastion. AWe've become almost accustomed to the Walter Cronkites and the Dan Rathers of the world railing on the stupidity and meanness of W, Reagan, Nixon, well I guess any President or other political figure with an R by their name. But the print media? Not until now. They at least lied and tried to fake it. And since we now know that the public has begun to embrace "other" media outlets. The tide is turning. FoxNews and the blogs are just the first line. They were already here and are easy to get up and running. Next will be a new wave of newspapers that will, most likely, not be completely unbiased either, but will instead lean right. I don't know if that's good. It's probably not the best. The current media has made it's choice, though. It can subvert it's true feelings no more. Circulation of the Times, the Wash. Post, the Chicago Trib, etc. will fall. The public will make their feelings heard with their dollar.
We might end up with a media similar to that found in Europe...you can choose the conservative paper or the liberal one. And all because a bunch of liberal journalists couldn't do their job and just report the news.