President Bush Hails Alternative Media

    February 28, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The various blogs, websites, and radio shows supportive of the President and his Administration’s agenda have given George W. Bush an edge against a frequently hostile mainstream media.

Does alternative media signal a need for greater perceived objectivity by the mainstream media? How powerful will blogging become? Tell us more at SyndicationPro.

Who needs the New York Times when you have InstaPundit and Power Line on your side? Those and many other sites, referred to by InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds as “an Army of Davids,” have helped the Bush Administration connect to his supporters and bypass the mainstream media Goliath to do so.

Strategery author Bill Sammon picked up some choice quotes from the President about the rise of alternatives to the mainstream, where reporters and op-ed columnists frequently write in lockstep against the Administration’s policies.

“I think what’s healthy is that there’s no monopoly on the news,” Bush said. “There’s competition. There’s competition for the attention of, you know, 290 million people, or whatever it is.

“And the amazing thing about this world we live in is that there’s a kind of free-flowing, kind of bulletin board of ideas and thoughts out there in the ether space, sometimes landing on somebody’s desk and sometimes not, but always available. It’s a very interesting period.”

“It’s the beginning of the twenty-first century; it also happens to be the beginning of-or near the beginning-of a revolution in newsgathering and dissemination,” he said. “Not in newsmaking-that tends to be pretty consistent.”

Likewise, Republican strategist Karl Rove hailed the power of that alternative media, citing the fake documents trumpeted by ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather about Bush’s Texas National Guard service in what became known as Memogate:

“The whole incident in the fall of 2004 showed really the power of the ‘blogosphere’,” he said in his West Wing office.

“Because in essence you had now, an army of self-appointed experts looking over the shoulder of the mainstream media and bringing to bear enormously sophisticated skills,” he added.

Still, Rove cautioned that the Internet’s political potential has a darker side.

“There is so much ugliness and viciousness and fundamental untruths that the blogosphere transmits,” he lamented. “It also is a vehicle for ugly rumors, for scurrilous personal attacks, an avenue for the creation of urban legends which are deeply corrosive of the political system and of people’s faith in it.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.