Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Krugman is Good

He gives a courageous assessment of the professionalism of cable news (not much), their tilt (to the right) and the way they treat new evidence (ignore it and just hold on to the old script). And he makes the point that the Internet allows a way around these traps. (Not that he reads my blog, but some other famous people do! More about that later.)

This is an example of Krugman's criticisms:

But the real power of a script is the way it can retroactively change the story about what happened.
On Thursday night, Mr. Kerry's speech was a palpable hit. A focus group organized by Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster, found it impressive and persuasive. Even pro-Bush commentators conceded, at first, that it had gone over well.
But a terrorism alert is already blotting out memories of last week. Although there is now a long history of alerts with remarkably convenient political timing, and Tom Ridge politicized the announcement by using the occasion to praise "the president's leadership in the war against terror," this one may be based on real information. Regardless, it gives the usual suspects a breathing space; once calm returns, don't be surprised if some of those same commentators begin describing the ineffective speech they expected (and hoped) to see, not the one they actually saw.
Luckily, in this age of the Internet it's possible to bypass the filter.

I don't see the blogs as a substitute for mainstream news, though. Rather, they are the thorn in the side of the Big Boys and Girls, a small reminder of long-forgotten values which don't have that much to do with money. Like conscience.