as I write this, the sterling reputation of CBS News is crumbling due to "Memogate"-- running with a story based on documents which were exposed as fakes within about three hours by political blogggers sharing information and expertise on the Internet. That "guys in pajamas" completely and swiftly outworked and outmaneuvered some of the most respected research people in the business shows that we're in the midst of major change.
This election is as much as anything a battle between new and old media-- and the established icons are losing.
Some notes I made to myself, which may or may not be accurate:
The establishment media is the election's biggest loser. Not just CBS News, due to its stonewalling. As discredited is the NY TIMES, whose reputation is sinking daily. The nadir of Michiko Kakutani's career has to be yesterday's review of Kitty Kelley's book "The Family." Kakutani obviously regards the book and the assignment with extreme distaste-- but there she is reviewing the thing anyway; the loyal soldier doing her part. How many hundreds of authors would love to get that kind of space? Yet there she is, reviewing what is acknowledged on all sides as trash.
Wherever one stands in this election -- and I'm no fan of Bush and his gang, never have been-- it's impossible to ignore the TIMES' political bias, as one-sided as Sean Hannity's on the other side. (The ULA, incidentally, has noticed the TIMES bias in the lit realm for a long time, giving full page spreads to no-talent Manhattan glitterati like Tom Beller and, er, Mr. Moody.)
If Kerry loses the election, a part of it will be the American public's disgust with the shilling of CBS News and others. Kerry suffers by association with these elitist people. (Not that he's not elitist himself. "Ditto" for Mr. Bush.) Many folks embracing conservative "new media" do it in reaction-- they're fleeing liberal media into the waiting arms of people like Hannity.
The Trend of History is obvious-- it's AGAINST the fossilized immobile decayed flagships of the 20th Century like the NEW YORKER and the NY TIMES. The ULA has been the only lit group to recognize this sea change and to be at the forefront of it. Our literary competitors, to say the least, are lagging behind.
The ULA is the vanguard of literary change, and we're willing to work with other writers who are interested in change; who don't wish to be left behind. (End of notes.)
I'll have much more to say on this topic as things develop, as I sort out my thoughts on the matter. I welcome the input of other writers. While I think that this is a phenomenon of small versus large-- that things have to do more with centralized concentrations of power breaking down than any phony designations of "Left" and "Right"-- one can also recognize that if Bush wins this election, despite the tower of baggage he carries (the war not the least of the problems), his victory will because of the noise generated by bloggers and their radio talk show allies, as evidenced on both the Swiftboat and Memogate stories-- enough noise to defeat the combined weight of the major networks and major newspapers, past holders of the power of the Fourth Estate.