alien & sedition.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
  Complacency Alert

I'm not sure I quite agree with this, though I can see why the diary is getting such a positive reception. Traditionally, the American newsmedia aims for objectivity yet often fails to rise above vapidity. But it's not inherently conservative, if conservatism is understood as a particular socio-political project in America. Indeed, conservative success with media has come about largely as a product of decades of careful work cultivating an alternative to mainstream media, combined with strategies to pressure journalists and take advantage of the objectivity-vapidity paradigm. The legitimacy granted to what is, as the diarist points out, actually a rather fringe ideology, is not primarily the result of a "top-down" media structure, but of a movement that had the audacity to refuse to play by the rules of what was modern American journalism.

It's certainly true that the internet has helped broaden the range of information and opinion available to Americans, and that's undoubtedly a good thing for progressives. Online communications strategies have been critical in the emergence of the new progressive era. But that's because, like the conservatives before us, we're refusing to play by the rules of a media structure from which we've been locked out for the past few decades. We're taking advantage of new technologies, and innovating.

I bring this up in part because I think that if we become too comfortable in our assumption that new communications technologies will bring us "47 consecutive" Democratic presidents, we'll experience some pretty nasty whiplash when the other side innovates right past us again. And it will happen. The only thing we can do is try to stave it off as long as possible, but getting smug pretty much guarantees it'll happen sooner rather than later.

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Critical analysis of the American conservative movement from a progressive perspective. Also some stuff about the Mets.

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