web counter Media Lies: Debates a test for old media?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

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Debates a test for old media?

Hugh Hewitt, writing in Weekly Standard, argues that tonight's debate will be a test for old media. If bloggers detect bias on the part of the moderator, Jim Lehrer, Hewitt argues, there will be "a cyber-tsunami headed towards PBS affiliates across the country."

Hewitt may well be right. With the recent follies at CBS, the obvious bias on the Swiftvets story and other recent missteps of old media, the blogosphere is on high alert, sensitive to even the slightest twinge of bias. It's a certainty that there will be live blogging during the debates and much discussion in the blogosphere subsequently about the debates. If the media tries to spin the results, their spin will be analyzed, dissected and inspected carefully and the results of that probing will be widely known before morning.

One point Hewitt makes that I heartily agree with is that the opinions of "regular folks" now matter as never before.
It will be the viewers themselves, working through the blogosphere, posting on FreeRepublic.com, calling into talk radio, and canceling their pledges to local PBS affiliates if their verdict on Lehrer's performance is negative.
These are interesting times.