Internet news clearly impacting Presidential nominations. Fineman’s predicted decline of “American Mainstream Media Party” begets Barone’s Open-Field Politics 6/17/07Posted by Steve Boriss in Barone, Fineman, President.
In a perceptive January, 2005 column, MSNBC’s Howard Fineman signaled the end of an era when news outlets could freely act like a separate political party (the “American Mainstream Media Party” or “AMMP”). He claimed they had once filled a vacuum from the Vietnam War-torn Democratic Party to become the new forum for choosing Democratic Presidential candidates, but from here on out they would face the emerging “Blogger Nation” as a new opposition party.
But what Fineman overlooked was that bloggers are not a unified, conservative force in a bi-partisan world, but more closely resemble a rainbow that provides a full spectrum from left (DailyKos, Moveon.org) to right (National Review Online, Free Republic). And that explains the new “Open-Field Politics” in the Presidential nomination process identified by National Journal columnist Michael Barone. No more World War I-style trench warfare by two armies of approximately equal size and few defections. Now, voters will be wandering around the battlefield, attaching themselves to emerging new leaders whenever someone they like better emerges, unrestrained by permanent alliances. That’s because voters now have: 1) more information that highlights the areas in which each candidate fails to measure up to their ideals; and 2) access over the Internet to like-minded groups of people to affirm their convictions and guide them to candidates that provide a better fit. We are rapidly moving toward Thomas Jefferson’s ideal for news as a multitude of alternative voices and opinions, competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas.