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What REALLY happened in Iowa: Mainstream Media permanently lost its decades-old role of selecting the Democrat nominee 1/4/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in DemNomination.

The biggest and longest-lasting decision that Iowa Democrats made this week was not who their Presidential nominee will be, but how this person will be selected from here on out. Exactly two years after MSNBC’s Howard Fineman wrote his prophetic column, and about 40 years since it all began, the “American Mainstream Media Party” (AMMP) is over. Consisting of national journalists, but operating more like its own political party, the AMMP’s single most important function came-up every four years — securing the Democratic nomination for the candidate with whom the mainstream media and the center-left Beltway establishment was most comfortable.

It all began in the 1960’s when a Vietnam War-torn Democratic Party was thrown into disarray, leading to the disastrous nomination of the unelectable George McGovern. Mainstream outlets rushed to fill this power vacuum by applying “objective” journalism techniques to steer Democratic voters to the “acceptable” candidate — for example by transforming Howard Dean’s innocent, high-spirited yelp into the crazed, blood-curdling scream of a madman, sending unwitting Democrat voters hurtling into the waiting arms of the lackluster, but elitist-pleasing John Kerry. Mission accomplished.

But as Fineman predicted, just as new grassroots blogo-spherics overcame Dan Rather’s last minute, “fake, but accurate,” forged memo prior to Bush’s reelection, they also overcame the AMMP’s efforts to foist an un-politically-talented, inexperienced, Beltway-establishment-pleasing Hillary Clinton on Iowa Primary voters. The nomination for the best Hillary-supporting actor may go to Wolf Blitzer for the CNN debate, and the nomination for most shameless suck-up to the Today Show’s Meredith Viera (see appalling video here). But this year, the nomination for the best nominators goes to the people of Iowa.


1. Right Angles » Blog Archive » Game over for MSM? - 1/4/08

[…] what Steve Boriss thinks: Exactly two years after MSNBC’s Howard Fineman wrote his prophetic column, and about 40 years […]

2. Nigel Barlow - 1/5/08

So Steve,

Are we now seeing the full effects of the new journalism on the American political system?

3. Steve Boriss - 1/5/08

Nigel, We are seeing the effects of the new journalism, and we are seeing a sharp loss of power of the old journalism, which has been concentrating power in the hands of the NY Times, Washington Post, AP, and to a lesser extent the 3 big TV networks. But, there’s a long, long way to go — that I think will happen in a surprisingly short time. We are moving from a “mass media” model where news is one-size-fits-all to a “multitude media” model where everyone will visit news outlets tailored to their interests.

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