Paul Mirengoff: "Tearing Down the Gates"

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Paul Mirengoff getting a laugh from John Kienker, Claremont Review of Books, and Scott Johnson

Following Scott’s presentation at the American Political Science Association in DC, Paul began his remarks by invoking Law and Order, turning to the panel and saying: “The only thing you forgot to do Scott, is read the MSM their rights.”

Paul then tackled the central question of the panel: how does the rise of the blogosphere influence politics?

Answer: The MSM is less able to dictate the political stories people can access. Blogs help circumvent the gatekeepers.

Then he moved to question the secondary effect. Will blogging affect how the MSM behaves?

Using a business analogy that I thought was particularly effective, Paul argued that the MSM is in the position much like how any big company reacts when threatened by an upstart competitor — it is still less than a year since bloggers even registered on the national radar screen.

What do bloggers contribute to the debate? Paul argued that bloggers are now out-analyzing the MSM on Roberts — blogging does, in fact, represent a real threat to the status quo.

So how will they react? Returning to the analogy, in business, you must move to emphasize your core competency to be competitive. But what is that for the MSM? Paus says their core is to provide “fair and balanced” news coverage; to provide objectivity in covering the news.

He then observed that “That’s the one thing bloggers have a hard time providing.” No one spends the time and energy it takes to be maintaining a blog consistently without being highly motivated.

Then he asked the key question: But aren’t MSM reporters motivated by political passions in the same way??

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1 Response

  1. BeckyJ says:

    Great posts Charmaine! It was great to meet you.

    I wish I could have stayed around through the end of the panel.

    I also ran into Cornell West in the book exhibit. Didn’t see the posse though.

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