President Bush Approves of the Ether Space

Posted on March 1, 2006

President Bush appears to approve of blogs that exist on the "ether space" and the growing competition for getting people's attention that professional bloggers and the mainstream media face. Marty Kaplan at the Huffington Post found this quote on one of the Drudge Report's excerpts from Bill Sammon's new book called Strategy.
Says Bush to Sammon: "I think what's healthy is that there's no monopoly on the news. There's competition. There's competition for the attention of, you know, 290 million people, or whatever it is. And the amazing thing about this world we live in is that there's a kind of free-flowing, kind of bulletin board of ideas and thoughts out there in the ether space, sometimes landing on somebody's desk and sometimes not, but always available. It's a very interesting period."

(The ether space is, you know, where the internets live.)
Kaplan says that what President Bush may actually approve of is not news gathering but making things up.
"The old way of gathering the news is slowly but surely losing market share," Bush explains. In case anyone's forgotten, the old way is the once-proud profession called journalism, whose practitioners patiently dug up verifiable facts. The new way of gathering "news," the one Bush is applauding, is this: Making it up. Substituting he-said/she-said for the effort to figure out what's true. Putting bloviators on the federal payroll. Mistaking a food-fight for marketplace of ideas.
Atlas Shrugs also has a post about the excerpts from Sammon's book on the Drudge Report.
The White House has acknowledged the power of the blogs as I have here, here and here -- it's been one Gutenberg moment after another. I am not surprised by this. The blogs have become the tail wagging the dog. Apparently the White House agrees. How lovely to see Presidential acknowledgment -- mad hot, eh?
Power Line also has a related post called Bush Hails Blogosphere. Power Line found this quote from Karl Rove about the ugly side of the blogosphere.
"There is so much ugliness and viciousness and fundamental untruths that the blogosphere transmits." he lamented. "It also is a vehicle for ugly rumors, for scurrilous personal attacks, an avenue for the creation of urban legends which are deeply corrosive of the political system and of people's faith in it."
A lot of bloggers would probably like to know exactly which blogs Karl Rove was thinking of when he said that to Bill Sammon.

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