June 30, 2004
IN THE MAIL: Two interesting books. One (nicely inscribed) is Joe Trippi's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, The Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything, and the other, coincidentally, is L. Brent Bozell's Weapons of Mass Distortion : The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media. Though there are differences (they come from -- obviously -- different political directions) in a way they're talking about the same thing, which is how information gatekeepers are losing their hold, and how that's good for democracy.
I think they're right, and I think that trying to force the changes brought by the communications revolution into an old-fashioned left/right mode, though understandable in an election year, makes little sense. To quote from BT (who thinks the revolution will be televised):
The revolution will be fought in all forms of media
The revolution will be fought on phone lines and cable modems and cellphones
The revolution will be a war of attrition, against the great dumbing down of our people.
Attrition, indeed. I suspect that Bozell and Trippi agree on that, and -- based on a quick look at the books -- a lot of other things. (I can't find this song online, but it's on this collection that I was just listening to in the car the other day). Left/Right, Democrat/Republican -- that stuff's important (sometimes) in the short run, but the overall changes are much bigger than that.