We can all scoff at the press, and talk about this or that fisking of The New York Times (or other news sources), but there are folks out there who already fear the "new media."
For example, the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, sees "powerful bloggers" as being responsible for the failure of the appointment of Chas Freeman to the National Intelligence Council. This is from a transcript of a press conference held by Admiral Blair
On the Charles – on the Chas Freeman appointment, I am happy to say that looking around this room, there was pretty responsible reporting on Chas, but apparently you guys aren’t bloggers, as – (laughter) – or you guys aren’t as powerful bloggers as some that I discovered when I made the announcement. I thought he was a good pick, I still think he’s a – still think he would have made a great National Intelligence Council Chairman, but it wasn’t to be, and so we’re – lesson learned, moving on.I found this at Ben Smith's page on Politico. Hat tip to Instapundit.
The problem with the analysis by Admiral Blair is that it is either blatant pandering to the MSM or it confuses the message with the political reality. There is, of course, the John J. Mearsheimer view that it is all about a very powerful lobby. Here is one version, from NPR's Web Site, of how these things get intertwined.
The problem is, making good intelligence assessments requires:
- the facts,
- an understanding of the facts,
- the ability to do "lateral thinking" (thinking "outside the box"), and
- the belief on the part of the political principals receiving the analysis that it is being provided by a fair-minded analyst
I worry about the MSM going away. I would missed it if it were to disappear. That said, let us not blame "the blogs" for outcomes we don't like. It is a free marketplace of ideas out there. The blogs are part of that marketplace.
Regards -- Cliff