Personal Democracy Forum 2008

A New Media System? Or Old Wine in New Bottles?

Chuck DeFeo ( and Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post)

Chuck DeFeo

is this new media, political system? there is an old idea being fulfilled. 1st amend.

john adams
1765 1st real writing on political life
examination of a struggle for power
fundamental question
those in power are regularly trying to shake off limits
those out of power are trying to impose limits

... the press ... the art of printing shall be encourage ... easy and cheap and safe ... let's dare to read, think, sleep and write

struggle for ideas and who controls the ability to communicate those ideas

we had a consolidation of media

many-to-many model mapped out impressively this morning

1996 - entered internet and politics
still in college
"now we have the area of ideas threaded throughout society," not just inside the beltway

candidates looking at the electorate as an audience to be talked at
why we have multimedia campaigns
we also had a decline in participation in politics
i believe it's not a concidence

1960 - 39% of the public vote
1980s - low 30s
2002 - 40%

is this a good thing?

one-to-many model is down

jane - bank of cameras but still her cellphone

plato, voltaire
these ideas have been laid out for centuries


shadow conventions
- poverty
- campaign finance reform
- failed war on drugs

10s of millions of donors influencing means NO one has influence! (me, not huff)

part of the problem with new tech when we never ever give our attention to one thing at a time

new bottles
and i think it's a mixture, not entirely new wine
there's an awful lot of good in the old media

old-fashioned journalism - truth comes first
the main problem is that they have given up the pursuit of truth by giving "two sides to the story" even though they don't have equal value. we've wasted years

mixed bag
you go to your doctor - you have a brian tumor but your acne has cleared

illusion of neutrality

transparency - accountability - community


judith miller and scooter libby as former hill staffer
lou dobbs is supposed to be a journalist
2007 - one of his reporters say leprosy had increased x% attributed to illegal immigration. the NYT, david lener, wrote about it. but no consequences.

it's not enough to break a good story and tell the truth once. we need to stay on that story. that's where we need the Obsessive-Compulsive new media not the ADD of the traditional media

example of what can go wrong
human nature

the more access we are given, the more we are going to find ourselves subject to the same pressures as msm, sell independence for access

bob woodward
fall of a great journalist
the man who went from the kind of jrl who brought down the pres to one who helped another pres sell the war. two books.

awed by access to power.

larry king interview, woodward said: he said he kinda update his views
he didn't say i was wrong.
he said, george bush changed.
there is one thing you can say about gwb: he's never changed.

elevated viewpoints that would not have been heard

Q: how do we keep the blogosphere from turning into talk radio?

chuck - my dad said we can't agree on what the 'facts' are

ariana - it's not my truth and your truth. it's "the truth"

benchmarks were about breathing space for political reconcilation
this is where the media are letting us down

can you guys in the new media be credible?

jsm - trojan horse of the right does not get through the gates of the white house


ruffini is talking about ron paul. 2 lessons. innovation possible. money model.

if you have a small well networked group ... can beat a large atomized group any day of the wek



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