(NOTE: This post generated strong criticism from commenters who pointed out that Kerry wasn't singling out blogs in his speech. The key point is that Kerry wants the mainstream media to act as "arbitrators" of the truth; not that he despises blogs in particular. Therefore, I've revised the post accordingly.)
In the Christian Science Monitor, Mark Sappenfield reports that an increasing number of politicians are bypassing the mainstream media by starting their own blogs:
In many ways, the blog provides politicians an opportunity to recast themselves away from the mainstream media. Across the bay in San Francisco, Supervisor Chris Daly has begun a blog to counter what he feels is biased reporting in the local paper.On the other hand, other politicians, like failed presidential candidate John Kerry, think we need the mainstream media as intermediaries, helping the public make sense of the many, possibly misleading, information sources available today. In a recent speech, Kerry said:
"I've not done well in the newspaper coverage," says Mr. Daly. "The Internet is a way to get my message out to people who are wired."
When fear is dominating the discussion and when there are false choices presented and there is no arbitrator, we have a problem.So, it seems, there are now two types of politicians: those who see mainstream media as a problem, and those who see mainstream media as the solution.
We learned that the mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that.
Given a choice between the two, vote for the former. The other one doesn't trust your ability to critically evaluate information and make intelligent decisions.
And if he doesn't trust you, why should you trust him?
(ANOTHER NOTE: The Chrisitan Science Monitor article also claims that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has his own blog. I'm not sure if they're talking about his official website it doesn't seem all that bloglike to me.)