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Day 1139: Honey, I’m Lost In The Internets

$29 million.  That’s what the presidential campaigns are spending per week to advance themselves, according to this post by Stump Connolly.  Good Christ, do you know how many people you can feed … never mind.

The presidential campaigns are now spending nearly $29 million a week on television commercials, according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project. Nearly 100 percent of McCain“s and one out of every three of Obama“s are negative attacks on their opponent – and some are egregious distortions bordering on flat out lies.

I’ve got to check on this $29 million figure.  (At least the research was done in Wisconsin, where people know math.  Ohhhh, I went there.)

Then, a description of the majority of mainstream media, with a bow to those who will not engage in campaign “sewage”:

Their strategy is simple: you throw crap against a wall and then giggle as the media try to analyze the putrescence in a way that conveys a sense of balance: “Well, it is bull-pucky, but the splatter pattern is interesting…” [Joe Klein of TIME] wrote. I really don’t want to be a part of that.”

Finally, all of this is connected back to how the Internet Killed Mainstream Media, minus the realization that the internet is where a good chunk of sewage is filtered and the truth, slowly and ultimately, rises to the top.

Once again, the technology of Internet is racing ahead of the political system“s ability to digest it, so forces we don’t yet understand are helping shape that composite view.

… For better or worse, the mainstream media in the past was constrained by space (and editors) to tightly packaged synopses of daily campaign events. No more. If you want to know what reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post or Time think of the race, you won’t wait for the Sunday think piece. You“ll tune into The Caucus, Trailings or Swampland several times a day for their online updates.

They are, in effect, reduced to the status of just another voice; and this is a shame because there are more good reporters covering this race than any campaign I can remember. The fact checking they provide, transcripts, and background on candidates and their finances is more extensive than ever (now that they have the tools and space afforded by the Internet.) But their authority is diminished in no small way by the ability of the campaigns to use that same Internet to go over their heads directly to the people.

I don’t know what online news sources, including blogs, audio and video, Mr. Connolly visits.  Perhaps not even his own from the sounds of it.  No authoity is diminished unless you want it to be.  As D often states, using the internet for useful and factual information is not difficult.  Don’t swallow everything that comes your way, frame the question with intuitive search phrases like you would use in the index of an encyclopedia and go in with an open mind.  Without common sense and some leg finger work (judging the source, doing the math, cross-checking, etc.) and a strong desire for the truth, no human, paper, online or insert-future-medium news source will help you generate an intelligent and informed opinion.  None.  Blaming the internet as a haystack in which the golden needle is lost defeats the purpose.

(Thanks, Mike, for bringing this post to my attention.)

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