Gone are the gatekeepers--Hugh Hewitt's book on blogs

After reading Hugh Hewitt's book Blog : Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World, this thought occurred to me:
If the MSM weren't so biased against President Bush, Kerry wouldn't have had a prayer. If it weren't for the blogs, John Kerry would be president today.
Those are my words, not Hugh's, but inspired by his book.

Anyway, like Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit), I recommend the book "to anyone who's interested in blogs, new media, or public relations." It's a good easy-to-read book on blogs, describing this new medium and providing a short history. Hugh compares their rise to that of the printing press and bloggers to Martin Luther and his followers. That may sound farfetched, but, I believe that Hugh is right to see the similarity. As the dissemination of Luther's works led to what Hugh calls the "first reformation," so will the dissemination of bloggers' idea lead to a reformation of the media. It's already happening.

Hugh shows how the bloggers helped prevent one man from returning to his post as Senate Majority Leader (Trent Lott), how they helped bring down an editor of the New York Times (Howell Raines) as well as an anchor from one of the three major networks' evening news (Dan Rather). The book is at its strongest in the first two parts and weakest in the third. I felt he was a little simplistic there, so after finding one chapter (in Part III) tiresome, I just skimmed the rest. That said, in just over 200 pages, Hugh gives a good short history of the printing press and the Reformation, offers an engaging chapter on the "Meltdown of Mainstream Media (MSM) and Where its Audience Went" while showing how blogs are changing the flow of information -- and ideas -- in our culture -- and around the world.

Instapundit thinks that the best quote is this "Blogs are built on speed and trust, and the MSM is very slow and very distrusted." I'll share one of mine:
The old information monopoly had an enormous ability to decide where and when news would be "news." That gatekeeping function is gone, and blogs have rushed in to decide for themselves what matters.
And this absence of gatekeepers has a particular meaning for the large proportion of gay people who like GP and myself, like RomeoMike, like many of our readers who have not given (to paraphrase RomeoMike) our permission to the gay activists most often quoted by the MSM to speak on our behalf. Our message is no longer blocked by gatekeepers who sneer at our politics and mock our values.

The blogosphere has thus become a great resource for independent-minded gay men and lesbians--among so many others. Hugh Hewitt's book helps explain why.

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