Monday, August 29, 2005

Rathergate Anniversary - 10 days and counting - a new media chronology

Click here for previous editions of the Rathergate anniversary countdown.

As we begin the final ten days before the Rathergate anniversary celebration, a little reflection is in order as to how we got to the point where the new media became the force that it is today. With the MSM/DNC still hoping that blogs will go away, we cannot rely on traditional sources for information about new media history. With that in mind, here is my brief chronology of the new media, its roots and its growth. These dates include the political forces that propelled the new media revolution instead of the technological breakthroughs:

1) November 4, 1980 - Ronald Reagan is elected President in a landslide while the Republicans capture the U.S. Senate for the first time in more than 25 years. This election begins talk of a "conservative shift" in American politics. [In fact, the trend had existed for years prior to that election, but the MSM/DNC never discussed it (or even was aware of it).] Conservatism was respectable again. This election was the first concrete sign that conservatism would "sell" on a national scale. Reagan's reelection in 1984 reinforced this impression.

2) July 4, 1988 - Rush Limbaugh debuts nationally on his syndicated radio program. Rush took the Reagan election a step further and literally made conservatism marketable to a commercial audience. Rush proved that at which Reagan's election only hinted. Conservatism sells. Not merely politically, but commercially. Without Reagan's election in 1980, I believe that Rush Limbaugh would never have been given the opportunity to turn conservatism into nationwide commercial success.

3) November 8, 1994 - Republicans capture the U.S. House [for the first time in 40 years] and recapture the U.S. Senate [all while Bill Clinton masquerades as a centrist]. The messages of 1980 and 1988 are reinforced. Opposition and reaction to the Clinton administration would grow throughout the 1990's, as conservatives would continue to find each other [through the internet and talk radio] in their efforts to speak out against the President.

4) January 17, 1998 - Matt Drudge exposes the Lewinsky scandal. Regardless of the fact that Bill Clinton survived impeachment, this story and the manner of its exposure provided the first instance of an internet source matching the power of the MSM/DNC. News reporting would never be the same after this event.

5) September 8, 2004. Rathergate. While the Rathergate story was broken by bloggers, the previous breakthroughs made this story possible. Drudge linked to the bloggers' early posts in the hours after CBS aired the phony documents. By 2004, Drudge had grown to the point where a mere link from Drudge was sufficient to send an otherwise worthy story into orbit. While bloggers existed prior to Rathergate, Rathergate put blogging on the map.

We are actually experiencing a 25 year revolution. I have ignored many of the events of the past year, each of which has been tremendously significant - Easongate, Koran/toiletgate, etc. I have also ignored the influence of events such as 9-11 and the two elections of George W. Bush. These events have tended to focus conservatives and bloggers, as we discuss the issues of war, peace and related politics. The same MSM/DNC mismanagement of our country that gave us Bill Clinton, a phony Florida election dispute and 9-11 also made blogging and the new media necessary. But it was the initiative of a few conservatives who dared to defy the MSM/DNC media monopoly that made the new media possible.

There are more breakthroughs to come. Those who take the new media to new heights in the future will stand on the shoulders of giants such as Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge.

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