Looking for something else in our snail files yesterday, we stumbled upon this venerable issue of National Review from June 21, 1993. We started rereading and couldn't put it down: An entire issue dedicated to one of our favorite topics, "The Decline of American Journalism."
"Rebels on the right were pioneers in the political exploitation of new and alternative technologies long before anyone knew what blogs were," writes Lucianne's boy, National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldberg.
Clip from "The Media Elite Revisited" by Ted J. Smith III in the January 21, 1993 issue of National Review, drawn from our snail files. In those days, unable to select, copy and paste salient passages into our blog, we underlined the points we wanted to remember with our trademark magenta pen and sent off -- via snail mail -- xeroxed copies of articles to our small circle of readers (parents, siblings, friends). Gratifying that we still agree with ourselves after all these years and thrilling that our issues with the MSM have finally taken center stage in the national debate.
"The story begins with National Review's founding in 1955 and extends through five decades of steady, heavy and difficult work," continues Jonah:
Left-wing bloggers believe they are part of the same "revolution" as right-wing bloggers are. They're not. The conservative blogs are the shock troops of a decades-long battle to seize back the culture. Conservatives have always had to rely on "alternative media" - magazines, AM radio, blogs -- because the Mainstream Media barred the door to conservatives.
And, remember, the Internet was a big deal before the onset of the blogs as well. For good or for ill, Matt Drudge refused to treat the MSM as a sacred monastery, and in many respects he remains the ur-blogger.
The lefty blogs are something else entirely. They represent -- much like the still lame liberal talk radio and the new liberal think tanks -- an attempt to copycat conservative successes. Their fight is not with the monolithic mainstream media (or academia) but with the usurpers. Politics is not a battle of technology. It is a battle of ideas, and therein lies all the difference.
A terrif article that you must read in full. The only sour note was Jonah's phrase -- we've heard it a lot from the left and always cringed -- "seize back the culture." You know what? It's not for any one group in this great nation to "seize back the culture." Enter the national debate -- easier than ever with the new technologies -- and try to persuade with the power of your ideas. It's the American way.