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Marilyn and Monet by Paul Levinson

Marilyn and Monet

by Paul Levinson

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama Takes Cheap Shot at 'Blogs' and 'Tweets' at Cronkite Memorial

I was disappointed to hear Barack Obama take a gratuitous cheap shot at blogging and Twitter in today's otherwise moving and eloquent memorial for Walter Cronkite at Lincoln Center in New York City earlier today.

After admonishing his media-celebrity audience about the decline of good journalism in our era - itself questionable, because there is lots of good journalism being practiced, along with the bad, as it ever has been - the President went on to wonder if Walter would "have been able to cut through the murky noise of the blogs and the tweets" to get the truth and tell it the American people.

That's an odd statement indeed coming from someone who has by and large benefited enormously from the truth and opinions expressed by many bloggers and tweeters, especially during the 2008 campaign. No doubt Obama is aggrieved by the garbage that has proliferated on some right-wing blogs, but attacking the process (blogging) rather than the content (the lies spread about Obama's health care reforms, for example), badly missed the point.

And that point is that blogging, Twitter, and what I call "new new media" (new new, because they improve on just new media by making consumers producers) have enhanced the democratic process, by giving far more voice to the people than we had in Walter Cronkite's day.

I say this as someone who admired Walter Cronkite, who enthusiastically voted for Obama, who strongly supports his health care reforms, and who frequently blogs and tweets about this.


transcript of Obama's speech

my book, New New Media

Walter Cronkite Reaches the Cosmos
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