Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) criticized new media in an interview aired on Sirius XM Radio, pointing to “extreme right-wing” bloggers as the worst.
Clyburn likened Internet based media to the Nazi era, a common analogy drawn for various issues by Leftists these days:
“The people of Germany believed Hitler’s foolishness that led to the Holocaust. They believed that stuff,” Clyburn said. “People will tend to believe what they hear through the media.”
The South Carolina congressman who has served in the U.S. House for two decades began his career before the Blogosphere became a standard arena for public political debate. Clyburn faulted bloggers for a misimpression created about a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture employee and for causing ACORN’s “disbandment.”
Apparently the congressman missed numerous controversies sparked by ACORN’s practices, including paying bonuses to workers in Nevada to sign up 21 or more new voters in a given time period. They called the project “Blackjack,” among other labels.
Clyburn is typical of long-time congressmen accustomed to rank and file media that preceded the Internet age.
The congressman didn’t comment about the quality of legacy media, although there is much to debate about that sector largely controlled by Leftist ideology.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limits government control of freedom of speech and the press.
"Most of these people are not media people; they are bloggers, and they are bloggers for the extreme right wing," he said.
Democrats rarely talk about the influence of bloggers on their own party policy as well as in media. Blogs like Daily Kos have had a profound impact on the party’s agenda, and an annual conference has drawn appearances by most leaders on the Left.
Furthermore, many bloggers do have a background in media.
Clyburn expressed concerns about “misrepresentation” of President Barack Obama, but the congressman failed to acknowledge there are ideological grounds for a serious debate about the president’s policies and Democrats’ policies in general, particularly when you consider the state of the economy, energy, healthcare and the chaos in U.S. foreign policy at present.
Clyburn is like many in the Old Guard on both sides of the aisle, having matured at a time when a small group of TV stations and newspapers exercised rigid control on political messaging. In recent debates about what constitutes a journalist, it was evident that both Democrats and Republicans in the Old Guard have little understanding of the First Amendment as well as new media.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 22, 2013)
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