As I mentioned in my latest diary post, in an analysis of several widely circulating stories about the so-called "death of the public option," this is as much about media framing/selecting/emphasizing/interpreti
ng parts of Obama's and Sebelius's quotes. They didn't need to frame/headline it in such extreme fashion. But they did, and it could, as you say, embolden opponents, depress supporters, and influence those who were still confused and/or undecided.
Two Words: Rumor Bomb. Well, there is a considerable amount of social scientific evidence to support points made in this post above. Many people choose news sources based on trust and political beliefs, according to research Centers like the Pew Center for People and the Press. Indeed, the current mediation of these townhall meetings is a function of the same problem; these disrupters appear to be a vocal minority. When they are foisted on the news agenda for their spectacular/tabloid quality (they piss some people off and are a point of deep emotional identification for others) but are not framed as being an uncivil, anti-democratic (because disrespecting of civil debate) minority, they start to look normal, even seriously majoritarian. But the current cultural fallout over healthcare reform shows deep American cultural conflicts. Even pointing this out, and insisting on an ethic of civil/respectful debate will be re-spun by some as mere "liberal" rhetoric. When we reach this stage of affairs, is there really a democracy left? All social instiutions are to blame for these cultural tendencies: schools, religion, family, and especially the cutthroat market media, in crisis due to the internet (sites and comments like...this). Why? Factchecking, challenging deliberately or stupidly slippery language, reporting both sides (or as many as possible)-all this has gone down the drain due to time/speed, fewer financial resources to keep up, and pressures for attention which lead to printing and showing anything that will sustain attention, piss people off, etc. What is at stake is not just healthcare, but democracy itself. This is the era of THE RUMOR BOMB.
Documented and discussed in greater detail here: http://flowtv.org/?p=2259
Well, yes, Rossi. That's partly what I'm getting at. It's fake direct democracy and fake participatory democracy. BTW, there is no such thing as direct democracy these days on a national level, prety much anywhere, so I don't know why you make a literal distinction. It seems this site, like common parlance, uses it rather loosely.
No the link doesn't work, but it's easily searchable.
Fascinating testimony from the campaigners. Maybe door-to-door canvassing will disappear? All these voters registered on-line. Maybe there's a cultural change where many people are so used to getting info on-line, appeals on-line, that they're trained to feel less comfortable with or interested in the door-to-door volunteer?
"On the other, his complicated global business interests could present future conflicts of interest that result in unneeded headaches for the incoming commander-in-chief."
What I really don't understand about all this is the implication that Bill Clinton's business interests now arise as a big issue for the SOS position, but they somehow weren't an issue when she was vying for the Dem. nomination for president? I realize the foreign policy emphasis of the SOS position, but how does it trump the overall global responsibilities of the presidency? This sounds like political comm. strategists maneuvering to influence the media and public agenda about a Clinton appointment, stirring up enough doubt that would validate a rejection; or simply just new media values of trying to create drama when there really isn't that much. Was Bill Clinton's businnes dealings a huge issue when Hillary was running? If not, why not? Why now?
Very interesting thread. Like some have expressed above, I, too, think an emailing president is important. "Old Media" forms are so distancing and one-way. While this doesn't exactly talk about two-way, it is part of being up-to-date with the fragmented mass audience and its changing media uses, and it feels "two-way" because of the medium itself.
Second, I searched the site postings and couldn't find anything about this AP storyon Obama 2.0, which raises similar issues about how Obama will use his staff to get HIS word out and communicate effectively with supporters. Republican spokespersons immediately responded by saying they hope O. will try to communicate with all Americans, not just his massive list of campaign supporters.
This AP story emphasizes that Obama can't communicate directly via White House channels, but with official spokespersons does it matter?