Over at The Belmont Club the redoubtable Wretchard makes some pertinent points on politics and crowds, crowds, that is, equipped with cell phones, tablets, internet connections and such like means of instant communication. Obama, it seems, doesn’t like crowds so equipped.
Quoting Ed Driscoll:
CHUCK TODD: What I wonder how many people realized at the end [of Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner] when he did his, you know, there’s always this part at the end where they get serious for a minute. And it’s usually the part where presidents say, “You know, I think the press has a good job to do and I understand what they have to do.” He didn’t say that. He wasn’t very complimentary of the press. You know, we all can do better.
It did seem, I thought his pot shots joke wise and then the serious stuff about the internet, the rise of the internet media and social media and all that stuff — he hates it. Okay? He hates this part of the media. He really thinks that the sort of the buzzification — this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was trying to make that clear last night.
Not what you’d expect from a president who utilized social media so effectively during his campaign, is it? So why is that? Wretchard now quotes Andy McCarthy, at some length:
Because you are being softened up. Steered by its Gitmo Bar veterans and Lawyer Left compass, the Obama administration is executing a massive national-security fraud: the farce that the jihad against America can be judicialized, that civilian-court processes are a better answer to enemy warfare than are combat protocols. …
So in the effort to tame you into believing civilian due process has proved wildly successful in the Marathon bombing investigation, just as Obama and Holder promised it would, the government is now strategically leaking interrogation details.
Sure it may look like the investigation was a tragicomedy of errors in which our $100 billion national-security edifice, despite investigating Tamerlan Tsarnaev for a year and a half before the bombing, had to ask the public’s help in identifying a picture of him. But look: We stopped a spectacular bombing at Times Square! And sure, there’s a lot of innuendo about Islam and overseas “extremists,” but after 16 hours of penetrating scrutiny we’ve figured out that this was just wanton “homegrown” violence committed by a couple of confused kids — the sort of thing that is bound to happen if we don’t crack down on gun ownership and Islamophobia.
The fraud is on. Will we keep falling for it?
Wretchard then comments:
Obama’s problem with Internet memes is not that they can’t be manipulated, but they are extraordinarily hard to manipulate in real time. They outrun his OODA loop and he can only catch up when things settle down.
The problem is particularly acute where the Internet has dense coverage. If the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi had happened anywhere else but in connectivity poor Libya — in Europe, or the prosperous parts of Asia or North America, the facts would have gotten away from the administration before they could herd them back into the narrative. It would have been Boston on steroids.
. . .
America is the land of the Internet and the social media and if something gets loose in that connectivity-rich environment the Administration will be weeks rounding the horses up.
The principal power of the establishment media consists in being able to shape the Narrative; to determine what is news. The biggest challenge the creators of Talking Points face is velocity. Velocity reduces the time required to get their story straight inside of the accelerated news cycle. It undermines the narrative at the most basic level.
The handmaiden of velocity is multiplicity, that is when breaking news comes out of Left field. This was illustrated once again in the Tsarnaev case by the unmanaged information about the Tsarnaev family in Chechnya. The voluble Mrs. Tsarnaev put paid, probably fatally, to any attempt to portray the Tsarnaev family as simply poor oppressed people who were misunderstood and discriminated against.
It is velocity and multiplicity that constitute the Achilles heel of the media. Their ponderous machinery can hammer anything into a Procrustean bed given enough time. But when pressed they are a serious disadvantage. One of the administration’s most severe challenges is it has sown the seeds of an increasingly fast and ungovernable news cycle by via the numerous mistakes of Obama’s first term.
The next few months are likely to see simultaneous and fast moving challenges to the administration from the economy, terrorism, the Middle East, North Asia and Europe. And those are only the challenges we can reasonably anticipate. Surprises are bound to join them. The strategic political danger facing the President is that he can’t manage a Perfect Storm at sufficient velocity with the Internet and social media on the loose. It would, as the President put it, “hurt political discourse”. Namely it would hurt him.
True, dat. So here is another lesson for Republicans and conservatives who feel helpless before the MSM’s news monopoly. Well, ex-monopoly. The MSM wants to maintain the illusion that they control the narrative by being the only ‘legitimate’ voice. But when you have an army of Davids with the power to pump information into the system faster than the MSM dinosaurs can even take it in let alone massage it into their narrative, the dinosaur is left stumbling around trying to catch up with what is already far out of its grasp.
So here’s my proposal:
Learn how to take pictures and videos with your cell phone. You can even pick up a little video camera or equivalent for less than $150.00. Lean to transfer those to your computer. Upload them to your Flicker.com, Youtube.com, Vimeo.com, etc. account. Use Facebook, Twitter, etc to get the word out. Then spend some time hanging around where stuff is happening. Record it, even if they tell you you can’t, do it anyway. If they try and stop you, argue with them and don’t let them take your camera. Go in as teams, so when one person is accosted by the ‘authorities’ the others can record the confrontation. Breitbart showed us how. Strip away their cover, yield them nothing, give them no peace and bring them down. The bigger they are the harder they bounce.
Makes me smile just thinking about it.