Yesterday, Matt Drudge posted excerpts from the newly published book Strategery by Bill Sammon, in which President Bush meditates on the state of the American media.
“President Bush, for the first time, is hailing the rise of the alternative media and the decline of the mainstream media,” wrote Drudge, “which he now says ‘conspired’ to harm him with forged documents.”
“I find it interesting that the old way of gathering the news is slowly but surely losing market share,” Bush tells Sammon in Strategery. “It’s interesting to watch these media conglomerates try to deal with the realities of a new kind of world.”
For some bloggers, the news that the president liked their collective work was, at first blush, less surprising than the fact that he had finally discovered it.
“I take from Bush and Rove’s comments that they aren’t quite sure what it’s all about,” wrote UNCoRRELATED, “but they know it’s important, sort of how my mother feels about the Internet.”
“Drudge is hyping Bill Sammon’s new book, ‘Strategery,’ this morning and publishes an interesting passage from the book on the White House’s warm views of the blogosphere and cyberspace,” noted Michelle Malkin. “Or the ‘ether space,’ as President Bush calls it. (At least they got him to stop saying ‘Internets.’)”
Other bloggers were simply content to roll around in the presidential praise.
“Anyway, it’s cool to see the President giving props to those of us who do the work that the declining MSM fails to do every day,” wrote Crush Liberalism. “I may be a small fish in a big pond, but I’m delighted to be a part of the information age’s new ecosystem.”
“The White House has acknowledged the power of the blogs,” wrote Atlas Shrugs. “I am not surprised by this. The blogs have become the tail wagging the dog. Apparently the White House agrees. How lovely to see Presidential acknowledgment — mad hot, eh?”
But for bloggers of a liberal bent, the praise from Bush left them feeling mad lukewarm, at best.
“In an upcoming book called Strategery — which is clearly designed to provide cover to the Bush administration for its collusion with the mainstream media — President Bush hails the rise of the alternative press,” wrote Ice Station Tango. “Man, this is guy is cynical.”
Impolitic is equally offended: “Citing the pajamadeen’s only real triumph, Rathergate, as an example, Bush cited the value of the ‘alternative media’ that saved his sorry butt from having to explain his imaginary Guard record. Bush seems to think they can fulfill that long held wet dream of repeating such a coup to prop up his failed presidency and pull the GOP’s bacon out of the oncoming electoral fire.”
Felix Gillette writes about the media for The New York Observer.
Given that kind of bile, we hesitate to imagine what wrath Bush might have wrought had he reversed course and bashed bloggery (as it’s fondly referred to here at CJR Daily World Headquarters).