There was this post on Strumpette last week calling Web 2.0 Digitial McCarthyism… That’s precisely the kind of reaction I’d expect from the mainstream media in general, and the kind of sensationalism that I’d expect from Fox in particular. Can you smell the fear?

It’s Democracy, NOT McCarthysim from CT Moore and Vimeo.

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8 thoughts on “Democracy, NOT McCarthyism

  1. CT:

    WRONG. It has nothing to do with top up or bottom down. The point of “Digital McCarthyism” is that it is a witch hunt. That’s all.

    You are correct, it is tyranny by NOT of the majority. It is the tyranny of a select group, a web mob.

    Lastly, I wish geeks would stop incorrectly using the word “democracy.” It’s “populism.” Paris Hilton is the result of populism NOT democracy. Our forefathers designed the constitution and a representative governance just to prevent the very populism you so enthusiastically promote.

    – Amanda

  2. If only 25% of the electorate CHOOSES to show up at the polls, is the outcome democratic?

    The mainstream media has a bias for that which doesn’t offend their advertisers. Online publishers have a bias for that which favors their traffic — advertisers tend to follow. The point is that both are wrought with corruption in their own right. The difference is that the “new media” is more conducive toward the “Wisdom of Crowds” (

    Whether this is right, wrong, good, or bad, however, is a moot point. The fact of the matter is that the technology has arrived, the “new media” has emerged, and Google is the new front page ( Whatever makes it there is our business because it will effect the opinions that journalists and citizens alike will develop for themselves.

  3. – “If only 25% of the electorate CHOOSES to show up at the polls, is the outcome democratic?”

    Indeed it is. But you also miss the most important point: the electorate is a staged vetting mechanism toward representative governance. Again, democracy is designed to avoid just what you advocate.

    – “The mainstream media has a bias for that which doesn’t offend their advertisers.”

    Urban myth. Have you ever worked for a bona fide news outlet in MSM? If you had, you’d know that there is a separation of church and state. Is that line sometimes crossed? Of course. Is an anarchistic system of rumor, innuendo and opinion posing as fact a better replacement. Complete nonsense (by definition actually).

    – “The ‘new media’ is more conducive toward the “Wisdom of Crowds”.

    Indeed it is. It just so happens that “Wisdom of the Crowds” is another Web zealot myth. Mobs are stupid. Group think is something smart organizations work hard to avoid. The Challenger was the result of group think.

    – “The fact of the matter is that the technology has arrived, the ‘new media’ has emerged, and Google is the new front page.”

    No. That’s another zealot myth. It’s called technological determinism. Two things: 1) You are absolutely going to see the government curtail Google’s monopoly; and 2) keep in mind, this circuit can be shut off variously.

    – “Whatever makes it there is our business because it will affect the opinions that journalists and citizens alike will develop for themselves.”

    No. The more shit that’s online… the less credible the entire system is.

  4. Let me explain my bias, Amanda.

    My first PR gig: a company gets ripped in the blogsphere. The bad mojo dominates the first page of Google. Everytime they try to form new partnerships, the other parties do their homework and see bad things.

    Their PR 1.0 council tries to engage the MSM. After all, a NYT story will easily displace a petty blogger on the first page of Google. It did. The only problem: the journalist saw what was on Google and the story took a negative turn. Now the negativity has MSM credibility.

    In come the new media ninjas. We engage the blogsphere. We establish rapports with bigger bloggers that have better reps than the naysayers. Positive blog stuff shows up on Google.

    Now we engage the MSM. The pitch is easier. First AdAge, then Inc. Magazine and so on. Before you know it, they’re on CBS, NBC, and Charlie Rose. Things are good again. Now they have one of the largest new media machines going, and they are unstoppable.

    Whether we like it or not, this is the way things are going now. That’s why it’s a social media REVOLUTION. The balance of power has already shifted. MSM now has to share the flow of information with smaller, more anarchosyndicalist players. The result is that these smaller guys are part of the equation, and people like us have to put some of our time and energy into managing them too.

    That’s all I’m getting at here…

  5. If the Enquirer was your populace front page… what would you do? Would you focus on it or the WSJ where 87 percent of your customers are.

    CT, I think you are grossly overestimating the quality value of your “Google front page.” Populace sure but that totally underestimates the sophistication of your audience.

    Lastly, the general populace is now coming to terms with the difference between SEO and quality. I am NOT checking with Perez Hilton when I am considering surgery or marking a stock pick.

  6. You just put Google on par with the Enquirer. Really, I’m supposed to bite on that?

    Anyway, to answer your question, I’m going to focus on BOTH the WSJ and Google because they are publicity and reputation management respectively.

    What if I focus only on the WSJ, and the journalist Google’s my client and extensive blog coverage about unethical practices show up on the first page? All of sudden the potential of my client’s latest product is cast in stark contrast to a dubious past because the reporter is going to ask those questions and that’s precisely what I’m trying to get people to forget. Out of sight, out of mind.

    And your Perez Hilton point is cute… for a red herring.

    Anyway, I hate it when people leave on their capslock, but you’re not leaving me any choice:


    ‘Nuff said?

  7. Julien,
    I totally thought your comment was spam before I checked your URL. I’m flattered that you stopped by, but didn’t you weigh in? maybe support and underdawg? Or do you actually have a bot crawling the interwebs for you? ;)

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