Not even Toffler could have predicted this. There’s a secret laboratory buried deep within the basement of the Los Angeles Times building chockablock filled with advanced technology heretofore unknown to man. It apparently allows journalists there to replicate themselves–at least on the Internet. Hugh Hewitt also has details.
Update: “And it raises the question: how many more mainstream media journalists are using sock puppets on blogs?” I’ll bet it’s a surprisingly high percentage.
Another Update: Also buried within the L.A. Times’ basement is a time machine. It’s usually on the fritz, but every once in a while, it accurately predicts the future. Back in 2004, then L.A. Times editor John Carroll wrote surprisingly presciently of “The Wolf in Reporter’s Clothing“:
What we’re seeing is a difference between journalism and pseudo-journalism, between journalism and propaganda. The former seeks earnestly to serve the public. The latter seeks to manipulate it.
The propaganda technique that has invaded journalism is of a particular breed. It springs not from journalistic roots but from modern politics — specifically, that woeful subset known as attack politics.
In attack politics, the idea is to “define” one’s rival in the eyes of the public. This means repeating derogatory information so often that the rival’s reputation is ruined. Sometimes the information is true; sometimes it is misleading; sometimes it is simply false. A citizen who enters politics these days must face the prospect of being “defined” by smear artists equipped with computers, polls and attack ads.
And pseudonyms, Hugh Hewitt adds.