The Internet Immortality Thesis

Mickey Kaus frequently refers to the Feiler Faster Thesis, which describes the impact that the high speed of the Internet has on conventional wisdom.

I’m very much in agreement with this Reuters piece on its corollary, a piece titled, “Politicians beware–Internet prolongs blunders“. While the article mentions both Kerry’s and George Allen’s gaffes for balance, I think the subject of the piece has more impact on the left than the right. For some background on why this is, here’s something I wrote in 2004:


Kerry’s massively invented narrative (“swashbuckling Swift Boat lieutenant”–as Steyn describes him–turned brave defender of soldiers’ rights) was built to survive the glancing scrutiny (if you can call it that) of a 1972-era media that consisted of three TV networks with half hour evening news shows, and a few liberal big city newspapers, all of which were staffed with journalists more or less largely sympathetic to Kerry’s leftist anti-American beliefs.

But between the Swift Boat Vets and the Blogosphere, there are far too many people examining Kerry’s story, and his “reporting for duty” edifice has crumbled.

Is that fair? We’ll, we’re deciding if we want the man to have the key to the most powerful arsenal ever assembled. If he can’t survive the scrutiny of the Blogosphere, who James Lileks recently described as an “obsessive sort with lots of time on their hands”, is he someone who should be trusted with this power?

And as I just mentioned in the previous post, it’s a lot easier to shift your opinions on matters such as Iraq when you’re dealing in a dead tree medium, rather than one with hyperlinks and search engines. Or as Hugh Hewitt recently posited to ABC’s Mark Halperin:


HH: I think my giant unified field theory here is that liberal media has destroyed the necessity of the left having to debate, having to reach a message across, because you guys have always papered over the weakness of their arguments. And so, in essence, by creating an echo chamber, and by allowing them to get away with saying silly things, you


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