Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Less Innocent Times?

Dan Balz, Term Limits, coffee, internet, media, web, trust

Many years ago, waiting for coffee at a vendor in front of the Washington Post building and across the street from my U.S. Term Limits office, I often exchanged friendly banter with the Posts Dan Balz.

Coffee in hand last Sunday, I read Balz’s column, “A scholar asks, ‘Can democracy survive the Internet?’”

In more innocent times, the rise of the Internet was seen by many people as a boon to democracy,” Balz began, adding that “the Web broadened the flow of information, introduced new voices into the political debates, empowered citizens and even provided a powerful fundraising tool for some lesser-known candidates such as Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.”

Obama, Sanders . . . all to the good!

“Now, in what are clearly less innocent times, the Internet is viewed as a far less benign force,” he continues, next to a picture of President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.  “It can be a haven for spreading fake news and rewarding the harshest and most divisive of political rhetoric.”

Mr. Balz’s time continuum is faulty. The “innocent times” when Bernie Sanders used the Internet to raise money were the same “clearly less innocent” times when voters elected President Trump.

“Neither the legacy media nor the established political parties,” Balz bemoans, “exercise the power they once had as referees.”

Nathaniel Persily, the scholar cited by our legacy-media columnist, shares Balz’s anti-Trump bias. But he makes an important point, writing that the Trump campaign “could only be successful because established institutions — especially the mainstream media and political party organizations — had already lost most of their power.”

People voted against the less-than-innocent political (and media) establishment.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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Illustration based on original artwork by PRO With Associates


By: CS Admin


  1. John F Brennan says:

    There are always those who weep an gnash teeth at progress and change.
    Those who possessed power and now find it deminsihed or declining create tweep the loudest. 
    Their answer is always to cry foul and seek laws and regulation to inhibit the progress,  which they can, via force, only temporally retard.  
    They inevitably fail for they do not understand humanity and it’s never ending progression and are too short sighted to be leaders they hold themselves out to be. 
    Mr. Balz has joined the group. 

  2. Pat says:

    “Neither the legacy media nor the established political parties,” Balz bemoans, “exercise the power they once had as referees.”

    There’s the rub.   The legacy media can no longer be the gatekeepers.   We now have other sources of information.  As for being ‘referees’, they lost that qualification almost three decades ago.

    Dan Balz and his colleagues have only themselves to blame for their current predicament.   They betrayed the trust of the American people.   Now they can reap what they’ve sown.

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