Brent Budowsky
New Year: The Triumph Of New Media, New Politics
Mon Jan 1, 2007 16:56

New Year: The Triumph Of New Media, New Politics, New Optimism and New Leadership (6 comments )

2007 will be the year that brings a new wave of influence, power, money and idealism to the new world that will define the media and politics of the post-Bush area.

George Clooney will be a model of activism and engagement for the entertainment world.

Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth will be a model for using the medium of entertainment to bring
great issues of the world to larger audiences, which mobilize great constituencies.

Arianna Huffington will be a model of bringing ideas and opinions to a larger audience on the internet that will synthesize with talk radio and cable television and transform infotainment.

Nancy Pelosi will be a model for empowerment and engagement not only for women for the next generation of change waves in the rising tide that will lift many boats across America.

Keith Olbermann will be a model for cable television that in 2007 will cease being a megaphone for reactionary politics and the culture of insiderism, but will reach upward and outward to the larger audience of the real America.

If the fall of Air America was the metaphor of what came before, the comeback and the success of progressive radio in 2007, fueled by new synergies with the internet, including Air America and more, will be the metaphor discussed when 2007 will come to a close.

The future is now and the next great era of transformation of media, entertainment, politics, culture and entrepreneurial excitement has begun. Everyone who reads these words is part of it. Many of you are leading it, every one of you has the power to build it.

The 2006 election was the result of the first stage, and the empowering catalyst for the second stage, of the great transformation that will move rapid fire and fast forward through 2007.

Time Magazine was close. The True Person of the Year was not "You"; it was "Us."

The celebration of "me and you" was the culture and attitude of the Bush years. The triumph of "we and us" will define the post Bush years, the next great era of American political reform, the media transformation that has already begun, and the next renaissance of ideas, optimism and entrepreneurial .

The internet is a vehicle for the personal expression of individuals, but:

Far more powerfully, the internet is a vehicle for the creation of communities of common purpose, organization for common action, and cross-promotion of common causes, ideas and marketing.

I (we) can reach millions of people by posting on the Internet, informing large numbers of appearances on talk radio or cable television, building up the audiences for those shows.

I (we) can mention internet sites on those shows, attacting more eyeballs to those sites, both empowering and monetizing in both directions. This has already begun with the net impact of increasing the impact of both the shows and the sites, maximizing political influence of their ideas, enhancing their power for advertising and marketing products with appeal to their supporters.

Next, as this evolution continues its advance, there will be waves of idea generation and consumer generation where this new media- old media fusion attracts venture capital and advertising money because of its power to mobilize people with money.

Movies with progressive themes and artists such as George Clooney; books with reformist messages such as Barack Obama's; business that promotes enlightened ventures to protect the environment and reduce global warming; music by artists who inspire us; investment funds with social conscience; political ads that can raise enormous money through our medium and commmunicate powerful message to our voters.

In transformational eras in history politics, media, entertainment, culture, the arts, and major business and marketing trends flow together, responding to and riding the great waves of change.

Today America has entered a period similar to the JFK years from 1958 to 1963. JFK understood, rode and ultimately led the great sweeping movement of ideas and spirit of his time. JFK was integral to all of this, and all of this was integral to JFK:

Frank Sinatra and the activism of progressive entertainers. Martin Luther King and the move towards equality and social justice. The rise of the great television networks and the golden age of CBS Network News. JFK was written about brilliantly by Norman Mailer; played in a famous movie about his war heroism by Cliff Robertson; cheered by hundreds of thousands at the Berlin Wall as the champion of American idealism; imitated by corporate advertisers on Madison Avenue.

JFK was all of these: the exploiter, beneficiary, cause, effect, catalyst and leader of the New Frontier spirit. His most famous words, which he incorporated in his deeds, ring true today. Ask what you can do for your country. God's work on earth must truly be our own. The rising tide lifts all boats.

Contrast this with the George W. Bush era that effectively ended on Election Day. Bush is the anti-Lincoln Republican, an exploiter, cause, effect, beneficiary and now victim of the large foces he and his Party rode to power, which ultimately devoured them.

Bush won a contested election with a minority of the vote in 2000; immediately moved to become the partisan President of only some of the people; had economic policies that helped the 1% to the virtual exclusion of everyone else. His strategy made him prisoner of the most rightist 20% of his party and anathema to virtually everyone else.

The story of the Bush Presidency, is the story of steadily narrowing concentric circles of support, beginning with approximately 50% with his strategy whittling support steadily down to the 30's.

Conversely the story of political and cultural opposition to this, is a story of steadily increasing concentric circles of support with the rise of the progressive internet, the move against global warming and success of Inconvenient Truth, and ratings gains by shows such as Olbermann's with ratings declines by the Pravda like right wingism of Fox News.

Predictions: 2007 will see a wave of motion pictures with enlightened themes, marketing resources redirected to organized audience centers of the internet and progressive radio, and the growing impact of activist stars such as George Clooney.

2007 will see stunning and breathtaking money raised for progressive candidates through the internet and a substantial increase or political advertising money going to internet sites that reach mass volumes of voters and potential donors.

2007 will see a dramatic transformation of cable television news as first guests, and then shows, and finally networks reflect the growing audience and political clout of the forces that won the 2006 election.

2007 will see a battle of ideas first among the Democratic candidates, that will drive, expedite and enhance every trend and forecast that is discussed here.

2007 will see a rising tide of influence and success for Arianna and Huffington Post and for a whole tier of high quality political blogs, independent news sites, activist chat rooms and issue-based organizing power.

2007 will see gigantic tides of change for great issues and causes such as global warming and greater support for television, radio, candidates, companies, advertisers and investors who support them.

2007 will see an inspiring, exciting, uplifting and mobilizing debate about the future of an America that could enter a historic new era of national renewal and reform with the election of a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress in 2008 that would be reminscent of the eras of JFK and FDR.

2007 will see the emergence with even greater power of constituencies of women, with exciting new leaders throughout the national stage, of Hispanics, with rising leaders such as Bill Richardson and great waves of demographic change, of African Americans, with greater empowerment and political mobilization, and of young people, who will be energized by more uplifting ideas of the post-Bush era.

The negative and divisive tones of 2006 will yield to a new energy, a new excitement, a new optimism and dynamism that will rise throughout 2007. These forces and their power for change, good and common cause, will open a new chapter in American history that will further transform our politics, entertainment, media, news, culture and communications.

The future is now.

Happy New Year.   

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