The New Blue Media: How Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, Jon Stewart and Company Are Transforming Progressive Politics
Is a new progressive era in American life in the offing? Only time will tell, but journalist Theodore Hamm’s sharp, acerbic book suggests that a new progressive media has already arrived. Satirical, hard-charging, and unapologetically progressive, this new media movement is both reinvigorating old forms like late-night TV and documentaries and inventing new forms like the blogosphere.
In a breezy, accessible style, The New Blue Media traces the rise during the Bush years of new media stars: the news-saturated satire of The Onion, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report; the polemical assaults of Michael Moore and Air America; and the instant-messaging politics of MoveOn, Daily Kos, and the netroots. With the exception of Air America, all of these new media outlets have found commercial success—marking, says Hamm, a new era in liberal politics.
Does this new media matter? In 2004, both Michael Moore and MoveOn became major players; more recently, the influence of the netroots sparked an upheaval within the Democratic Party, when Connecticut’s Ned Lamont almost defeated former vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman in his campaign for the Senate. Taken as a whole, the New Blue Media are shaping both the style—and in many cases the substance—of twenty-first-century progressive politics.