Over at Talking Points Memo, Reed Hundt, who was on the FCC during the Clinton administration, has a post about how Gloria Borger and Gwen Ifill on the PBS show "Washington Week in Review" or whatever it is called now were dissing Al Gore.
Over at Daily Kos this past week, there was a post about how the media is attacking John Edwards for his supposed hypocrisy because he wants to help the poor and lives in a big house. That followed the attacks on him for his haircut and the attacks on him for consulting with a New York hedge fund.
These attacks are happening because Gore and Edwards are attacking the traditional media (Gore) and the way America treats the rich compared to the poor (Edwards). This makes the major corporations which own the media companies very unhappy. This in turn is going to be known to the reporters who work for those media companies, which will lead to negative stories about Edwards and Gore. Such stories will, ironically, prove Gore's point that he made in his book "The Assault on Reason."
The traditional media realizes that it is under attack from the left. Reporters are used to being attacked from the right, but these attacks from the left are really ticking them off. Just look at the reactions of people like David Broder of the Washington Post to bloggers. People like Broder realize that more and more readers are using the Internet for news and leaving traditional media like the Post.
The Post, for example, is suffering a decline in readers even though its only competition in D.C. is the Moonie paper, the Washington Times. Its not that the Times is picking up readers at the Post's expense. More than likely younger people, and Washington is a pretty young city demographically, are using the Internet and not the Post for information.
This lost of readers to the Internet threatens the Post's parent company's bottom line, which impacts Broder's salary. It also threatens the self-image of the Post, which prides itself on being one of the nation's premier papers. The Post's self-image, in turn, is probably important to Broder's self-image. It is hard to maintain that self-image if the Post is losing readers to bloggers.
There will be more such attacks in the future. Any politician, like Gore, who is seen as supporting the use of the Internet in public discourse runs the risk of being the subject of such attacks. Maybe what Democrats should do is create a website where such attacks are listed and any candidate who is not being attacked by the traditional media shouldn't be supported by Democrats.