By Frank Moher
The real winners of the American election are the new electronic media who, through relentless pounding of a sort only they can do, impressed upon voters just what a mess their country had become. I’m talking about online magazines like Salon, which, unlike many a journalistic johnny-come-lately, knew that the Iraq war was a crock before it even began; bloggers like bradblog.com, and websites like blackboxvoting.org, who didn’t need Robert Kennedy, Jr. to tell them there was something fishy about the last two presidential elections; and — no doubt despite itself — YouTube, which has provided video fuel for online pamphleteers such as crooksandliars.com, given centrist commentators like MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann a platform well beyond what cable television could afford, and plugged the memory-hole down which events like Stephen Colbert’s correspondents’ dinner filleting of Bush would otherwise have plunged after a day or two — if, that is, it was seen much at all.
A lot of Americans now think of Olbermann et al. as left-wingers, but America hasn’t had a real left-wing, of course, since about Year Three of Clinton’s first term, when he began to back-pedal on eveything from public health insurance to gays in the military. But watch for that to change over the next few months. Americans are about to be reminded of what genuine radicalism looks like, as lefty-bloggers and other web guerillas, emboldened by the election and again wielding the new media, begin to press for impeachment, war crimes prosecutions, hearings into the Iraq war, and a proper 9/11 investigation. Whether they’ll make any headway remains to be seen — and with Nancy Pelosi already making nice-nice with the Republicans, it’s not going to be easy. However, given their successes of the last few years, and particularly on Tuesday night, I wouldn’t bet against them.