Amid the gaggle of the capital chatterati let free after the President’s speech tonight, there was Suzanne Malveaux of CNN reporting from the White House lawn. Early in her live stand-up, she paused to say she'd just gotten a message on "my Blackberry" from an unnamed White House official expanding on the Bush position. Without a pause, she started reeling off administration spin, verbatim, from the smartphone cradled in her hand. I was struck by the way technology has--and will undoubtedly continue--to change the gathering and delivery of news.
From the moment anchor Anderson Cooper turned to Malveaux, I heard, but couldn’t see, what sounded like a chorus of chants in the background. I wondered if she would explain. And she did, in an aside informing viewers that there were protesters outside the White House.
And another thought came to mind.
What better serves a democracy? Delivering, apparently without much reflection, instant, anonymous and unaccountable arguments via Blackberry, which in my opinion cedes control to your source, or perhaps making another, split-decision: turning towards competing, human voices to report that citizens have opinions, too? And hey, those folks might even be willing to provide their names!