Matt Drudge reported earlier today that the White House has carefully noted the rise of the political blogosphere, as reported by Bill Sammon in his new book Strategery. According to Drudge, Sammon quotes the president as “fascinated” by the rise of the new media and its challenge to the Exempt Media:
President Bush, for the first time, is hailing the rise of the alternative media and the decline of the mainstream media, which he now says “conspired” to harm him with forged documents.
“I find it interesting that the old way of gathering the news is slowly but surely losing market share,” Bush said in an exclusive interview for the new book STRATEGERY. “It’s interesting to watch these media conglomerates try to deal with the realities of a new kind of world.”
Daniel Glover at Beltway Blogroll notes that at least in the section quoted by Drudge, Bush never actually speaks specifically about blogs. Karl Rove, however, points directly at the Rathergate fiasco at CBS as the seminal event for political blogs as major influences on public opinion:
Rove considers Memogate a watershed in the rise of the alternative media.
“The whole incident in the fall of 2004 showed really the power of the ‘blogosphere’,” he said in his West Wing office.
“Because in essence you had now, an army of self-appointed experts looking over the shoulder of the mainstream media and bringing to bear enormously sophisticated skills,” he added.
Glover has a source that informs him that the President does have an active interest in the blogosphere and is pursuing greater knowledge. Meanwhile, CQ readers know that Karl Rove not only has a keen eye for the blogosphere but also checks in at CQ on a regular basis. I think most of the starboard side of the blogosphere will be buying Sammon’s book to see if any blogs get a mention.