Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tony Snow

The decision to replace beleaugered White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan with Fox news veteran Tony Snow was a big story during the past week. In his announcement, President Bush praised Snow's expertise in "all three major media -- print, radio, and television." Of course, there is a major news source upon which more and more American's are relying, according to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Report on "Online News": news delivered via the World Wide Web.

In the past, Snow has had a reputation for reading viewer's e-mail on the air and for entering into electronic debates in the blogosphere, but it's not clear how much he plans to use the Internet as a tool for press presentation.

Ellen and Julia Lupton have made the argument for the importance of independent websites to create spaces for production and commentary separate from institutional identities. As a commentator, Snow was known for occasional pointed criticism of administration policies. It is interesting to note that Snow has already shut down his personal website,, which now forwards to Fox News' "Brian and the Judge."

The news from Iran is very bad this week, but to their credit, they have permitted their cantankerous Internet-savvy former vice president to continue his own indie site. Mohammad Ali Abtahi is even allowed to argue against Internet surveillance by the theocratic, authoritarian regime in Tehran. As he writes, "Let me be myself -- Mohammad Ali Abtahi -- regardless to my official and governmental status."



Anonymous jrlupton said...

Thanks for the plug! I hadn't thought about the independent web site issue in this much broader public context.

6:08 AM  

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