Andrew Breitbart passed away today. The conservative blogger impacted politics by targeting Democrats and liberals, particularly by posting provocative videos and pictures.
Mr. Breitbart’s most infamous posting was that of former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sharrod making allegedly racist statements about individuals she assigned to help some years ago. It was quickly determined that his posts blatantly distorted the true context and message of Mrs. Sharrod’s statements.
Yes, political warfare in cyberspace can be bloody and is usually anonymous, however, the true thought drivers are more than willing to step out there and express their thoughts and opinions, and an increasing number of Americans via the use of social networks are willing to engage these conversationalists.
Cable television will for a long time be the primary distributor of political news and opinion. Social networks, however, provide the ability for the everyday citizen to engage. This is another reason why broadband adoption is important. Policy makers should ensure onerous rules do not drive up the costs for the unserved and the underserved to get online via high-speed broadband.
Policy makers should avoid creating unnecessary barriers to market entry; barriers that would keep 21st century journalists like Andrew Breitbart from bringing their opinions and perspectives to the marketplace of ideas.