Sarah Palin may be enjoying success with new media but Toby Harnden isn't impressed. Beyond the media storms that it creates and hampers free speech he believes it is adding little. Focusing on the Obama administration he argues:
"New technology has enabled Obama to bypass anyone who will ask him tough questions...The Obama administration, which came into being amid promises of a new transparency, has even used its own staff to conduct an interview with Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee to produce an infomercial for the White House website. So it looks like openness but really it's just advertising."
On Palin he says:
"Republicans are scarcely any better. Sarah Palin, who could yet be the 2012 Grand Old Party presidential nominee, communicates with the public almost entirely via Facebook postings and cosy set pieces on Fox News. And it doesn't seem to be doing her too much harm."
He believes the reality isn't fulfiling the theory:
"In theory, social media and the web allows politicians to communicate directly with the public and circumvent the mainstream press. Alas, it also means they can avoid proper scrutiny and control exactly what they say while creating the illusion of interaction with ordinary people."
This is hardly surprising - message management can just about game whatever medium is invented.