One of the best new writers I’ve come along recently is Thomas Lifson, who adorns the remarkable American Thinker. Like one of my other favorite writers, Victor David Hanson, Lifson is a gentleman farmer in California when he’s not turning out fine prose.

Actually, Lifson’s farm is a vineyard, Sunset Cellers, according to what I can discover about him on the web, but that qualifies as a farm, and I love the idea of a writer who doesn’t just hang out with journalists and other practitioners of groupthink. Lifton fist came to my attention with a hilarious piece on Teresa Heinz Kerry’s “creepy” speech at the Democratic convention.

Lifson has also written about a phenomenon that fascinates me, the breaking of the information monopoly of the mainstream media. In his latest entry on the American Thinker, Lifson writes:

“The genie is out of the bottle. The best efforts of the mainstream media to blockade the story of Kerry’s lies about Cambodia, and the charges by the vast majority of men who served with him in the Swift Boat operations, have failed.”

Lifson quotes a letter, posted by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, that shows just how the feeble the monopoly is:

“…last night I was talking to a friend who is a hardcore liberal Democrat and is, in fact, a first cousin of a very well-known Democratic Senator. He was very upset about the Kerry-Swift Vet-Cambodia controversy. He blamed Kerry for the whole thing, saying he had set himself up for this problem by making Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. Two things struck me about this. First, this is a guy who gets all of his news from the biggies — the NYT, NPR, and CNN — and yet he knew all about the story. That means the Big Media filter isn’t preventing the story from reaching people. Second, he had concluded that Kerry deserves the criticism and is lacking in credibility. This is a guy who, if there were any yes-but talking points in defense of Kerry, surely would have stuck to them. This says to me that if Big Media is in the tank for Kerry, they may actually have hurt him by not covering this story. They’ve abdicated coverage of a story that is negative to Kerry to the Blogosphere, thus resulting in more damage to their favored candidate than if they’d reported on the story, but with an eye toward knocking it down. They can pretend the story isn’t there, but they can’t make blogs go away.

According to Reynolds the media elite are “damaging themselves as more and more people notice that they’re ignoring it.”

“Just so,” says Lifson, adding: “Credibility, once lost, is difficult to re-establish.”