As 2004 draws to a close, it’s time to observe that in many ways it was a very good year. It was the year in which the media monopoly long exercised by the dominant newspapers and networks was broken.

Views that would have been censored became part of the mainstream debate thanks to bloggers. Bloggers helped the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth get a hearing. Bloggers ensured that CBS didn’t get by using faked documents to score political points.

The best thing about the toppling of the mainstream media as the arbiter of what we get to hear is that the revolution was accomplished with ingenuity and enterprise, not by trying to impose rules by litigation. (Hey, that’s what liberal do.)

If you want to know how the bloggers, sitting at home in their pajamas, as one pompous network executive famously put it, beat the mainstream media, Mickey Kaus of kausfiles has this to say about the effectiveness of the brave new blogsophere:
Michael Kinsley’s piece–on the speed with which he got useful responses to his Social Security argument from the blogosphere–skirts an obvious point. It’s not just that Kinsley got more helpful criticism from the blogosphere (when Andrew Sullivan and Josh Marshall posted it on their sites) than he got from the bigshot economists he sent it to. Kinsley got more overall attention for his argument by making it in the blogosphere than it would have gotten if he’d printed it in the rather large conventional paper whose opinion pages he runs.

“And I’m not just talking ‘more attention’ in the sense that the blogosphere is big–bigger than the conventional print-centric media elite. Kinsley’s thesis got more attention not just in the blogosphere but within the conventional print-centric media elite, even from those who pay little attention to blogs, because he got it posted on some blogs. … Crudely put, Tim Russert and Al Hunt and William Safire and Bob Shrum and Sen. Harry Reid are more likely to know about Kinsley’s idea because Kinsley bypassed his own LAT op-ed page.”