The New Blue Media

The New Blue Media Cover

The New Blue Media

How Michael Moore, MoveOn.Org, Jon Stewart and Company Are Transforming Progressive Politics

By Theodore Hamm

New Press, Hardcover, 9781595580405, 240pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2008


Is a new progressive era in American life in the offing? Only time will tell, but journalist Theodore Hamm's sharp, acerbic book suggests that a new progressive media has already arrived. Satirical, hard-charging, and unapologetically progressive, this new media movement is both reinvigorating old forms like late-night TV and documentaries and inventing new forms like the blogosphere.

In a breezy, accessible style, " The New Blue Media "traces the rise during the Bush years of new media stars: the news-saturated satire of "The Onion," "The Daily Show," and "The Colbert Report"; the polemical assaults of Michael Moore and Air America; and the instant-messaging politics of MoveOn, Daily Kos, and the netroots. With the exception of Air America, all of these new media outlets have found commercial success--marking, says Hamm, a new era in liberal politics.

Does this new media matter? In 2004, both Michael Moore and MoveOn became major players; more recently, the influence of the netroots sparked an upheaval within the Democratic Party, when Connecticut's Ned Lamont almost defeated former vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman in his campaign for the Senate. Taken as a whole, the New Blue Media are shaping both the style--and in many cases the substance--of twenty-first-century progressive politics.

About the Author
Theodore Hamm is the founding editor of "The Brooklyn Rail" and an associate professor of urban studies at Metropolitan College of New York. His book "Rebel a Cause" (2001) covered the politics of the death penalty in postwar California. He has written for the "Los Angeles Times," "The Nation," and "Truthdig," among other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.