The Atlantic Wire's Media Diet series is fast becoming a forum where important old people say stupid things about the Internet. Last month, Aaron Sorkin complained about "BobsThoughts.com." This week, Rep. Barney Frank bemoans the fact that "anyone can publish anything."
[Frank]: The trouble with new media is the fact that there's no screen. Anyone can publish anything. We still have the notion that if it's printed it has some validity. Previously, you had to convince at least one other person that it was worth printing. Now, anyone can print anything in this medium. In general, there's a lot more gossip and fragmentation. People are starting to just get reinforcement in the media. On the left, it's MSNBC, Fire Dog Lake and The Huffington Post. On the right, it's Fox News and the talk radio hosts. People interpret facts differently through these parallel universes. It's what makes compromise so hard because your partisans just think your selling them out because that's what everyone they know says. It deepens and sharpens a partisan and ideological divide.