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Let's take, for example, his claim that the Internet is eliminating intermediaries. Yes, the Net has made it possible for consumers to do some purchasing directly. But when Morris asserts that "we are increasingly buying our clothing, food, pharmaceuticals, books, compact discs... without ever setting foot in a store," he's only half right. It's true that you're not physically traveling to a store to make these purchases, but online retailers do not always cut out the middle man--they're just different kinds of stores.
Morris's book ignores economic reality in many other key ways. He believes, for example, that "the Internet will do for journalism what free agency has done for baseball players," by which he apparently means that journalists will become rich and powerful and able to set their own agendas. The reasoning is flawed: even with free agency, ballplayers depend upon team owners to hire them to practice their craft, and the salaries are widely divergent. Journalists who try to become one-man online enterprises will find that the success of Matt Drudge is not necessarily a harbinger of the future. (For that matter, Drudge's only real financial success came when he allied himself with big-media conglomerates--and his moment in the sun seems to have vanished along with the clamor for Bill Clinton's impeachment.) Morris similarly believes that all news outlets will become equal online: "Users will find their way to any site to read a story that strikes their interest. The brand name will count for little." While his belief in the willingness of online users to dig relentlessly for information is admirable, it's just as likely that corporate agreements between traditional media outlets and portals like Netscape, AOL, and Yahoo! will ensure that most people see a version of online news that's primarily a "new and improved" version of the same old product. And let's not forget that huge sectors of the populace aren't even on the Internet yet.
There's plenty about Vote.com that's laughable, like Morris's repeated invocation of "the X Generation," but the biggest joke of all may be the very notion of "Internet voting." Boiled down to its essence, the concept is nothing more than self-selecting opinion polls. Expressing one's opinion isn't necessarily the same thing as voting, and the results so far have been mixed. (Remember when a Howard Stern sidekick became the choice of the masses for People's Sexiest Man Alive?) Yet Morris gazes into the future of "direct democracy" with starry eyes: "What small size and intimate geography permitted ancient Athens to accomplish, the Internet will let America and the world accomplish." (Perhaps somebody should point out to Morris that ancient Greece was only a democratic paradise if you were lucky enough to be a citizen; women, slaves, and the working classes didn't have it as well off.) There's also a bunch of material in Vote.com about how Bill Clinton's "unimpeachment" represents the death knell of old media power, which Morris attempts to piggyback onto his proclaimed rise of new Internet power. His political analysis in those chapters is sharper, but it doesn't do much to rescue the book from its most fundamental flaws. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I give credit to Dick Morris for trying to gauge the future effects of the Internet on politics. I believe many of the things he proposes will come true, except that it may take... Read morePublished on July 26, 2005 by Kevin M Quigg
the vote.com website is laughable, the opinions expressed there are the result of numerous right-wing extremist sites providing direct links to the voting polls- heavily skewing... Read morePublished on February 15, 2002 by jet
I don't pretend to know how many of his predictions will come about, but his comments about web site development, traffic generation and cost are right on. Read morePublished on December 1, 2001 by Paul
Morris' "Vote.com" is poorly written, poorly edited, and repetitious. If you have the patience to muddle through, however, there are insights to be gleaned. Read morePublished on July 29, 2000 by Sunny Hicks
You will do better reading 'The World According to Garp!' Internet 'voting' will be nothing more than dynamic 'polling', not a Jeffersonian democracy where the people directly... Read morePublished on February 15, 2000
If Morris's understanding of politics is half as shaky as his grasp of the Internet, it's a miracle that his political career lasted as long as it did. Read morePublished on January 20, 2000
How anyone can truly believe Dick Morris would have anything to say of value is beyond me. What a complete waste of money - thankfully I charged it to the taxpayers - just like my... Read morePublished on January 7, 2000 by Hillary