It’s true, talk radio had a huge influence on the bill’s demise. But it’s also true that we saw a paradigm shift of sorts this week, in a battle that came to a comic denoument when the Wall Street Journal got all skeered of Hot Air’s shadowy, and quite nonexistent, money people. As the MSM has given ground to talk radio over the years, talk radio has now given some ground to the blogs. And as if in return, the blogs are at the forefront of the fight against the Fairness Doctrine, which is mostly a threat to talk radio. Let’s hope Rush et al have our backs when the inevitable leftist push comes to shove in our direction. I know Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt and one or two others will be there for us. Others, it’s hard to say.

This clip is from Mark Levin yesterday, in the wake of the death of shamnesty. Sen. Sessions credits the talkers. That’s part of the story, but not all of it. The unprecedented unleashing of YouTube by the people against the powerful was a true first, and it won’t be a last. Mickey Kaus unleashed a little idea that’s going to be with us for a long time to come. YouTube and online video in general will be a major battleground during next year’s elections, with little factories run by pros and hobbyists cranking out video ads and attacks and editorials 24/7. Fred! is already counting on you to do much of his online production work for free–I think that’s a major part of his hidden strategy (which makes this glaring omission all the more obvious and strange). Some of you are already his operatives, more or less.

We’ve seen glimpses of online video’s increasing role in politics since about 2004 and Macaca was a watershed last year, but this coming election is the one where it really comes together thanks to dramatic improvements in online delivery via Flash, increased bandwidth and cheap yet powerful video editing software that’s out there, and your increasing awareness of what can be done for little or no expense. Plus YouTube, which wasn’t even around in 2004.

And I haven’t even mentioned the “tactical nuclear” strategy that we had developed here, to launch if cloture looked like it was going to succeed Thursday morning. I’ll think I’ll save that one for the next battle royale.

The Levin-Sessions riff is a good clip, but without a mention of the blogs and their role in shamnesty’s timely death, it’s just not quite there yet.

Now, for a counterpoint on basic First Amendment freedom, head over to “Think” Progress and listen to the Speaker of the House talk about “hate radio” “hijacking” the debate. At precisely the time when the world is falling apart, with the Russians making a land grab at the North Pole, Venezuela hinting that it might go nuclear, Iran and North Korea and Iraq and Afghanistan and much of Africa festering and China on the rise, the Democrats are going to wage a divisive battle on our own basic freedoms. The Fairness Doctrine may have lost yesterday, but it’s far from dead.

And ain’t it funny how Democrats like Pelosi and Obama like to talk about “hijacking” in US political contexts, but not in contexts where using that word actually makes sense. Because, of course, the war on terrorism is just a bumper sticker.