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Quote of the Day: Information Osmosis

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 3 2011

News is all around us. I get it mainly off the Internet.

-- That's Ann Wagner, one of the four candidates for the chairship of the Republican National Committee, when asked during the lightening round of today's RNC debate about where she gets her news.

Wagner wasn't alone in citing the online space as a primary place for news. Reince Priebus said that he, too, got his information "mostly from the Internet," but added that he also takes in the Wall Street Journal and local Wisconsin papers. Saul Anuzis said that he was a fan of the Drudge Report, Hotline, and Politico. Sitting RNC chair Michael Steele said that, like people of yore, he still started each day with a paper copy of the Washington but that, he said with a laugh, he shortly after went online "to get the real news." Maria Cino cited her prime news sources as the Wall Street Journal and National Review.

Those generally webby responses might have been influenced a bit by the setting -- the RNC debate was co-sponsored by the Daily Caller, an online publication that didn't even exist the last time the GOP gathered to pick a chair, which was just two years ago. Americans for Tax Reform was the event's other host. But that range of answers also reveals something: that "from the Internet" isn't the distinction it once was. What does "from the Internet" when sitting under that umbrella is everything from the Drudge Report to the Wall Street Journal? -- the latter for paid subscribers, at least.

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