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McCain Learning How to Use Internet, Gives Props to Bloggers

Also from yesterday’s New York Times interview, Sen. John McCain discussed his relationship with modern technology. Among the revelations: the senator does not use email, and he is learning to go online for himself — but his staff currently goes on for him. McCain also gave a shout out to the blogosphere, saying he understands its importance in U.S. politics. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

Do you use a blackberry or email?

No

He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.

I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do – could I just say, really – I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion.

Obviously, McCain is from a different generation, so perhaps that explains why he hasn’t yet mastered the Internet. However, he admittedly has little grasp of the most basic fundamentals — like getting himself online — that any person needs to actively engage in the modern wired world. He has already taken a position on net neutrality — an issue with serious ramifications for the flow of information on the Internet. He opposes regulation and has said, “When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.” It would be a bit more reassuring if there were some reason to believe he understands what he’s talking about — and is not just falling back on anti-regulatory dogma on the advice of the telecom companies that stand to benefit.

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