Ed Driscoll

Sure--Just Before He Opened a Cafe In Casablanca

Hugh Hewitt spoke with Kevin Whitelaw of US News & World Report on the phone:

Hugh: “Did John Kerry tell you that he ran guns into Cambodia?”

Kevin Whitelaw: “That’s exactly what he told me.”

Mr. Whitelaw declined my invitation to appear on my radio program, explaining that he doesn’t report on or comment on the presidential campaign.

Can we now agree that John Kerry has engaged in wild claims about his service? Since he told that tale to Mr. Whitelaw, who else has he told it to?

As Hewitt himself wrote, what’s really interesting about these stories is how the press is opining on them–without reporting on them–but asuming (correctly in many cases) that their readers are already familiar with them. As Hugh also wrote:

How odd for papers to carry opinion pieces relating to controversies that their readers have never read about in those papers, but which the opinion pieces presume they have heard or read about elsewhere.

In fact, the secondary nature of the old media is becoming quite obvious. Reporters, pundits, talking heads etc all know about the magic hat and the now discredited claims of Christmas Eve in Cambodia. . . . Other shoes will drop soon, and the papers are fighting the battle of two weeks ago. Very weird, but very revealing of why the papers are dying and why some of them, like the Los Angeles Times, cannot add market share even with a monopoly position in their markets –they have nothing to sell to anyone not part of their ideological world.

The speed of the Internet makes what James Lileks recently dubbed “the dino media” that much slower to react–especially when it’s news that they don’t want to bother with in the first place. As Lileks wrote:

There are two tales here: the story, and how the story will be played in the dino media. I have nothing to add to the first and it