When Dan Rather’s document hoax broke, as in the Trent Lott remarks, the event did stay in the blogosphere for a time, but it was only when the public and media at large grew aware that action was taken. With Easongate, only the faintest of ripples had hit the mainstream; a handful of stories, yes, but certainly no national awareness to speak of outside of the blogging and media communities. CNN still doesn’t have the story on their front page as I write this, nor does MSNBC. The New York Times does, in a sidebar; but what did you hear from the Times prior to today?
No, this one is different. This time it was the bloggers, and the bloggers alone, that pushed this man out. That will be heady stuff for some; it will scare the pants off of others…but what does it mean, really? Have we entered an era where our lives can be destroyed by a pack of wolves hacking at their keyboards with no oversight, no editors, and no accountability? Or does it mean that we’ve entered a brave new world where the MSM has become irrelevant?
I would argue that neither of those extremes is the case. What has been shown, though, is that the mass media, mainstream media, MSM, whatever you want to call it, is being held to account as never before by the strong force of individual citizens who won’t settle for sloppy research and inflammatory comments without foundation, particularly from those with a wide national reach, such as Rather and Eason. If you are going to slander our troops or our president, you better have the goods…and I don’t think that will just apply to liberal voices. Eason Jordan says he is quitting to avoid being ‘unfairly tarnished’ by the controversy, but it was precisely because he himself unfairly tarnished our fighting men and women, in a very public setting, that he no longer counts himself among the employed.
Read the whole thing.