News from 2004 reaches Tim Rutten!
Old Media Dethroned
Edwards’ admission signals the end of the era in which traditional media set the limits of acceptable political journalism.
When John Edwards admitted Friday that he lied about his affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, a former employee of his campaign, he may have ended his public life but he certainly ratified an end to the era in which traditional media set the agenda for national political journalism.
From the start, the Edwards scandal has belonged entirely to the alternative and new media. The tabloid National Enquirer has done all the significant reporting on it — reporting that turns out to be largely correct — and bloggers and online commentators have refused to let the story sputter into oblivion.
The whole story of the 2004 election was that the gatekeepers were dethroned–the Swift Vets made their case against John Kerry by doing an end-around old media by running their commercials on the Internet, and Dan Rather’s case against George W. Bush was demolished in a tidal wave of distributed information sharing, first via Free Republic, which was joined shortly thereafter in the Blogosphere. Both stories demonstrated precisely how Old Media’s role as a gatekeeper was dethroned:
Earlier today, Glenn Reynolds reminded us–well, the left, to be precise–of Eason Jordan’s admission that he was willing to allow CNN to lie for Saddam Hussein, in order to able to put “LIVE FROM BAGHDAD” on the CNN Chyron. Jordan finally came clean on this propaganda coup for Baathist Iraq in mid-2003 after Saddam fled US soldiers in an op-ed titled, “The News We Kept To Our Selves.” Evidently, the L.A. Times thought they kept the news of 2004 to themselves as well.