Roger L. Simon

A New Business War?

In a generally favorable explication de texte of today’s Washington Post Rathergate coverage, Power Line’s Hindrocket writes:

My only quarrel with the Post’s recap is that it downplays the importance of the internet to the story, focusing on the belated response of the mainstream media. For example, the Post writes that “major news organizations” began questioning the story on Friday, September 10. In recounting the events that occurred between Friday and Monday, the Post says:

A new problem surfaced when reporters found that the man cited in a 1973 memo as pushing to “sugarcoat” Bush’s record, Col. Walter B. “Buck” Staudt, had been honorably discharged a year and a half earlier.

In fact, we {Power Line] reported this critical fact by the middle of the day on Thursday, based on a tip from a reader, and millions of people knew about the Staudt retirement issue before the mainstream press finally tumbled to it. “Reporters” didn’t “find” this issue, they read it on Power Line and other blogs.

On first glance, the explanations for this diminution of the role of blogs would seem to be in the areas of ideology and/or ego. But soon enough, if not already, the major reason will be economic. All forms of media – blogs, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, etc. – are in competition with each other for eyes and ears. Small as it is, the one that is undoubtedly growing fastest is blogs. Blogads are increasing and within a short time we can expect other forms of advertising and sponsorship, perhaps larger ones. It would be naive to expect the newspapers to be friendly.

UPDATE: Apropos of the above, a Rasmussen Poll made last July indicated a high level of distrust then of the mainstream media. Only 46% found the New York Times “Very Reliable” or “Somewhat Reliable”, with the vast majority of those in the “Somewhat” category.That was bad enough. I wonder what a poll would look like now. [I also wonder how many would find this blog “reliable.”-ed. Who asked you?]

(hat tip: Catherine Johnson)

ANOTHER Rasmussen press bias poll here – this one out today about the networks. All are considered biased. Guess which one is in the lead. (No prize, sorry, it’s too easy.)