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Bloggers: The Light at the End of the Media Tunnel

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Arizona Republic editor Phil Boas has a great article for journalist trade publication The Masthead: Bloggers: The light at the end of the newspaper’s tunnel. (Hat tip: Power Line.)

The Power Line bloggers deserve and got much credit for becoming the information clearinghouse that ultimately exposed the fake memos behind the CBS story. But it was Charles Johnson on his blog Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com) who I believe ultimately sank the CBS anchor. Johnson wasted no time in the days after the “60 Minutes” broadcast producing an exact duplicate of the CBS memos using the default font on Microsoft Word.

He then aligned copies of the so-called CBS original and his duplicate on his website, blinking them on and off alternately so the eye could see that everything-the font, the kerning, the leading, the superscript “th”-almost perfectly matched. CBS would have us believe three decades separated those two samples-one produced on a ‘70s-era typewriter and the other on a modern word processor. As was obvious to the eye, the charade was over.

To the CBS brain trust, Johnson’s pulsing visual must have seemed the proverbial beating drum, drawing links from all corners of the Internet and demonstrating in utter simplicity that Dan Rather had been conned.

In those days when Rather was still stonewalling, you had to marvel at the confidence of the bloggers. They knew what Dan did not-that he and his network would ultimately blink.

Here’s what newspaper editors and writers should know about this new Internet phenomenon. Bloggers don’t have much respect for you. You are the “legacy media,” the MSM. You’re the Roman Catholic Church to their Martin Luther and his new high-speed cable modem.

To Hugh Hewitt (hughhewitt.com), the blogospheres leading cheerleader and one of its most polished practitioners, you are Stalingrad in 1944. Your institutions are hollowed out and your walls are scorched.

But of course, Stalingrad held, didn’t it? And that gets me to the second definition of bloggers.

They are your light in the tunnel.

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 Frank says:

The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions. -- Playboy Interview, April 1993