Gone in 60 Seconds
How my blog started the avalanche that buried presidential aide Tim Goeglein.
I spent much of the weekend thinking about all this. My ex-colleague Leo Morris, who edits the op-ed pages Tim used as his canvas for all those years, did as well and wrote on his blog: "This wasn't mere hardware-pushed speed—a breaking news story for which people all around the world could see a grainy cell-phone photo five minutes after it happened. This was the online dynamic—people talking about the story and adding to it as it got bigger and more complex throughout the day."
The story was new media, but, ironically, at its core was a very old-media concern—getting the little things right. Friday night, I got an e-mail from a fan of that notable Dartmouth professor of philosophy whose name started this whole thing. And guess what? Jeffrey Hart misspelled his name. It's Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, not Eugene, not Hussey. When I entered the misspelled name into Google, it only turned up a couple pages of hits, and Hart's essay was on the first page, so I spotted it right away. But if Hart had spelled the name correctly and Goeglein had pasted it as such in his own column, Hart's decade-old Dartmouth Review essay, which mentioned the professor only in passing, would probably have been far back in the queue in the 20,000 Google hits his real name gets. And I probably would not have seen it—after all, I was just trying to find out how "notable" he was.
Nancy Nall Derringer is a freelance writer and editor based in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. She blogs most days at nancynall.com.