Thursday, March 12, 2009
You Know This Guy We Haven't Told You About? Well, He's Not Going to Be Important! During the Trent Lott scandal, if I remember right, there was speculation that the blogosphere would really have arrived when a high public official suddenly resigned over an Web-borne scandal without the scandal being mentioned in the respectable mainstream press --so if you had only read the New York Times or Washington Post you'd have no idea why this person quit or what the scandal was until he or she was gone. Poof! Killed by ninja blogs.** Well (without regard to the merits of the dispute), the Charles Freeman withdrawal is close to that case, no? WaPo apparently printed its first news story on the controversy the day it ended--i.e. when Freeman withdrew. Ditto the New York Times . ... What does this event signify? Not to be too portentous, but it signifies you can no longer be a well-informed citizen if you just read the Times and Post print editions. You have to go online. Sorry, Mom! ... [via Corner and Maguire ]
**--The Lott affair was largely blog-driven, but it wasn't a blog-only or non-MSM scandal. It was launched by ABC's The Note , and received a crucial assist from Thomas Edsall in WaPo . ..
P.S.: On the merits, Charles Lane took up Freeman's challenge to read his speeches in their entirety:
Freeman’s strong suit is supposed to be original, contrarian thinking on foreign affairs. Actually, it’s more like a competing brand of conventional wisdom.