FORGED DOCUMENTS A FIASCO FOR OLD MEDIA.
One of the most explosive news stories has occurred over the last week concerning the fraudulent memos questioning the Air National Guard Service of the President, peddled by Dan Rather and CBS--who are falling completely on their swords to defend their memo's authenticity and their waning reputation as fair-minded journalists. Rather and CBS appear to be trying to rest upon their Old Media laurels. That won't be good enough anymore. The blogosphere--the New Media--is holding Old Media accountable now, and the Old Media had better get used to it. This is the way things will be from now on. Powerline
and Hugh Hewitt
have been leading the way on the CBS forged memo flap, and their posts over the last several days have marked a watershed moment for the blogosphere. The exposure of the memos as a fraud not only reveals an outrageous, baseless and reckless attack upon a President by a major Old Media network, but it also stands as clear indication that the the New Media has very much arrived.
John Fund's piece
in yesterday's OpinionJournal
sums things up quite well. Referring to former CBS VP Jonathan's Klein's disparagement of bloggers, Fund states: "He will regret that snide disparagement of the bloggers, many of whom are skilled lawyers or have backgrounds in military intelligence or typeface design." Quite so. But what else can Klein do? When the facts are NOT on his side, name-calling is about all that's left--particularly when the Old Media empire he helped to steer finds itself exposed and embarrassed by some guys writing from their living rooms in pajamas.
John Podhoretz is an excellent columnist, and his piece
in today's New York Post
is also an important read. Says Podhoretz:
Mainstream news organizations are still granting CBS the benefit of the doubt because CBS still maintains they're not forgeries. People are still writing stories and doing televised reports saying that there are experts on both sides arguing every which way about the legitimacy of the documents....The truth is, no there aren't.
With major media networks competing with one another, it is not likely that they will try to come to the aid of CBS, but on the other hand, Old Media has no incentive to giving credit where credit is due on this story--to the bloggers. And let us not forget the common culture shared of most of Old Media and the shared mindset that most of them have. Podhoretz has some insight here: "Wishful thinking is what explains why and how CBS fell for the forgeries in the first place."
Wishful thinking, indeed. Had the memos not been totally FORGED, this would have been a bombshell of a story for a major network. (Podhoretz, again: "What could be more alluring, more tempting than a bona fide
scoop that serves a desired political purpose?") But CBS let their earnest wishes cloud their journalistic integrity, and Hugh Hewitt
has even gone so far as to suggest some Congressional hearings:
The blogosphere can help Congress frame a witness list and question trees after the first hearing is scheduled, but like-minded bloggers are invited to join in this call for Congress to exercise its appropriate authority of oversight over the federal government's licensees. It will be interesting to see if much in the way of call volumne can be generated by the pajama-clad.
Sounds reasonable to me.
(Downtown Seattle, WA)