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September 10, 2004

The Real Story in "Forgerygate" "Memogate"

Is not, as a commenter over at INDC Journal said, "Counting Bloup" (blog coup).

The real story isn't the apparent forgeries themselves.

The real story isn't whether Kerry was involved (himself, not, his campaign, mebbe), whether it's a Bush plant (not), a personal vendetta against CBS (mebbe), or a Clinton tactic to set up 2008 (not), or just really rank partisan politics (yeppers!).

It's about the Mainstream Media losing control of the news. And while there are downsides to that (rampant moonbattery) the pluses far far outweigh the minuses.

The work of Powerline, Litttle Green Footballs, and INDC Journal mark a tipping point. As the gents at Powerline said:

Tomorrow morning, dinosaur media across the country will be headlining the 60 Minutes "scoop" as a blow to the Bush campaign. Before their newspapers are even printed, not only is the story obsolete, but CBS is in full retreat. As Stephen Hayes reported earlier today, Power Line "led the charge" against the 60 Minutes hoax today. But the credit really goes to the incredible power of the internet. We knew nothing; all of our information came from our readers. Many thousands of smart, well-informed people who only a few years ago would have had no recourse but perhaps to write a letter to their local newspaper, now can communicate and share their expertise in real time, through sites like this one. The power of the medium is incredible, as we've seen over the last fourteen hours.

THAT'S THE REAL STORY. The rest is just interesting stuff. The mainstream media coming to grips with the fact that the great unwashed are not the ignorant rubes they subconciously think us to be. And that scares the hell out of them.

There's lots of experimentation to go on - and I'm proud to be a little part of it. Taking no credit for this story - just in being a blogger, and part of the bigger bit that led us to this place.

No wonder the UN wants to take control of the Internet.

Comments on The Real Story in "Forgerygate" "Memogate"
LarryConley briefed on September 11, 2004 02:19 AM

No wonder the UN wants to take control of the Internet.

Hell yes they do.... the truth is what they say it is and news is what their wire services says is.

They'll get us.. and our little blogs too!!!

Pity they are all wet...

Colin from Bklyn briefed on September 12, 2004 01:18 PM

I agree with your framing of the story, but not so much with your assessment of the "downside." CBS has a research department and teams of lawyers vetting everything that comes in like a parka-wearing man getting on a Jerusalem bus in the summer time. One of the main bloggers in this whole thing, at, is a fellow at a neocon think tank. He gets paid, in other words, to support the agenda. And CBS has the credibility gap? The reason serious newsgathering takes time is because big teams of highly skilled and experienced professionals with ethics as a part of their professional training eat lunch at their desks so as not to get it wrong. They do mess up, true. And then they admit it and do a post-mortem to see why. Unlike some government agencies one could name. So my benefit of the doubt goes to the organization with the stated and proven (over 35 years of 60 Minutes) commitment to the facts, not to the one getting the paycheck from the movement.

John briefed on September 12, 2004 02:26 PM

Colin, while I see your point, I still don't go with it.

I've worked for government agencies that suffer from groupthink.

This has all the classic marks of groupthink.

And they got fact-checked pretty quickly - that's the story. How they deal with it is the back-story. And it went beyond Powerline, too. As I said in the post, rampant moonbattery is the downside. The upside is, absent the Internet, the issue never would have come up - and if it did, would have been the subject of an apology a year later, as in the case when the bigs smeared the Customs Inspector.

Like I said, there are miles to go to mature the process, and there will always be moonbats, right and left. But now we have something else we can go to, and not always rely on the internal workings of a group of people who have a reason to cover it up.

Just like no one trusts the Pentagon to be honest about itself, why should we accord that courtesy to the gatekeepers?

Ipso Custodiet Ispsos Custodes?