Bloggers on the left and right increasingly drive media coverage by turning up the volume on questions until they are difficult to ignore. Sometimes they are right, as when they questioned what CBS's Dan Rather said were National Guard documents in a 2004 report on President Bush's military service that led to Rather's ouster as the network's anchor. And sometimes they are wrong. Last year, the New Republic retracted a soldier's dispatch on petty wartime cruelty in Iraq, and National Review Online acknowledged that two blog postings by a former Marine about military movements in Lebanon were misleading.So just what do these examples all have in common?
Major newspapers, magazines and networks no longer play their traditional gatekeeper role in the digital age, as was evident during the eight-month period when the National Enquirer was charging former senator John Edwards with fathering an out-of-wedlock baby. Most national news outlets did not report the allegations until last month, when Edwards acknowledged an affair with a former campaign aide but denied being her child's father.
Dan Rather's forgeries helped Democrat John Kerry. The New Republic's fantasy stories attacked Republican George Bush. The MSM keeping John Edwards' bastard child under wraps helped Democrat John Edwards.
Mr. Kurtz, you truly live in a bubble. You chose three of the most prominent stories of the MSM screwing things up in recent years and they all have the same theme - help the Democrats and hurt the Republicans. Your article goes to great lengths to claim that the McCain campaign is trying to score cheap political points by attacking the media, but your examples all support McCain's argument.
That's called an "own goal," Mr. Kurtz.