First, Dan Rather was exposed as a liar and a fraud by the men at Powerline and Little Green Footballs. Now, CNN’s chief news executive, Eason Jordan, has been forced to resign over his infamous comments that American troops have intentionally targeted journalists in Iraq for murder.
Of course, Jordan’s accusation made no sense at all. Because if American troops were going to target journalists, those topping the list would almost surely be the left-liberal elites working in New York City and Washington, D.C. The legacy media has hated the American soldier since Vietnam – I may be an opponent of George Delano’s nation-building exercises myself, but even I can see that the glee with which military casualties are reported in papers like the New York Times and by the ABCNNBCBS cabal don’t stem from mere partisan opposition, but sheer anti-American vitriol.
This can hardly come as a surprise. The Left has never had any regard for the individual, no respect for his rights or his life. The supremacy of the collective is the heart of their creed, so what are the lives of a thousand soldiers, of their 10,000 grief-stricken friends and families, except cannon fodder in the Left’s long march toward lethal socialist utopia?
The difference between the legacy reporting on military casualties – where it’s little more than a numbers game – and the milblogs is significant. Whereas the legacy stories almost always attempt to spin the families’ grief into a political weapon, those recounted at sites like Blackfive’s focus on the individual himself, his life and what he meant to those who loved him. And the loss of these fine young men is all the more heart-breaking when you see the pictures of them with their little boys and girls.
Unlike the legacy media, the milblogs also regularly devote time and space to the casualties who are not fatalities, chronicling the painful recoveries of those who have survived but suffer from what are all-too-often permanent injuries. They don’t just wallow in the pathos either, but they encourage their readers to act and ensure that these wounded warriors are not forgotten in their convalescence.
To be sure, one need only visit a milblog to see that much of their material is derived from the small local papers that still take note of the soldiers in their midst. But those humble purveyors of community news are not the journalistic elite that considers itself more loyal to the United Nations than to America and regard America’s defenders as the enemy.
So, two down, only a few hundred more to go. Not bad work for a mere six months. I imagine that Sun Tzu or Clausewitz would probably recommend focusing on the center of gravity and launching surgical strikes on the Columbia School of Journalism and its sister schools, but that may prove to be unnecessary as time and technology appear to be on our side.
The blogosphere is still unlikely to completely replace the legacy media as a primary producer of news, although a grass-roots replacement of the AP is neither unthinkable nor technologically impossible. After all, television did not eliminate radio, nor did radio eliminate print. But the blogs do appear to be supplanting the op-ed pages and cable TV commentariat as opinion leaders.
When five blogs – Blackfive, Blue State Conservatives, The Adventures of Chester, Bill Roggio and The Gogblog – can force papers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal to cover a story they had hitherto been ignoring, it is clear that the torch of opinion leadership is passing.
The failure of the legacy media to hide the story of the swiftboat veterans could have been dismissed as an anomaly had it been a unique event, but the subsequent exposures of Eason Jordan and Dan Rather indicates a trend. An extremely healthy trend, I might add.
A few weeks ago, I was informed by Universal Press Syndicate that since they had been unable to sell my column to a single newspaper over the course of a year, they were dropping it from syndication. I was not the least bit upset by this, nor did they expect me to be, for we are both aware that the time of the legacy gatekeepers is coming to a close.
This is only the first chapter and these are only the first of many legacy scalps that will be claimed. Already Creative Labs, the computer hardware giant and maker of Web cams, is beginning to eye the blog phenomenon with interest … and it will not be long before the video blogs begin their assault on the cable news channels.
The barbarians are within the gates … let the pillaging begin!