Weblogger, Love Thyself

The New York Times asked several webloggers today to identify the most important moment in the 2004 presidential campaign. I love the answer given by attorneys John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, publishers of Power Line:

The most important event of the campaign was the exposure of documents cited by 60 Minutes in its report on President Bush's Air National Guard service as fraudulent. We participated in this exposure by asking our readers for information relevant to the documents' authenticity, and then by organizing and disseminating the information we received on topics like the typewriters of the early 1970's and arcane points of military protocol in the same era.

We posted our observations about the 60 Minutes documents on the morning of Sept. 9, the day after Dan Rather's report was broadcast. We updated the posting through the day as new information came in from readers. Within 12 hours, more than 500 other Web sites had linked to ours, millions of people were aware of the serious questions that had been raised about CBS's documents, and CBS News executives were on the defensive.

When it became clear within a few days that the documents were indeed fake, it was widely recognized that journalism had changed forever. Never again will the mainstream news media be able to dictate the flow of information to the American people.

Given three paragraphs of prime real estate in the Times op-ed section, these guys made them count, taking credit for revolutionizing politics, journalism, and typewriters of the 1970s.

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