Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When A Scandal Becomes a 'Gate, Bloggers Shine

The last month has seen two remarkable events come to a head - PlameGate and AttorneyGate, and in both instances bloggers have been first out of the gate, easily outdistancing corporate media rivals for breadth of coverage and, quite often, for depth of analysis too.

For the Libby trial that brought PlameGate to a head, it was Firedoglake. It was obvious from the very first that they were the go-to on the subject. I personally could never match their involvement and more importantly their insight and so I took the decision that I would rather lose out on possible readership than be just another blogger following and quoting their excellent coverage.

Now, the story de jour is the developing scandal around the politically-motivated firings of US Attorneys who otherwise seem to have been getting good job reviews about their performance. It's already taken one Bush administration scalp and may yet take more. (Which means it's a very big deal no matter what the folks at The Volokh Conspiracy may offer as an excuse to be taken on board with a sigh of relief by the rest of the right side of Blogtopia.)

The go-to blogs for this story are without a doubt Talking Points Memo and it's cohort TPM Muckraker, the first for breadth and the second for depth. Again, Josh's crew are leaving the mainstream in their dust. It's a lesson that should be well learned by the likes of the WaPo and NYTimes....each should consider putting a blogging team in place that will act as an aggregator of news (a la TPM's mainpage) as well as a fast analysis outfit for fast-moving stories. And both should learn to link! (The UK's Guardian newspper is perhaps the most advanced down the track of having this kind of set-up).

Be that as it may, I've no intention of trying to compete with the TPM mastery of this story - I'm just an ex-pat Brit so I often miss nuance that a life-long resident in the US would catch. TPM are hot so go read them.

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