Dan Gainor

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a blogger.

Millions of bloggers, actually. And they are taking back freedom of the press from journalists unwilling and unable to use it in a fair and responsible manner.

A few weeks ago, we saw Helen Thomas confess her nutty anti-Semitism because a blogger caught her in an unusually candid moment. We found out what many have long suspected: that she’s a disgusting bigot.

Then there was the Gen. McChrystal controversy as our top general in Afghanistan reportedly criticized the Obama administration to a Rolling Stone reporter. Blogger critics argued “The Runaway General” showed the journalistic beat system prevents warts-and-all portrayals such as this one. Reporters are often too cozy with sources to make them look bad. Adding to that ethical issue, The Washington Post followed with a story saying the reporter in this case might have violated rules about what would be off the record. Rolling Stone denied it of course.

But nothing got more press than the seemingly simple resignation of self-immolating

Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel. Weigel was hired by the Post three months ago and continued his previous anti-conservative efforts with an attack on those “anti-gay marriage bigots” and making a joke about Matt Drudge “diddling” an 8-year-old boy. He was forced to apologize but remarkably kept his job.

Remember, this is the Post that ruined Sen. George Allen’s career because he said “macaca,” the most obscure offensive comment in modern politics. “Macaca,” which about 12 people knew to be a racial slur, has been used in the Post 187 times since Allen first uttered the term in August 2006. More than 110 of those were prior to the election that Allen then lost.

But Weigel survived his “macaca moment” with nary a scratch. Every day afterward he would highlight the worst of the conservative movement in a great example of skewed reporting while the Post’s other bloggers literally celebrated the liberal world view. It was doomed to fail – more so since Weigel comments on Twitter often mocked the very movement he was covering.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.