Bloggers Often Ahead of Mainstream Reporters

Matt Lewis
|
Posted: Dec 06, 2007 9:40 AM

Bob Novak begins his column today with this:

Two weeks ago it was settled policy within Mitt Romney's campaign that his speech dealing with his Mormon faith would be delivered much later -- if at all -- and only after primary election victories.  Romney suddenly overruled his advisers to undertake that risky venture today [Thursday] in College Station, Texas, for one reason: Mike Huckabee's ascent in Iowa.

... Wrong.  Way back on October 16, I wrote:

Columnist Bob Novak recently reported that a speech would likely happen after Iowa -- but before the New Hampshire primary.  According to my sources, Novak is probably right about the speech, but probably wrong about the timing ...
"It's likely to happen sooner rather than later," one senior Republican aide allied with Romney confides in me. 
The reason?  There will most likely be only a short period of time -- possibly only a few days -- between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary.  That would leave little time to get a message out, and zero time to do crisis control if a message delivery were botched.

As you can see, it was far from "settled policy" that the speech would occur later ("after primary election victories").  In addition, while I have no doubt that the advisor Novak spoke to told him this, the senior Romney advisor I spoke to was actually urging Romney to give the speech weeks ago -- before Huckabee over-took him in the polls.

My main point here is that it truly fascinates me that an obscure blogger (yours truly) had more accurate information regarding this major campaign speech, than did The Prince of Darkness, whom I really do revere and admire.

This, of course, demonstrates the fact that the establishment media is often wrong, while blogosphere is often more correct.  Yet the MSM story is treated as more reliable and credible.

Of course, having been a top-notch journalist for forty years, Bob Novak has certainly earned his credibility.  Still, I can't help but see this as an example of how the establishment media -- though slow and often inaccurate -- continues to be better respected than the red-haired step-child known as the blogosphere...

Two recent events, involving new media outlets, really drove this home to me ... 

First, the CNN/YouTube debate used bloggers for publicity, but when it came to who they trusted to analyse the debates, they turned to the same old establishment types

More recently, MySpace/MTV invited bloggers to cover a John McCain event they were hosting.  While they invited bloggers to attend, the moderator was Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.  (In fairness, Cillizza does have a blog, the FIx, at the WaPost).  But why couldn't one of the conservative bloggers they invited also be asked to help moderate?

If anyone were to take bloggers seriously, you would think it would be YouTube or MySpace. 

It's time for so-called mainstream outlets to start taking bloggers as professionals and equals, rather than merely using us as props to generate PR for them ...