Friday, November 12, 2004

Comparison: Media Treat Blogs with Praise for 'Rathergate,' as Conspiracy Theorists for 'Votergate'

Blogs are taking a hit now for being the homebases of "conspiracy theorists" for questioning the election results.

Media Matters provided a brief analysis showing that "Beyond 'conspiracy theories,' election irregularities get scant media attention." It's remarkable that it wasn't long ago that blogs were praised for tearing down Dan Rather and 60 Minutes for their forged documents and putting a lid on the Bush's history in the National Guard.

Here, a quick search of Lexis-Nexis provides a comparison of blog treatment before and after 11/2.

Blog Treatment after the Dan Rather/60 Minutes National Guard story; before 11/2:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Blind Eye: Blunder Raises Questions about Future of "60 Minutes," Dan Rather and Journalism"
Rob Owen, September 22, 2004

"... the role of bloggers was crucial in this story..."

"Mainstream media has no idea what they're up against because there are tens of thousands of bloggers out there. It was fashionable [for members of the mainstream media] to sneer at these folks until they got their brains beat in. ... It's like a gale-force wind, as evidenced by the fact that CBS said they spent five or six months working on this story, and it took bloggers about 12 hours to prove it false [quoting Mark Krempasky of (]."

Seattle Times
"Web logs catch fire as kindling for change: The growing 'blogosphere' of online journals is gaining clout in places as varied as Congress and the local ballpark."
Kristi Heim, September 22, 2004

"Bloggers, those crusading individuals ranting away on their keyboards to anyone with a live modem, have already influenced national political debates, including the firestorm over Dan Rather's reporting."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Internet has Become More of a Force in the Political System"
November 4, 2004

"One valuable service the bloggers performed this year was to become media watchdogs, however uncomfortable that is for those of us in traditional journalism.

"Dan Rather and his colleagues at CBS News, who broadcast a story about Bush based in part on questionable documents, discovered that bloggers could be adept fact-checkers, or at least questioners. I'll bet no one at CBS will denigrate bloggers as those people 'in pajamas,' as one former CBS executive did in an interview."

The Independent
"The US Election: How the Bloggers have Driven the News Agenda; Traditional Media have been Left Trailing by the Internet"
David Usborne, October 31, 2004

"Dan Rather of CBS purporting to have a memo showing that George Bush ducked his National Guard duties. Mr Rather was tripped up when word surfaced that the memo may in fact have been forged - in the blogs.

"'Bloggers, in some instances, are pushing the envelope in defining the political agenda and news coverage,' remarked Pete Blackshaw of the press monitoring service Intelliseek.

"It is a new world that can be uncomfortable for reporters. Blogs have been ruthless in monitoring their reports for any hint of political bias and then skewering them."

New York Times
"Web Offers Hefty Voice to Critics of Mainstream Journalists"
Jim Rutenberg, October 28, 2004

"When ''60 Minutes'' reported on documents purporting to show Mr. Bush received preferential treatment in the Air National Guard, questions about the documents' authenticity originated and caught fire on the FreeRepublic and PowerLine blog Web sites; mainstream outlets followed. CBS News admitted two weeks later that it could not authenticate the documents."

Washington Post
"After Blogs Got Hits, CBS Got a Black Eye"
Howard Kurtz, September 20, 2004

"Several major newspapers quickly began questioning the Guard documents, but they lagged behind the online critiques."

San Antonio Express-News
"There's no denying impact of bloggers : Their challenge to CBS News makes it increasingly difficult to dismiss them as simply amateurs in pajamas."
Editorial, September 16, 2004

"The verdict on the accuracy of the "60 Minutes II" report may not be conclusive. The growing impact of blogs, however, is undeniable."

Los Angeles Times
Peter Wallsten, September 12, 2004
"No Disputing It: Blogs Are Major Players: Netizen's late-night post questioning CBS claims about Bush's service spreads at warp speed."

Compare to treatment of blogs after 11/2:

New York Times
Tom Zeller Jr., November 12, 2004
"Vote Fraud Theories, Spread By Blogs, Are Quickly Buried." 

Washington Post
"Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether"
Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating, November 11, 2004

"Even as Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign is steadfastly refusing to challenge the results of the presidential election, the bloggers and the mortally wounded party loyalists and the spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists are filling the Internet with head-turning allegations."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Election conspiracy theories persist"
Julia Malone, November 10, 2004

"None of the conspiracy theorists has provided proof of widespread errors that might have changed the outcome of the election, which official tallies say Bush won with a 3.5 million popular vote margin and 286 electoral votes, 16 more than needed. Independent groups that monitored the voting found problems scattered around the country, but nothing decisive, and election officials have generally dismissed the Internet chatter. . . .

"Election Day shortcomings have provided plenty of fodder for "bloggers," Internet users who run opinion and discussion Web site."

The Baltimore Sun
"Election Paranoia Surfaces: Conspiracy Theorists Call Results Rigged."
Dan Thanh Dang, November 5, 2004

"John F. Kerry barely had time to concede the presidential race before the conspiracy theory began circulating.

"Democratic Underground, a Web site founded in January 2001 "to protest the illegitimate presidency of George W. Bush," immediately questioned how Bush ended up with "a mysterious 5 percent advantage," despite early exit polling that showed Kerry with the lead."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 15, 2010 at 8:11 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home