DATE: 2/08/2005 11:28:00 AM
The End of Triumphalism? - Powerline's Deacon argues that the Eason Jordan story could humble the triumphalism of the blogosphere that began with Trent Lott and most recently helped bring an early end to Dan Rather's career. He raises a good point - the MSM could shut the story down completely and Eason Jordan may keep his job.
Such a consideration forces us to examine the definition of success in pursuing this story. One measure of success, of course, would be the future employment of Eason Jordan. If Jordan loses his job at CNN over this flap, then the blogs can count it as a major victory. But what if the stonewall is successful and Jordan keeps his job?
I would argue what has been accomplished so far is still success. This is more than simply blog triumphalism. What Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, Captain's Quarters, LaShawn Barber and others have done is what journalists are supposed to do - simply tell a story and expose the deeds of others to sunlight. Countless people read these blogs on a daily basis and are free to make their own judgments regarding Jordan and CNN - and I think many of them will 'vote with their feet' when it comes to the Cable News Network, the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media.
Again, the most important currency any news organization has is its credibility. CNN has proven it's willing to stonewall a story about one of its own, and the Washington Post has shown a similar willingness to take part in what amounts to a coverup. Both of these news organizations have lost credibility in the eyes of countless readers as a result of this story, and that's something they cannot easily regain. The damage has already been done. The question now is will those news organizations recognize and rectify it?