The Rathergate legacy
The celebration of the Rathergate anniversary has been building for weeks. Rathergate has affected many aspects of the media and how we gather and share information. I found it impossible to summarize the impact in one (or even many) posts. So I took three months:
On June 11, 2005 (89 days out), I described the 90 day Rathergate countdown and its significance:
I consider the anniversary to be such a momentous event that it merits a long runup - especially since it will be ignored by the MSM/DNC. Rathergate was the watershed event that brought not only the blogosphere, but the entire new media into the public spotlight. The new media had been growing since 1988, when Rush Limbaugh put conservative talk radio on the map. Matt Drudge's Lewinsky story made the internet an integral part of the new media revolution in 1998. But these events were only cracks in the dam. With Rathergate, the dam burst and a river of new information and opposing viewpoints poured forth. Ever since, we have been awash in information, the likes of which had previously been confined to the MSM/DNC's memory hole.
Rathergate (and the long term significance of Rathergate) deserve numerous posts. Over the next three months I hope to focus on Rathergate and the new media in an effort to foster greater appreciation of how far we have come and where we are going next. I hope also to generate sufficient buzz to insure that this event will not be ignored or lost in a sea of the MSM/DNC's usual white noise.
At 88 days, I predicted the downfall of weekly MSM/DNC periodicals.
At 87 days, we celebrated Michelle Malkin's one year blogiversary.
At 82 days, I included a quote from Joe Sobran from March 4, 1997, in which he predicted the general trend that we now celebrate:
We're now moving into an era of media fragmentation, for which we should be deeply grateful. It means the end of the liberal opinion cartel.
At 81 days, we celebrated Black Five's two year blogiversary.
At 79 days, we observed a new "fake, but accurate" story.
At 78 days, I observed (several days late) blogfather's day.
At 75 days, I observed that the MSM/DNC Gitmo spin was falling on deaf ears.
At 67 days, I observed that the MSM/DNC was fighting back against the blogosphere to greater extent and in different ways than it did during Rathergate.
At 66 days (July 4th), I celebrated Rush Limbaugh's broadcast anniversary.
At 61 days, I discussed the blogosphere's role in the coming Supreme Court battle.
At 60 days, I included a quote from a Hugh Hewitt reader:
Because of blogs I know that I am not the only person who has a problem with the bias in the MSM.
At 59 days, I observed milestones for Belmont Club and IMAO.
At 54 days, I observed Blonde Sagacity's one year blogiversary.
At 53 days, I included a quotation from Hugh Hewitt's book, "Blog":
"Newspapers and TV talking heads are falling behind their audiences because they refuse to read the map that is in front of their noses. They want to regain their monopoly on commentary, and seem to believe that by ignoring the repeated tidal waves that hit them, they can will themselves back to relevance."
At 52 days, I related Thomas Sowell's first hand experience with MSM/DNC lies during the pre-Rathergate era - when he had little choice but to live with the slander.
At 51 days, I included a May 11, 1998 quote from Thomas Sowell that showed that he "got it" at a time when few others did.
At 50 days, I observed the death of General Westmoreland and compared CBS' slander of Westmoreland with the ability of today's blogosphere to fight back. [I am glad that General Westmoreland lived long enough to see Rathergate.]
At 47 days, I observed one more indication of the blogosphere's growing power, as bloggers forced the termination of a terrorist sympather from the staff of the Guardian.
With 45 days to go, I noted a blogging scandal at the Miami New Times and noted that MSM/DNC ethics don't improve merely because the MSM/DNC is using the blogosphere.
With 42 days to go, I celebrated Newsweek's declining advertising numbers.
At T minus 39 days, I noted a New York Times article that chronicled the damage suffered by MSM/DNC, but still missed the point.
At 37 days, I noted David Sifry's "state of the blogosphere" post.
At 36 days, I noted Scrappleface's use of a Dan Rather joke as a launching point into an Air America parody.
At 35 days, I noted a 1754 Blog milestone.
With 33 days to go, I noted the end of Arthur Chrenkoff's blog.
At 32 days, I noted a seemingly pointless attack on blogs in the Des Moines Register.
At 28 days, I celebrated instant justice for an anti-Michelle Malkin spammer.
With 27 days to go, I learned of the "Stalin radio" and its similarity to the MSM/DNC.
At 26 days, I wrote of an example from Thomas Sowell's book demonstrating how the new media would have accelerated his research in the 1990's.
At 25 days, I noted the role of the Swift Boat Vets in forcing CBS into the Rathergate blunder.
At 24 days, I observed David Brancaccio's counterattack against the blogosphere.
At 23 days, I noted positive trends in new media/old media readership.
With 22 days to go, I announced a milestone on my own blog and discussed Rathergate's impact on the creation of The Cassandra Page.
At 21 days - more bad news for the MSM/DNC.
At 20 days, I found a video that described the roots of the internet revolution.
With 18 days left, I quoted Thomas Sowell and Robert Bork on the difference the new media makes in the Supreme Court battle.
At 12 days, I quoted Ann Coulter and Judge Posner on the issue of what effect the alternative media has had on the MSM/DNC.
At 10 days, I provided a chronology of the new media revolution.
At 9 days, I discussed the role of the 2004 GOP convention in the events that led to Rathergate.
At 5 days, I noted the anniversary of the final domino in the Rathergate countdown.
Yesterday, I noted the calm before the storm.
Today, I marked the anniversary by referencing Hugh Hewitt's analysis and the Buckhead post that was our generation's "shot heard 'round the world."
Most of the above referenced posts describe some event that reveals the power of the blogosphere and the new media. Most of those posts show how Rathergate impacts our lives and our ability to obtain information.
Rathergate was more than a 12 day scandal that forced Dan Rather off of the air.
Rathergate was about more than George Bush or John Kerry or media bias or MSM/DNC monopoly or one Presidential campaign. Rathergate was all of those things and much more.
Rathergate is about every milestone that every blogger celebrates, every story that the blogosphere breaks, every fact that the MSM/DNC can no longer surpress and every failure that afflicts the MSM/DNC until the end of its days. The legacy of Rathergate will survive long after Dan Rather is gone.