Blogging: It’s a new medium, but, for the Republican Party, it’s an old story.
From our April issue: Pseudo-journalistic Web sites are another way conservatives get around “the filter” of mainstream media. It’s a new medium, but, for the Republican Party, it’s an old story.
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Web Exclusive: 03.04.05
During one especially hectic week in mid-February, the Internet took three scalps in what appeared to be unrelated events. Liberal bloggers forced Talon News White House correspondent James D. Guckert, a k a “Jeff Gannon,” to resign after it was revealed that he was writing under a false name for a Republican activist group (GOPUSA), that he was not really a journalist at all, and that he had posed nude on the Internet in an effort to solicit sex for money. Conservative bloggers, meanwhile, created a firestorm after Eason Jordan, the chief news executive for CNN, made controversial remarks during an off-the-record panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, suggesting that the U.S. military had targeted journalists in war zones. Jordan was forced to resign. Finally, in Maryland, Joseph Steffen, a longtime aide to Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich, was fired after reporters exposed him as the author of e-mails and anonymous Web-site postings encouraging rumors about the marriage of Baltimore’s popular mayor, Martin O’Malley, a potential ’06 challenger to Ehrlich.
All unrelated stories, except for the Internet angle, right? Well, no. Scratch the surface and the same names turn up in each scandal, revealing the events of mid-February to have been part of an ongoing and coordinated proxy war by Republican political operatives on the so-called liberal media, conducted through the vast, unmonitored loophole of the Internet.....