‘Death by a thousand comments…’
Friday, June 6th, 2003
How many remember that six months ago an editor at the NYTimes tried to convince blogger/columnist Mickey Kaus to write an article trashing “blogger triumphalism.” (I blogged Kaus saying this at the Yale blogger conference in November.)
So it is a not-so-poignant irony that today bloggers get some of the credit for bringing down NYTimes editor Howell Raines.
Of course, I could quote bleachers full of bloggers congratulating themselves for toppling the giant, but that wouldn’t be quite fair or objective… even for a blog. So instead, I’ll quote one of Raines’ print brethren, and let him pronounce an eulogy for the way news used to be manufactured.
“In the end, it was the new world of Web sites, blogs, online editions and e-mails ‘ not Raines ‘ that set the pace of his exit,” says the LATimes’ Tim Rutten.
Rutten’s commentary can really be read as an obituary for traditional media. “The new media’s vast echo chamber already has demonstrated something that cannot be ignored: Questions about the Times’ revival now will be posed and answered at speeds and in ways that defy the sober standards of conventional crisis management.”
Leak fed leak, e-mail chased e-mail, with bloggers posting it all. “And so it went, with each day’s instantly available disclosures triggering a fresh round of real-time commentaries, which in turn nudged those in possession of additional embarrassing information into virtually instantaneous rounds of fresh revelation. It was death by a thousand comments…”
How long before Raines gets a blog?