As Powerline notes, the MSM (mainstream media) got to write the first, relentlessly anti-Bush, draft of history in the Hurricane Katrina story.
The conservative bloggers and others who clearly saw that Ragin’ Nagin and Governor Blanco had performed abysmally and bore the brunt of responsibility for the initial failure to evacuate the poorest citizens were ineffective.
“So what happened?” asks columnist Jim Pinkerton. “To put it plainly, the substantial pro-Bush contingent of the New Media — that is, cable news, talk radio, and the Net — was overwhelmed. Yes, the blogosphere could take down Dan Rather, but that was a dry and slow process of threshing out real and counterfeit typewriter fonts, military phraseology, and antique zip codes.
“By contrast, Katrina is wetly overwhelming; even Fox News is in high dudgeon. While a few bloggers are hacking away at the accreting conventional wisdom that Everything is Bush’s Fault, that battle is being lost even before Bush’s big ‘I take responsibility’ concession on Tuesday.
“In other words, the MSM got there firstest with the mostest. NBC News’ Brian Williams arrived in New Orleans early and stayed. And while he displayed the familiar liberal myopia about underclass misbehavior, declaring that the looters looted because they had ‘nothing’ — even as the cameras followed them as they ripped off TV sets and other non-comestibles — Williams nonetheless emerged as a star. In the words of Variety’s Michael Learmonth, “Williams solidified his claim as the only certain heir to the Brokaw-Rather-Jennings mantle.” That mantle is not as big as it once was, but the Big Three broadcasters still garner more than 25 million viewers a night.”
There are still big stories against which the blogosphere is helpless.
It is with those stories such as Katrina that require moving vast amounts of heavy equipment and staff into an inaccessible zone. There they can still set the agenda.
Unfortunately, Iraq is another one of these zones.