Via World O'Crap the Des Moines Register's Erin Crawford rassels the broad side of a barn.
Okay, first up. I'd never seen anything about the Gannon/Guckert/Gosch business, and with luck I won't see any more. But the corporate press lost its standing to criticize the unprofessionalism of web logs ("blogs") about twenty years before the first one appeared. And that's due in no small measure to this very process: the creepy voyeur of the voyeur quality of second-hand tabloid journalism, the tsk-tsk of the schoolmarm with the secretly moist panties:
The most fervent bloggers on the Web aren't as interested in linking Gannon to Gosch as they are in presenting their version of a massive conspiracy. The story that excites them is a sordid tale about the CIA operating a pedophilia ring on behalf of dignitaries and politicians and training male prostitutes to serve as spies.
I'm not gonna count, but how many front-page Michael Jackson stories do you suppose the Register has run?
And that's not even mentioning the obligatory slagging of the whole of web log journalism ("the blogosphere"):
...the anything-goes nature of the blogosphere and self-proclaimed reporters on the Internet, who seem to find accuracy and proof a nuisance in uncovering fantastical conspiracies.
Opposed, I guess, to the uncoverers of fantastical conspiracies who use email, or church socials, or the History Channel, who are so scrupulous about fact. Throughout the piece Ms Crawford makes some handy hops from specific instances of alleged tinfoil hattery to blanket statements about web logs ("blogs") and their denizens. They're "credulous" believers in a "dark fiction" who "revel in the notion of political hypocrisy". This last is telling--the supposed hypocrisy is in the Jeff Gannon story, not the CIA pedophilia ring angle, no? But then Gannon gets the full protection of the journalistic panoply of balance. His career as a male prostitute is covered by the rubric "linked to gay escort addresses". JimJeffJohnny wasn't exposed to the world by "bloggers", he was "uncovered". Scare quotes in original.
Perhaps Ms Crawford is on a mission to eradicate unsubstantiated rumor from our national discourse. She says:
...lack of proof wasn't enough to stop a vast network of gossip from enveloping the story.
If so, Godspeed, Ms Crawford, and best wishes for a good corn crop. If you don't mind getting a tip from a "blog" you might Google ("use a web search engine") up "Al Gore" and "invented the internet" sometime.