Today is September 9, the first anniversary of “Rathergate.” It was at 7:51 on the morning of Sept. 9, 2004, that Scott hit the “save” button on the original version of “The Sixty-First Minute,” that discussed the 60 Minutes program on President Bush’s National Guard service that had aired the previous evening, along with the DNC’s advertising campaign on the same subject that was beginning on the morning of Sept. 9. At the end of his post–now the most famous post in the young history of the blogosphere–Scott included a quote and a link to a Free Republic post by Buckhead which questioned the documents’ authenticity.
Our readers quickly began to weigh in, and over the course of the day we updated “The Sixty-First Minute” fifteen or twenty times, then began a series of separate posts on the same subject. Many other bloggers, of course, were on the same trail; Charles Johnson and Bill at INDC were just two of the many who contributed in one way or another. Demonstrating the power of the medium, within twelve hours after Scott did his original post, Drudge reported that CBS News executives were meeting to discuss the crisis.
Have things changed in the ensuing year? Well, sure. I think the MSM are more careful about documents now, and perhaps about other claims that can readily be fact-checked. My own impression, though, is that, far from having ameliorated since last year, the liberal bias of the MSM has, if anything, worsened. I think the fact that alternative media now exist has prompted some reporters and editors to abandon even the pretense of objectivity.
Still, the world hasn’t been quite the same since “The Sixty-First Minute” and the many efforts by other bloggers–and above all, as we always emphasize, their readers–on that fateful day exactly one year ago, and it never will be.
Buckhead, wherever you are tonight, be sure to hoist a cold one.
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