There’s no political analyst we admire more than Michael Barone, so it’s a thrill to see him mention Power Line in his superb retrospective on the most notable phenomenon of the past campaign: “A bad election for old media.” Barone writes:
At two crucial points in the campaign, Old Media used leaks from dubious sources to run stories intended to hurt the Bush campaign. The first was Dan Rather’s Sept. 8 “60 Minutes” story on Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record based on documents supplied by Texas Bush-hater Bill Burkett. CBS, admirably, posted the documents on its websites, and within 14 hours bloggers — led by frontpage.com [Ed.: I think he means Free Republic], powerlineblog.com and littlegreenfootballs.com — had demonstrated that these purported 1972 documents had been produced on Microsoft Word. CBS’s document experts, it turned out, had refused to authenticate them. Not until Sept. 20 did Rather acknowledge the documents were dubious. The story hurt Rather and CBS, not Bush.
The second was of course al Qaqaagate. And Barone rounds out the column with a consideration of the Swift Boat Vets. Barone concludes:
Memo to future Democratic nominees: You can no longer rely on Old Media to hush up stories that hurt your cause. Your friends in Old Media don’t have a monopoly any more.
The story told by Barone in this column is one that Glenn Reynolds presciently flagged early and flogged often at Instapundit throughout the campaign. He was a frequent source of inspiration for our own efforts.