Monday, February 1, 2010


In this chapter, Dr. Levinson briefly noted an incident in 2004, when bloggers had an uproar over a CBS 60 minutes show that questioned if President Bush had completed his service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War (p. 48). Instead of showing the blogger's perspective on this incident, as I expected him to, he quoted the criticism that Jonathan Klein (former CBS executive) aimed at the bloggers.

It is really important I think at least, to demonstrate that this incident was a huge victory for those in the blogosphere. And actually, in one of my other classes, this incident became a major discussion to demonstrate that bloggers have the potential to have a major impact on news, print and broadcast. It is covered in detail in Fordham Professor Arthur S. Hayes' book, Press Critics Are The Fifth Estate: Media Watchdogs in America.

Hayes describes how the right-leaning bloggers responded to the broadcast furiously, and how they easily discovered that the documents serving as evidence in proving that Bush didn't complete his service were most likely created on Microsoft Word quite easily. In no time at all, they had convincing evidence of their own to prove that the report was false.

These bloggers then called for action: they demanded that Dan Rather and other CBS executives be fired immediately. They protested in pajamas at the CBS studio to make their case known and soon enough, some of their demands were met. Dan Rather resigned from CBS a few months after the incident and CBS fired one of the executives responsible for the reporting on the issue.

This incident shows the progress and more importantly, the credibility that the blogosphere had created in just a few years since its birth. It's one of the biggest examples of how citizen journalists matter too nowadays, which Levinson discusses.


  1. I think the story just goes to show how people can use the blog to voice their opinions with no filter. Disagree or agree with the opinions being shared by the right-wing in this case, the people still had a place to type their mind. No matter how absurd it is. It's on the readers to shoulders to filter the material.

  2. Thanks for sharing this example, it is truly a representative anecdote. As the saying goes, who watches the watchmen? The bloggers do!