Congrats to the late shift at AmericaBlog for seeing the new journalism in real time. There's more than one way to skin a cat, though -- and look who's holding the knife!
Developing story, indeed -- or shall we say "evolving"? There are more links coming below.
Some say the left needs to engage a "rapid response" on emerging issues. Hell, I say it myself (more colorfully I hope). But he said/she said is the problem. For about ten minutes the media actually had to say, in black & white, that "President Bush failed to carry out a direct order from his superior"... now it's back to leading with "Democrats pounced". Umm, okay, but isn't that dog-bites-man in this age of the permanent campaign?
Yes, when a politician gets caught lying and teaching others to lie for him, his opponents get a bit riled up. But why does everyone insist on equivalence as "balance"? The worst accusation against Kerry, from an affadavit whose contents have been widely contradicted by people who signed it themselves, is that he didn't stick around in Vietnam long enough to save more lives; Bush has been confronted with written orders, and can't demonstrate that his orders were carried out by him or countermanded by others.
Equivalence creates "balance" by weighing the degrees of relationship between the two accusing organizations and their respective standard-bearers, but doesn't address the question of evidence at all, or even the nature of the allegations. And that's where the big-M Media get their easy, safe response. That's why they always return to equivalence -- because otherwise they might have to say something that some noticeable portion of their audience doesn't want to hear.