Will the collective effort matter? I am certain it already has, though the race is clearly up in the air. Information changes everything, and a previously closed system has been completely thrown open to public scrutiny.
Old media’s interest has been narrowly focused on Abramoff and his money, and while the bloggers have spent considerable time on the corruption issues, so too have they brought important policy debates into the middle of the leadership contests.
Earmarking, for example, is not going survive this process as it used to be practiced. The openness movement is gaining momentum across the board.
Old media simply isn’t as nimble, as well educated, or as competent in the delivery of rapid fire information and analysis as the networks of bloggers that organized this scrutiny.
In fact, the conference call interviews done by bloggers today combined with my three radio interviews over the past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and The Corner’s wall-to-wall postings provided far more in depth coverage of the leadership races than any single MSM elite paper or network, or even any combination of two or three of them.
It isn’t an overthrow of the old media of course, but another example of the supplanting of the dinosaurs that can occur whenever the bloggers and other new media get interested in a story. MSM are sort of plow horses now, dutifully going about their boring jobs, and getting just about as much respect as an old mare in a field of thoroughbreds.