“We've all heard critics of the Internet claim that, because no one "controls" it, no one can control it from disseminating the most outrageous rumors and conspiracies. A similar critique was leveled at Hayek's arguments about markets: Sure, markets (spontaneous systems) can deliver food at reasonable prices, but advertising and marketing often mislead people about which foods they should buy.
This traditional criticism of the internet has now been aimed
at the blogosphere and is embodied by big journalists like Jonathan Klein who, while defending the CBS story to The Weekly Standard remarked, "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of check and balances [at
'60 Minutes'] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing." Klein misses the point that it's not whether you can trust some guy in his pajamas, but whether you can trust a spontaneous system of thousands of guys in their pajamas trading information and imparting small, sometimes deceivingly insignificant, bits of information.”
The reason CBS is in such a world of hurt is that they have too much “control”. CBS and much of the Mainstream Media (or MSM) are dominated by those who are politically left of center (usually far left of center). This means that it is easy for everyone in the CBS news room to buy into and then disseminate “the most outrageous rumors and conspiracies”. Bloggers like Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit and all who have brought down CBS are so valuable because they are the philosophical and fact-checking control on arrogant news organization that think that everyone who disagrees with them is either a bigot or ill-informed. How else can one explain the obvious bias that is apparent to anyone who is not left of center? The Rathergate story (or Danron scandal) is only today’s glaring evidence of bias.
This kind of arrogance and philosophical lockstep is even more the case on the college campuses of America; and their end will be the same. I can see the day when student bloggers will digitally record the ridicule and disinformation they hear from leftist professors. It will then be posted on the Internet for the world to know and respond. At least then there can be real debate; not just a middle aged PhD beating up on an 18 year old. Similarly even an 18 year old in “pajamas” could check facts, think straight and know that Dan Rather has stopped being a journalist; and then start a blog.