I really don’t want to keep on about this, honest, I don’t. But I can’t ignore this:

CNN (Reuters) | Triumph of the bloggers?

Orville Schell, dean of the School of Journalism at the University of California in Berkeley, said CBS’s admission of error after days of stalling was “a landmark moment for the balance between the blogosphere and mainstream media.”

Bloggers were the first to challenge the authenticity of the documents and first to publish detailed examinations of the evidence by dozens of self-declared experts, some of them with Republican Party ties.

“The credibility of the media has taken another hit, especially when you consider the story is not Dan Rather but President Bush’s service in the National Guard,” Schell said.

That latter story — that said Bush ducked military service in Vietnam by entering the Guard and then getting special treatment thanks to his powerful father — has been lost in the welter of complaints about the CBS story.

…Tom Goldstein, former dean of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, dismissed the notion that CBS’s dilemma was a sign that American journalism has become sloppier in recent years.

Goldstein said Rather’s report was another example of bad things happening to good news organizations.

“They had the best in the business on it, and they got duped and there but for the grace of God go you and I,” Goldstein said.

Is there really any other kind of expert than “self-declared”? As opposed to CBS’ experts, unnamed until challenged, some of whom have publicly said they were working outside of their expertise, and even so had questions regarding the authenticity of the documents that CBS chose to ignore?

And what about the Democratic party ties of those who are complicit in the deception? Just a coincidence, I suppose.

Actually, there is a reason that so much of the criticism comes from sources known to be sympathetic to Republicans and conservatives. I hadn’t intended to bring this up here, but since they mention it:

Hullabaloo | Playing By The Rules

It’s admirable that lefty bloggers are being duly skeptical of the CBS documents and diligently reporting it on their blogs. It means that we have more integrity than the other side and will probably go to heaven.

Unfortunately, it also means that we are helping Republicans spin their lies and hurting our candidate. Again.

But, now that professional Republican propagandists are on the case, if you can’t stomach the idea of not standing up for truth, justice and the American way in all circumstances, the better part of valor may be to blog on the myriad other Bush atrocities and let the right do its own dirty work…

If voices of the left blogosphere work to actively advance the idea that the documents are forgeries, no matter what their earnestly high minded motives, then whatever influence the blogosphere provides certainly doesn’t benefit our side.

That is to say, the truth matters less than winning.

As I said in a previous comment, they think that the legitimacy of their charge against GWB is so obvious that the provenance of the documents doesn’t matter. They were merely illustrative, never intended as proof of anything. Proof doesn’t matter, the story is true, don’t you care about that? Why are you people going on about fonts? We wouldn’t lie to you, we’re C-B-effing-S!

The overall tone of this story is “We really don’t understand why everybody’s making such a big deal over this.” Reuters does its best to undercut and discredit every dissenting voice and represent this as nothing more than a handful of malcontents making noise.

The bloggers, who are barely mentioned (and never by name) in this story that pretends to be about them, will have to continue to hold Rather’s feet to the fire, because CNN and Reuters are obviously disinclined to do the job. “There but for the grace of God go you and I”, indeed. I wonder what the last story was that Reuters’ editors released where they thought, “Please, God, don’t let them look too closely at this.”

Maybe it was this one.

What concerns me is that Dr Goldstein may be right, that journalism hasn’t gotten sloppier in recent years. It was always this sloppy, we just weren’t paying attention.