Were he alive today, Josef Goebbels would have a blog, linked to approvingly (and even feted) by Instapundit, Roger Simon and Hugh Hewitt for his scathing attacks on liberals, Democrats, Hollywood, and, of course, the "MSM". His anti-Semitism would be explained away, or perhaps tidied up a bit, in the same way that the fundamentalist base of the Republican Party is excused for its politically incorrect view that non-believers in Jesus will spend eternity in hell. Come to think of it, as long as the former Minister of Propaganda can find it in his heart to support Israel, and to transfer his invective from Jews to A-rabs, he might find himself profiled in Time Magazine as its "Blogger of the Year".
Which brings me to the news that Powerline, the website that was instrumental in publicizing the discredited tale of the "Swift Boat Vets", has been named "Blog of the Year" by Time Magazine (Red State president George Bush was named "Man" of the year by the weekly). Considering how 2004 will be seen as the year in which the early promise of the blogosphere to produce "journalism of the individual" was perverted into a medium of lies, gossip and parroted talking points for whatever ideological agenda you follow, the award is well-deserved. Even the story profiled in the magazine, the exposure of the fake TANG documents used on 60 Minutes II, was fitting: a trivial scandal ginned up by the Internet (Bush's non-service in the National Guard in the waning days of the Vietnam War), reported on breathlessly by the leading TV news mag, only to have the producers suckered by obviously forged documents that dealt with a relatively minor point (and one that, to this day, Bush has not denied). The very thing that gives blogs credibility, that they originate outside of the mainstream of media commerce, from the individual, writing alone at his computer, is what makes them such an indispensible tool for the powerful.