When John Edwards admitted that he had indeed had an extramarital affair, “the gnashing of teeth from mainstream journalists was so loud you could barely hear the sobs of everyone who posts for the Daily Kos,” writes victorious National Enquirer editor David Perel in the Huffington Post. The Edwards scandal, he crows, shattered a smug “it’s not news until we say so” attitude.
The mainstream media used the Enquirer’s reputation in defending its non-coverage. One paper called it “icky” that the tabloid had broken the story. “How do we respond to that?” Perel muses, “We’re rubber, you’re glue…” But what really damaged the media was the dogged attention of the blogosphere. Journalistic “standards are now being determined in cyberspace,” Perel concludes. “Any attempt to disparage the populist medium increasingly sounds like a death rattle.”