Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Power to the people....finally

Yeah, I know it's trite. I know that sometimes we all feel that we're bashing our heads against a brick wall, for nothing. The moneyed politicians have the real power, not us.

But today, something very special happened. And it makes me proud.

You may read Joe Conason's excellent columns in Salon You may, tomorrow, read something about the fact that Jeb Bush may well have been fed questions beforehand in his debate with McBride. If you do, let me tell you where it came from.

The person who broke this story was not one of the heavy hitters in the media. Most have never heard of him. It wasn't even a local Florida reporter. It was someone whose handle is dedulus, a poster on Bartcop, who originally got this story. And it was made public by Atrios, a blogger, someone who publishes a wonderful daily blog, unbeholden to any corporate media.

The story in brief, which none of the major media even bothered to look at, let alone publish, until it was all over the grassroots net. Until many many people made phone calls, wrote emails...From the looks of things, Jeb Bush may very well have been had questions fed to him, in clear violation of the rules of the debate. The major media, of course, almost to a man (or woman), praised Jeb for having "facts at his fingertips." Well, yeah, you and I would too, if we had the advantage that Jeb apparently had.

The basis for the story, and the reason major media should (and some of them are, thanks to being embarrassed by a poster and a blogger) look into this, at the very least, is that Jeb seemed to know the name of the next questioner, calling the one who he was speaking to at the time (Fran) by Sylvia's name....Sylvia being in the queue.

As neither Bush nor McBride was supposed to have pre-knowledge of any of the questions, or questioners, Jeb's "slip" seems pretty damning.

Whether this story means something, or nothing remains to be seen. It's certainly something that should be at least investigated. And guess what, folks. It never would have come to light had it not been for Atrios and Dedalus. Two people who write for their own reasons...whether it's for the joy of it, or because they're disturbed at what's going on in our country, or like most of us bloggers on the political scene, both.

Atrios patted himself on the back today for 200,000 hits. No. I pat him on the back, heartily, for having the guts to publish this story.

I'm humbly glad to be in such company.

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