In a small group discussion tonight during a USC gathering hosted by the Online News Association and OJR, I praised Kausfiles' handling and prescient call on the LAT groping story. I urged patience when a reader complained that Kaus didn't address if he still intended to vote for Schwarzenegger. But I did needle his recent flippant claim that the Sacramento Bee's editing directive contributed to California Insider being four hours behind Kausfiles in posting the latest Times Poll info.
The Kaus post was set up as a jest, and listed some logical reasons ("out to dinner" being one) why Weintraub may not have promptly posted when they both got the same email. OK so far. But Kaus then dismissed the reasons and concluded: "Still ... four hours. An eternity in blog time!" It got picked up by Instapundit, one of the most-read blogs around, who posted that the unedited site beat the edited site in a "footrace." Of course, it turns out there was no race and no editing -- Weintraub emails me that in fact he was at dinner: "Even bloggers gotta eat sometime."
Here's where an editor might have said to Kaus, "Uh, Mickster, maybe you shouldn't write it if you don't actually know." I know, I know, that takes all the life out of blogs. It's one of the great debates -- and so here's a new bunch of writing on the subject of blogs and journalism. It's in the latest Nieman Reports from Harvard, with thoughts from, among others, the Instapundit, USC's Larry Pryor, OJR's Mark Glaser and J.D. Lasica, Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury and Paul Grabowicz of UC Berkeley. (Table of contents is on page 4 of PDF file, with links.)
[Phew, I thought that lead in would never end...pretty flabby--Ed.]