Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blogs in the Sacred Grove of Dead Trees

The story of the Revs. Melnyk has gotten a bit hard on the brain of late, as Rev. William Melnyk, having repented of his Druidism, has more recently recanted his repentance, and even more recently repented of his recantation of his repentance. Confused? So am I.

What's interesting about this is how this whole saga has largely been played out as an internet affair, with the MSM serving largely as a footnote. So now the Philadelphia Inquirer has weighed in with the latest change of heart, and as the GetReligion guys have pointed out, they've got the basic story utterly wrong.

What I find curious is the emphasis on the "conservative watchdog groups". Frankly, I think that Christianity Today practically qualifies as MSM, but the fact is that us bloggers quite gleefully chased all this down because it was fun and because the Forces Of Evil were so flagrantly incompetent in covering their tracks. Everything one needed to know was out there, if one were only to look for it. Somehow a pretty straight recounting of what we found (and I was one of the researchers, I'll confess to that) has gotten turned into a fairly vague and inaccurate expression of conservative opinion. It seems that it's OK for the Inquirer to pretty much ignore a story in its own backyard (its first article on the issue wasn't published until November 5th, eleven days after the story hit the web) but not OK for the rest of us to pursue the story on our own.

Will the Inquirer print a correction? Stay tuned....

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