Blogs & Bloggers: The New 24 Hour News Source

Blogs have taken off in their reputations and their impact on traditional news media sources over the past few years.  Nationally, the political blogs have trumped the traditional media on numerous occasions, being the first out of the gate with investigative reports that shine the light on corruption and scandals that the Main Stream Media (MSM) for the most part seem to ignore.  With the blogs on the scene, stories and facts are not easily buried.  Simply put, politicians, corporations, and individuals just cannot get away with things as easily as they once did.

LATimes Staff Writer Terry McDermott wrote an excellent story today regarding the impact of Blogs “Blogs can top the presses” that highlights the work of Talking Points Memo and other national blogs in breaking stories the MSM had missed or simlpy ignored.

This has been true in Orange County as well.  Bloggers Make Waves 

Recently, when State Senator Lou Correa voted against a legislative resolution opposing the Iraq War, the vote was not covered by the MSM.  Correa’s office was asked by LiberalOC founder and district constituent Mike Lawson asked, What’s up with Lou?, for an explanation of his vote.  Initially, Mike got no response.  Then Andrew Davey, also one of Correa’s constituents asked for an explanation on Calitics.  It took a little more than a week, and a story in the Orange County Register’s political blog Total Buzz Blog, but Senator Correa finally did give an explanation.

Last week, when Senators Correa, Calderon, and Negrete-McLeod were locked out of their offices by Senate President Pro-tempore Perata, Asemblyman Chuck DeVore, on Red County/OC Blog broke the story well ahead of the MSM.  Matt Cunningham, at Red County/OC Blog has kept the blogosphere updated with on the scene video of the Nguyen/Nguyen First District recount, press conferences, Presidential candidate visits, etc.  Matt’s coverage seems to have prompted the Orange county register to invest in a digital video camera for Peggy Lowe so that she can keep up with Matt’s coverage on Total Buzz Blog.

Recently, Thomas Gordon over at Orange Juice Blog reported on the research being conducted by the City of Santa Ana to determine public support for increased taxes New Santa Ana Tax on the way.

During the 2006 general election, TheLiberalOC was able to post on the scene coverage of the polling place problems in central OC Lack of Paper Ballots, including coverage from the worst of all polling locations (in Santa Ana) that remained open till after 10 PM to allow for the last voter in line to complete his votes How Long would You Wait To Vote?

April 2006 

Of course, we at TheLiberalOC cannot forget the coverage that launched our blog, Republican 47th Congressional District candidate Tan Nguyen and his vandalized campaign signs.  Mike Lawson was puzzled why so many of Nguyen’s signs were being defaced with claims that Nguyen was a racist. 

Mike’s coverage even prompted Tan Nguyen himself to call Mike and tell him to stop defacing his signs because “my supporters are very passionate, I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.”  Mike was not defacing Tan’s signs, he was just covering the story.

This story was eclipsed by the revelation that Tan Nguyen was responsible for the now infamous letter to Latino naturalized citizens implying that if they voted they may be arrested and even deported. 

Stand By TanThere was an AG raid on Tan’s home and Campaign office, a “lady” in fishnet stockings, singing “Stand By Our Tan” and protests against voter supression on the steps of the Old County Courthouse to Protect the Vote.  There was Gustavo Arellano’s post on the OCWeekly’s The Blotter about the confrontation between Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro and Tan Nguyen outside a polling place in Santa Ana on Election Day in which Arellano coined the phrase “The 100 Foot Penis Rule.”

Blogs are shaping a new order in the world of journalism.  While many blogs have their political perspectives and opinions, the reality is that bloggers are becoming journalists and investigative reporters whether we like it or not.  We are constantly pressured by each other to separate opinion from news. We are sometimes challenged by our lack of “official press credentials” to get the story, but we continue to dig for the truth in spite of obstacles in our paths. I know that when I want to get up to the minute information on what is going on, I check the blogs because that is where I know I’ll get the story first.