The begoogled coverage of the event is impressive, tho remember that this started when a member of Gibbons' staff confirmed rumors which had been circulating for quite some time. Two bloggers had set the wheels a-turnin' and, despite Anjeanette's claim to the contrary, I can't imagine how their rumormongering didn't excite mainstream reporters to pursue the all important confirmation.
In discussing this with a friend last night, I suggested that the purpose of "mainstream media" now simply is to provide full confirmation of stories initially set in motion by bloggers, who operate under a different set of ethical standards. In other words, bloggers, amateurs, citizen-journalists, etc. are the front line of contemporary journalism, freed to operate in a more reckless but more productive manner. Meanwhile, standard journalists serve as the backstop, knocking down the baseless reports while – quietly – allowing those that cannot not be not confirmed* slip through.
I'm not immune to the squeamish glee of watching how the mighty fall, tho the question at the end of the evening must be whether our democracy has sidled towards popular tyranny. The anger and shock to which salacious stories cater is a consciousness that we've been hoodwinked, cuckolded, or gypped – we know that we know more than we know.* All journalistic pursuits, I feel, should be aimed at combining truth with equity to create fairness, and sometimes it is fair to bring people low on a whim.
The bloggers, perhaps, just say what they believe the rest of us are thinking. Sometimes they're right, but what happens when they're wrong? …
(*Yeah, I did that on purpose.)