Hamdan’s Subplot: Blogging vs. Mainstream Media
One small sidenote about Hamdan that struck me this morning: the superiority of the blogosphere over the mainsteam media to address breaking news such as Supreme Court decisions. Were any of you just dying to know what Adam Liptak or Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times thought about Hamdan? I had very little interest in their take on the case. For me at least, I kept turning again and again to a half dozen blogs for the latest analysis. I did not particularly care what the Washington Post or the New York Times thought. I wanted to know what law bloggers thought about the case. (The closest the mainstream media got to insightful commentary about Hamdan came from Walter Dellinger on Slate, who unfortunately displayed irrational exuberance in his initial comments about the case, erroneously describing Hamdan as “the most important decision on Presidential power ever.”)
The subplot about Hamdan is how important comments from legal experts on the blogosphere were to digesting and understanding the case. It is a complicated decision that requires detailed analysis to comprehend. Blogs far exceeded the mainstream media in quickly appreciated its significance and import. Legal blogs are a perfect medium for this kind of breaking news and with Hamdan they lived up to their potential. The mainstream media fared far worse on this story.