Now that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been officially held in contempt of Congress because of his obstruction into the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious, the two bloggers that broke and drove the story, David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, are finally getting a taste of the recognition they deserve.
Last Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 255-67 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his refusal to turn over documents related to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ “Fast and Furious” operation. It was the biggest twist yet in a story that has its roots in the relationship between disgruntled agents and two conservative bloggers from Alabama and Ohio better known for stirring controversy than for breaking news.
Now, Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea are rarely mentioned in connection with what is perhaps the highest-profile law-enforcement failure of the Obama Administration. Their central role in unearthing the story, though, offers a glimpse at the new media cycle of news bubbling up from outlets few traditional reporters read, or would even feel comfortable crediting. Before their first report on the story on December 28, 2010, Vanderboegh of “Sipsey Street Irregulars” and Codrea of examiner.com were gun-rights activists who curated small bands of loyal followers with a live-free-or-die ethos.
The “professional” news media–and I use that term in the loosest possible meaning of the word–is not the only game in town, and hasn’t been for quite a while. They still have a very difficult time admitting that, even as they crave linkage by the Drudge Report, social media, and blogs.
Mike and David have driven the bulk of the reporting on this story, giving Katie Pavlich, Matthew Boyle, Mary Chastain, myself and other new media reporters the foothold we needed to bring our firepower to bear and keep this story simmering for over 18 months. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News remains the only MSM reporter to actually break news regarding the deadly gun-smuggling operation, as ever other MSM outlet mentions Fast and Furious only in the context of attempting to minimize the damage the story does to the White House.
I’m glad to see Mike and David begin recognized. Now let’s lobby to get them the Pulitzers they so richly deserve.