Count me as a Menshevik (and Soxblog too, unless Hewitt's got some e-mail confirmation.) Hewitt himself is the victim of unreasonable (and unnecessary) expectations, and as a result he's going batty. What he wants is for this report to say the bloggers were right about CBS. The report was never going to do that, though, since it was commissioned by CBS and its money (as Tony Blankley points out). Peggy Noonan echoes the point:
"Is it annoying that the panel that issued the report did not find liberal bias in the preparation and airing of the Bush National Guard story? Yes, but only that. It's not as if anyone has to be told. I hate to be cynical, and this is cynical, but the panel that produced the report was not being paid by CBS to find liberal bias. It was being paid to do the anatomy of a failure with emphasis on who did what wrong."But the rest of Noonan's piece has it right: no matter what the report says, the reality on the ground is that the media monopoly is broken. The Tiffany network is a fake rock whether Andrew Heyward stays or goes.
The real question for bloggers is, "what now?" So many of them have been waiting for this report as vindicatino of their past efforts that they haven't quite come to grips with the fact that the wall has fallen. The report details massive failures and yet fails to confront CBS with the root causes of those failures, so bloggers can expect the MSM to continue to be deluded for a while. Bloggers may need to decide whether they want recognition and self-awareness from the fading monolith or whether they want to keep building its replacement.
This is the same question that faced open-source coders when Linux first started threatening Microsoft, and I think I see a rerun of history in the making.