The Beltway-Blog Battle

As old and new media square off in Campaign 2008, each one is getting more like the other

Jean Hin / Stock Illustration RF / Getty

When Tim Russert died suddenly on June 13, it was, for the political press (to draw an analogy to his beloved Buffalo Bills), like losing a star quarterback before halftime of the Super Bowl. It's hard to imagine a campaign season without Russert's Meet the Press inquisitions or an election night without his whiteboard.

But his loss also came just as journalists are feeling besieged. Their bosses are slashing staffs, their advertisers are drifting away, and their prerogatives are being challenged by bloggers and YouTubers: a diffuse army of the uncredentialed, uninhibited and--most terrifyingly--unpaid. In Russert, the press lost its most...

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