The fall of Helen Thomas is a sign the New Media have crashed those genteel lawn parties, clad in combat pajamas and digital beer hats, asking rude questions about the hosts and laughing at their sputtering indignation. The New Media doesn’t stand on ceremony. Its elder statesmen, talk radio pioneers like Rush Limbaugh, have spent their entire careers being insulted and disrespected by the mainstream press. The same political and opinion elite that indulged decades of insane prattle from Helen Thomas, politely ignoring some of her worst outbursts, was quick to trumpet fraudulent accusations of racism against Limbaugh for things he never said, to paint him as unfit for association with a professional football team. Such relentless assaults build thick skin, and sharp wits. The New Media breeds gladiators, and has little patience for deans and doyennes.
The dinosaur media love to rewrite history. Anything that doesn’t fit a preferred media narrative is quickly flushed down the memory hole. They don’t quite realize how completely the New Media has foreclosed this option. Bloggers find everything, and forget nothing. Pathetic attempts to edit the Helen Thomas narrative are already popping up… and shriveling away in the withering heat of Internet search engines. For example, take Tommy Christopher’s pathetic attempt to claim Thomas’ colleagues were filled with righteous indignation over a story conservative blogs dragged them into covering, and the controversial remarks were a shocking aberration that nobody in the press pool was “prepared to hear.”