RATHER: Is there a special operation in the White House or in the Executive Office Building next door to it that seeks to orchestrate, perhaps even run some of what’s on the Internet?
McCLELLAN: Certainly there’s a large operation, part of the communications operation is the office of strategic iniatives, working to make sure that… the blogosphere has a tremendous amount of influence, and they just want to make sure that we’re helping to shape some of that narrative…
RATHER: To your knowledge, are there bloggers who are paid by the White House political operation? Some campaigns have —
McCLELLAN: — not to my knowledge, but that was not an area I focused on.
It’s a good thing he’s “big on personal responsibility”; I’d hate to see what he’d be like if he was in the habit of blaming shadowy forces for his own mistakes. This insinuation, that conservative bloggers like the ones who helped push Memogate into the media might be working at someone’s behest, has always percolated among Rather and his associates, all the way back to when the scandal first broke and he blamed it — on air — on “partisan political operatives.” Mary Mapes went out of her way in her book to emphasize that the bloggers who developed the story did so anonymously, which is true as applied to me and totally untrue about pretty much everyone else involved, like Powerline, Spacetown, INDC Journal, and LGF. You can almost forgive them their paranoia at the time since blogs were still (relatively) new and old media didn’t fully understand how they worked yet. What’s his excuse four years later, though? To the best of my knowledge, no prominent conservative politician or blogger accused Josh Marshall of surreptitiously coordinating with Pelosi or Reid when he was working on the U.S. Attorneys scandal, even though the lefty blogosphere’s relationship with the Democratic leadership is closer than the right’s with the Republicans. It was a case of collective intelligence and information-gathering at work; no need for cloak-and-dagger explanations when Occam’s razor will do. Rather can’t understand that, or won’t. Exit question for Document Dan: Which lefty blogs do you plan on accusing of being hatchet men for the Democrats after President Obama’s sworn in?