by Patrick Appel
The tale of the put-upon news organizations and the pilfering, parasitical bloggers has always been more self-serving mythology than reality. That's not to say that there's no truth to it, but the picture has always been much more complicated. After all, a principal reason for the emergence of a political blogosphere is precisely because it performed functions that establishment media outlets fail to perform. If all bloggers did was just replicate what traditional news organizations did and offered nothing original, nobody would read blogs. And especially now, as bloggers and online writers engage in much more so-called "original reporting" and punditry, the parasitical behavior is often the reverse of how it is depicted. The Maureen Dowd/Josh Marshall episode is a particularly vivid and dramatic example of that, but it is far from uncommon.