How The Internet Has Changed Journalism

A reader writes:

This smallish site is devoted to the Tate/LaBianca killings. As a lawyer - I've long been interested in the Manson trial, and always suspected prosecutor Bugliosi cut a lot of corners. He placed far more blame on Manson than was warranted by the facts (it was really all about the girls and Tex). The "Helter Skelter" theory was always such transparent nonsense. But the subject is just too arcane to merit regular book treatment thru a mainstream publisher after all these years. So along comes this guy named "the Colonel" who has dedicated himself to meticulous journalism and blogging about the myths of the prosecution.

He has uncovered a boat load of facts and fascinating arcana for those interested in the trial. He's not saying Mason was innocent. He's just saying other people in the Family played larger roles than Manson, and Manson was more of a follower trying to keep up with his eager beaver family of dedicated, fiercely independent criminals. If Bugliosi had not placed such misguided emphasis on Manson, perhaps Kasabian and 40+ family members would not have escaped so easily to spend the next several decades in a nationwide crime wave.  

Prior to the Internet there was just no forum for this kind of detailed hard focus. The case lends itself to continual obsessive updating as new witnesses come forward after years of silence. Any hard copy book would be past its shelf life in a year.

In addition the Internet allows the author freedom for speculation, random musings, irreverent humor, taking on other bloggers, and occasional forays into unrelated topics. None of this would be tolerated by any mainstream publisher. 

Also the blogger is (I believe) gay, which leads to further interesting takes on the Manson family. For example I never knew one of the victims (Parent) and the only survivor (Garretson) were gay teenagers who had only recently come out. Garretson was living in the guest house as the on-site caretaker of the property for the owner who was also gay. Irrelevant perhaps, but interesting to followers of the case. 

What did we do before the Internet? The desire to drill down into multi-layered minutiae of small but important subjects was expanded a thousand times by the web. I really do believe its boosting our culture's collective IQ. And it makes it harder for the scoundrels, shysters, charlatans, and publicity whores of the world (like Bugliosi) to hide out.