Jonathan Martin has a very interesting article in Politico about the huge capabilities gap between left-leaning and right-leaning new media in terms of doing reporting and the impact that this is having on the campaign trail. There’s no equivalent on the right to what’s being done at TPM Media or Think Progress or the Washington Independent or the Huffington Post in terms of finding new campaign stories and pushing them. There’s plenty of commentary on the left, but on the right that’s all there is.
The only real disagreement I would have is that I think Martin to some extent overstates the extent to which this is all about old-fashioned “shoe leather” when a lot of it is more research than reporting in that it’s the kind of stuff you can do with Google (possibly while eating cheetos in your underwear) rather than by interviewing people. Indeed, in a sense I would say that one problem with conventional campaign journalism is that there’s too much reporting. If you’re standing outside at a John McCain press availability with a notebook or audio recorded, you’re very poorly situated to debunk or verify anything McCain is saying. A well-informed person sitting at home with his laptop, by contrast, can actually bring information to bear.