Check out this post here for a detailed timeline of the debacle.
Basically, a writer/blogger for the IndyStar.com wrote up some harsh criticism of a “city-county council president” near Indianapolis. What’s really interesting is that the writer/blogger revised his story a number of times. Apparently, he watered it down a little each time, before an editor at the newspaper read the post and took it down. Here’s the formal mea culpa.
What’s interesting, however, is that in the timeline mentioned above, an Indy blogger (on stAllio!s way) searched through the Google cache to find previous versions of the post, chronicling the “timeline of a slur.”
The whole situation is unfortunate, to say the least. But it brings an interesting point about blogging and the Web. Whereas it’s become popular to think of blogging and the internet as a wild, no-holds-barred, “anything goes” medium.
I’ve just never bought that.
People, and especially journalists, are still accountable for what they say or write, regardless of the medium. The ability to reach a global audience with no barrier to entry changes the way we communicate, sure. But I suspect that norms and mores surrounding that way of communication will evolve. And once that happens, we’ll look back on that perspective of the Web as a safe place for over-the-top commentary and editorial as pretty naive.
Update: It looks like some of the pages are even gone now from Google’s cache. The blogger is now linking to .jpgs he’s made of the original post