Kevin Drum looks at the celebrated success stories of the blog era — Dan Rather and 60 Minutes; Eason Jordan, Trent Lott, Ward Churchill, Jeff Gannon mdash; and comes to a depressing, but accurate, conclusion:

… [I]s this really the blogosphere’s biggest contribution to public discourse? Collecting scalps?

Sure, these guys bear varying amounts of culpability and deserve varying amounts of criticism, but if you take a look at the standard history of the blogosphere it becomes clear that its best known incidents on both left and right — Lottgate! Rathergate! Easongate! — all revolve around public figures being viciously hounded out of their jobs. Positive accomplishments, conversely, are pretty thin on the ground.

[ADDED 10.1.2006]