Have you been reading Josh Marshall?

He and his crew at Talking Points Memo / Muckraker Report have been doing some of the best investigative journalism about the US Attorney scandal. They have been relentlesslyconnecting the dots about the reasons for the firings, and the apparent perversion of the justice department into a tool to prosecute democrats, protect corrupt republicans, and suppress the democratic vote. Before this story, he was an early investigator of the Plame and Abramoff stories. No dead celebrities junkfood or he-said-she-said abdication of critical thinking. Good, straight-up journalistic oversight from the old tradition, and as far as I can tell, one of the best working journalists alive.
One of the benefits of the blog form for investigative journalism is its strength at serialization. The classic Pulitzer-winning formula is a long-form expose, developed in secrecy for months or years. The resulting stories are in-depth and rigorous, but sometimes hard to follow. The “story” punch belongs to the disaster or celebrity scandal. The stories of systematic corruption are wonky and “boring.” The short, serial blog form lets you learn the characters and follow the plot, building an understanding of complex events over time without having to plow through contiguous acre-feet of newsprint. Blogs depend on linking and comments for fame, rather than “scoops,” and benefits from shared research by readers. So blog-borne investigative journalism surfaces earlier, as the facts are being discovered. The reader is brought along for the ride with the journalist, who is following the threads, not sure where they will go.

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