Read this Trib article and see if you think that the Trib gets it right (click on the title to get the whole article):
ANATOMY OF A POLITICAL FIRESTORM
Talk radio, blogs fanned the flames on Durbin for remarks on detainees
By Jill Zuckman
June 23, 2005
WASHINGTON --It was the last speech of the day to a virtually empty Senate chamber.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said the firestorm created by blogs, talk radio and television can grow out of control, harming the ability of lawmakers to work together.
"The hall of mirrors serves as amplification of statements and has become so powerful and the willingness of partisans to parse every utterance for potential error is so great that it is difficult to ratchet down the rhetoric once something like this begins," Obama said. "It just takes on a life of its own."
The next morning, Ingraham, a hard-hitting conservative, devoted most of her show to Durbin, replaying the audio clip of him condemning the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and comparing it to the practices of murderous regimes.
At the same time, the RNC sent a video of Durbin delivering those remarks to friendly blogs and other talk radio shows, according to spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.
By that afternoon, Rush Limbaugh, another conservative radio show host, was reading Durbin's words aloud from the American Thinker blog...
Hhhmmm. Didn't get that memo (or tape). So here's the kicker...
Michelle Malkin, a leading conservative blogger, entitled her comments "Hitler, Hitler everywhere."
On the left, however, liberal bloggers were gearing up to defend Durbin.
"The latest moronic right-wing smear attack," wrote the Daily Kos. "TalkLeft first alerted us to the latest cause celebre of the Right Wing Media Borg--the effort to defend torture at all costs. And caught in the crosshairs is Sen. Durbin, who had the unmitigated gall to call it like it is."
Peter Daou, who compiles blogs from both the right and the left and summarizes what they're talking about for Salon.com, said the effect of so much chatter eventually can become overpowering, seeping into the mainstream media.
"What Durbin faced was the bubbling up from the blogs and the pounding of the drums," said Daou, who first began monitoring the bloggers and feeding them information when he worked for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign. "This is a political tool, and it's manufactured outrage, it's feigned outrage, and it's extremely effective."...
Manufactured outrage? Fake outrage? Come on, Peter, nice try, but when you compare the Nazis to American men and women you get, well, outrage. Who is doing the interrogating? President Bush? No, it's Sergeant X and Chief Y.
Of course, Daou does know feigned outrage. After all, Kerry was certainly "outraged" that anyone would question his patriotism...