April Media Power Rankings
Praise for bloggers Johnson and Milano; Imus fallout
Posted: Friday April 27, 2007 12:13PM; Updated: Tuesday May 1, 2007 1:57PM
1. K.C. Johnson, blogger: Arguably, the most important media figure in the Duke lacrosse case, Johnson's Durham-in-Wonderland blog provided exhausting, meticulous and obsessive daily coverage. It was a remarkable bit of citizen journalism, and upon the dismissal of all charges, one of the accused players, Collin Finnerty, cited Johnson for "his diligent work exposing the truth every day." He and Stuart Taylor Jr., a legal columnist for the National Journal who deserves equal acclaim, are a writing a book on the case.
2. Jason Whitlock, The Kansas City Star columnist: Let us start with our standard Whitlock intro: Known for his provocative columns, shameless self-promotion, and frequent and amusing postings on Internet message boards, Whitlock put himself in the middle of the Don Imus story by forcefully taking on Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and misogynistic lyrics in hip-hop music. Not surprisingly, his position attracted talk-show producers like moths to a flame. At last count he had appeared on Oprah (twice), Anderson Cooper 360, American Morning, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, NBC's Today Show and MSNBC's Tucker. He was also honored by Rosie O'Donnell, who recently declared her love for the columnist on The View.
3. Alyssa Milano, baseball blogger: Celebrity sports bloggers come and go, but Milano's Dodger-centric, Touch Em All blog is, dare we say it, the boss. She recently mused on Fantasy baseball, the rumors about her MLB love life (most of it, not true, says the woman who was nearly Mrs. Brad Penny), and how she never leaves a game early. One warning for children under 18: There's a disturbing photo of Milano sitting on the lap of Tommy Lasorda. That vision will haunt you for weeks.
4. Mike Vaccaro, New York Post columnist: Yes, we know the old adage that no one cares about the lives of sports writers but there are exceptions to every rule, especially when big-city columnists start trading shots like Ali and Frazier. In a fearless interview with the sports blog The Big Lead, the engaging Vaccaro lit into Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, one of the capo di tutti capis of the sports writing game. "As for our relationship, we have none, Vaccaro said. " It ended when I came to the Post, he started lobbing subtle, stupid shots at me in his "Lip" column and I started returning fire in my Sunday column. It's unfortunate. The guy used to be a hero of mine."
5. Ryan Chiachiere, Media Matters for America researcher: The beginning of the end for Imus? When this 26-year-old was assigned to monitor his show that morning. After the radio host made his now infamous comments, Chiachiere clipped the tape, alerted his bosses, and ultimately started a national conversation on racism.
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