In her discussion of the amazing and incredible delay by the New York Times in reporting the ACORN child prostitution-enablement scandal, Ann Althouse derides this explanation from Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt:

as more videos were posted and government authorities rushed to distance themselves from Acorn, The Times stood still. Its slow reflexes — closely following its slow response to a controversy that forced the resignation of Van Jones, a White House adviser — suggested that it has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs. Some stories, lacking facts, never catch fire. But others do, and a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself.

Althouse wonders skeptically why the Times would wait so long:

Is it wrong for me to wait too long before writing about what the NYT public editor has written about why the NYT took so long to write about the ACORN story?
Somehow I, a lone blogger, feel that it is wrong for me to wait, so how absurd it feels to me that the Times, with all its resources, waited as long as it did.

I understand how she feels about it being wrong to wait to write about stuff, and right now I find myself wondering whether it is wrong for me to wait too long before writing about what Ann Althouse said about what the NYT public editor has written about why the NYT took so long to write about the ACORN story.
This goes to the heart of the distinction between blogging and journalism of the salaried, paid, legacy variety. Unless they are news aggregators, bloggers are under no obligation to write about everything. Or even anything. Lots of times I have to force myself to write, and much as I hate forcing myself to do anything, there is one thing I hate even more — which is the idea that I am being forced to write by others — simply because others have. That I have no such obligation, that it is not enforceable, that no one cares, that I can’t be fired or disciplined for any act or omission — these things do not alter that feeling. And because of the way my personality works, the feeling of obligation exerts a negative pull — and makes me naturally disinclined to write about anything that even so much as hints at hitting this unwanted sense of being obligated to write about it.
Fortunately, the co-bloggers here seem to possess an uncanny knack for writing about the Stuff That’s Supposed To Be Written About, thus alleviating my guilt, and allowing me to engage in my frivolous pastimes of wrestling with contradictions, engaging in overanalysis, and thinking about things to the point that they no longer make sense.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that I’m not just chiming in to agree with Ann Althouse’s point about the New York Times. She is right, of course, but the Times’ position is symptomatic of something I discussed the other day, and I don’t know whether it’s a trend or simply a done deal, but it’s the phenomenon of what I’ll call different truths for different “troops.”
Glenn Reynolds (who linked the Althouse post) also stresses the distinction between “bourgeois truth” and “revolutionary truth”:

[W]e must distinguish between “bourgeois truth,” which is concerned with sterile facts, and “revolutionary truth,” which is concerned with what will promote the revolution.

In general, the conservative blogosphere pays more attention to the facts, while the left and the MSM are more concerned with The Narrative.
When a story does not easily fit the Narrative (or when there are competing narratives), the result can be chaotic. One recent example is the still-unsolved murder of a census taker found with the word “FED” carved into his chest. According to the standard liberal narrative, the death can obviously be blamed on conservative talk radio (and, I guess, right wing blogs, if we are to believe that backcountry murderers read them), for stirring up all those little people into a murderous rage against Big Government. But other possibilities — that he might have been a casualty of the Drug War, or even a pedophile killed by a victim’s relative — don’t fit the standard narrative, and whether the story will be made to fade away for not fitting the usual Rush-Limbaugh-did-it narrative, who knows?
Speaking of stories that don’t fit the narrative, I found one at RawStory which is quite juicy. A lot of people remember the Oklahoma City blast, but few people except conspiracy theorists are still pursuing leads. However, there is one man who strikes me as less a conspiracy theorist than someone with a personal stake. Attorney Jesse Trentadue’s brother died in his federal prison cell under very suspicious circumstances. Apparently believed be an accomplice of McVeigh, and there’s been a lot of speculation that he was tortured and murdered. Naturally, this has led to all sorts of conspiracy theories, but what’s interesting (and, I think, newsworthy right now) is the latest report that there’s a missing gap in the official video camera tapes that were withheld from Trentadue and were only produced after years of litigation:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited, an attorney who obtained the recordings said Sunday.
“The real story is what’s missing,” said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting into the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.
Trentadue gave copies of the tapes to The Oklahoman newspaper, which posted them online and provided copies to The Associated Press.
The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.
“Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence,” Trentadue said.
He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because “they had run out of tape” or “the tape was being replaced.”
“The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” he said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”
A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

Well, that’s the Yahoo story, and it’s the same as the one on RawStory. WorldNetDaily linked the Yahoo story, and the Philadelphia Inquirer has now picked up on it, along with the AP and other online news sites.
But is it news? Will it really make it into the mainstream media? You know, hard copy? Will it be a topic on talk radio? (Hey, come on, guys! Eric Holder was in on the coverup!)
I think the problem with the story is not so much a narrative issue as the fact that Oklahoma City has now been relegated to conspiracy theory land. This renders any story about it inherently suspect, and aside from provocateurish kooks like Alex Jones, respectable people want nothing to do with it — especially people who seek an appearance of respectability.
What about the respectability issue? Is it a narrative issue?
Surely it doesn’t involve morality. Or does it? What is respectability? And why is it that I have this gut feeling that news involving Oklahoma City bombing is not respectable, and therefore not “real news”?
Not to beat the meme to death again, but if some truths are more respectable than others, might this touch on an inherent conflict between truth and power?
MORE: Here’s some of the video that’s been making the rounds: