Don Imus was toppled by a blogger (WSJ article, currently free access).
Fascinating tale of how Ryan Chiachiere. a 26-year-old researcher in Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America, toppled the multi-million-dollar generating radio and TV brand of Imus with this blog post.
This is the latest -- and a good example, I think -- of how a relatively small, but media savvy organization can use the Internet to have as much influence on public opinion as a Big Four network or a powerhouse newspaper.
Here's a somewhat self-promoting timeline from Media Matters that shows how quickly and how far-reaching the story spun out of control for Imus.
It's a good study in how a news frenzy develops and how not to get ahead of it. The efforts of smart, veteran media execs from NBC, CBS, as well as media savvy Imus and his handlers were like trying to light a candle in a hurricane with matches.
Course, there is the unavoidable fact that Imus' comments were outrageously offensive. But he was outrageously outrageous on a regular basis. That's his shtick.
And for Media Matters, well, the pub will be Imus' charitable (non-tax-deductible) contribution to its funding.