See How A Blog Post Brought Down A State Department Spokesman

bradley manning

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned Sunday after comments he made about the Department of defence’s treatment of Private Bradley Manning came to light.

Philippa Thomas, a BBC journalist on sabbatical, attended the event where Crowley made his fateful “ridiculous and counter-productive and stupid” statement.

She realised the gravity of the administration official’s words and published a post on her personal blog when she returned home.

Three days later, Crowley stepped down amid a firestorm of controversy.

In a subsequent post, Thomas discussed the journey from post to resignation.

It started as I walked back from the event at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

'I called my colleagues at the BBC Washington bureau to tip them off. Soon after that, I published the blogpost. The BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell retweeted the link. Within 24 hours, my blog registered 17000 views.'

Then it spread...

'At breakfast on Friday, Ed Pilkington from The Guardian called from New York to confirm the facts - after contacting me via the blog. At lunchtime on Friday, Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy magazine online had the first quote from Mr. Crowley confirming that this was his personal opinion.'

...and spread

'Shortly afterwards, President Obama was asked by ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper whether he agreed with Crowley's comments. That day both the Guardian and the BBC published pieces on their websites.'

Thousands of readers came to the blog through links

'They began coming purely via social media tools - Reddit and Twitter. Then via the websites of big media brand names - primarily the BBC and the Guardian. Hundreds at a time came from new media outposts like the Huffington Post, Salon and The Daily Kos.'

Read Thomas' original posts.

After the resignation, The New York Times finally weighed in with an editorial

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