While the mainstream media and liberal blogs have long liked to scoff at the rise of the right on the web, they have both taken a back seat this week to scoops by conservative journalists. First it was the unfortunately-named Anthony Weiner tweeting a picture of his junk, and now it's Michael Han(d)cock's alleged fondness for hookers. Not only do the stories share conservative journalist scoops in common, but it appears to be a particularly bad week to be a Democrat with a penal name.

On the Hancock issue, we're somewhat surprised the Post or other mainstream outlets haven't picked it up yet. They seemed to be in no rush to verify key details of the McInnis story before publishing scathing stories, which we now know were only partly true, just as ballots began being mailed out to primary voters. Either the Post has doubts about the veracity of the documents or this is further proof that the mainstream media finds it easier to slash and burn Republican candidates than those on the other side of the aisle. 

When Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website broke the Weiner story liberals did what they do best — when they don't like or can't beat the message, they attack the messenger. Thankfully Weiner has the communications sensibility of a retarded monkey and showed the world how right Breitbart was in seeing something serious in the Twitter slip-up.

Similar reactions are coming from the Hancock-istas today, trying to claim the story is just a last minute smear campaign. But as ColoradoPols points out, if the story was really meant to be an effective smear it would have come out weeks ago, and certainly before voters received their ballots in the mail.

Perhaps more importantly, Todd Shepherd is an award-winning investigative journalist, having received three regional Edward R. Murrow awards in his career between Oklahoma and Colorado. He is no Romer hack, trying to spin the election for his guy. Todd has a lot of credibility among fellow journalists, which is why there is a virtual army of reporters digging fast and furious into this story.

What it all adds up to is a real mark of where conservative journalism and online media stand today. With newsroom budgets and staff being cut faster than Blagojevich tried to sell Obama's Senate seat, there is a significant lack of people digging into political shenanigans. Just as slashed budgets have reduced reporters assigned to campaign events, creating a growth in the amount of video tracker driven news, so has the reduction of investigative journalists created a growth in independent or non-mainstream media stories driven by Open Records requests and good old-fashioned research.