On Friday evening, a gunwriter who was apparently tired of his 42-year career put his word processor in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
Ten years ago, had his statement survived the editorial process and made it into print, we would have seen a handful of cherry-picked letters on the "Letters to the Editor" page of Outdoor life, and things would have pretty much proceeded along at status quo ante. Not now. Not today.
Here's what happens today:
Friday Night: Jim Zumbo, a paid writer of the old-school print and TV media, posts his now-legendary screwup on his new-fangled blog, without benefit of editorial restraint.
Saturday Night: The news breaks on ARFCOM, one of the busiest internet gun boards, with almost 200,000 members.
Sunday AM: Word hits the blogosphere. The head honcho of Zumbo's largest sponsor, Remington CEO Greg Millner, is alerted to the spreading conflagration while on the road in Europe, and posts on Zumbo's site that Remington is "reconsidering" its relationship with Jim.
Sunday PM: Megablog Instapundit (ironically, home of the author of An Army of Davids) and FreeRepublic pick up the story. Millner posts that they are severing their ties with Zumbo and an official presser will be released tomorrow. No equivocation about "our legal department is looking into contracts" like Gerber finally announced on Monday. This is unsurprising: Gerber is a knife company, while Remington is a firearms company. I can guarantee that Millner only needed to say three words into his cell phone to get the ball rolling back in Ilion: Smith. And. Wesson.
Monday AM: Remington's main web page is altered to announce the ash canning of Zumbo. Gun boards and blogs across the 'net respond by enthusiastically announcing their intent to buy Remington products.
...and that's how that works.