In the book Free Culture, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig argues that the story of Trent Lott’s comments had disappeared from the mainstream media within forty-eight hours, but Internet bloggers kept it alive until it resurfaced in the MSM, eventually forcing Lott to resign his position. He was soon to be Senate Majority Leader.

Right now the “lesser people” story is hot stuff on the Internet; on Sunday, The Fiscal Times, a news outlet financed by Peterson, took note of Simpson’s latest in an opinion piece by John M. Berry. Berry argued that, in the exchange with Lawson, Simpson has undermined the already slim chances of agreement on a way to put the government on a sustainable long-term budget policy path.

Was The Fiscal Times piece implying that this was Simpson’s Trent Lott moment? Will the MSM be far behind?

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.