How did Gina Smith of The State newspaper know to show up at the Atlanta airport at 6:15 a.m. yesterday to meet Mark Sanford as he walked off an airplane arriving from Buenos Aires?
This tip from an airline passenger on Sanford's aircraft: “We’ve seen your governor on an airplane. He’s not on the Appalachian Trail.” According to the New York Times, the tipster mentioned that Sanford would be returning from Argentina.
Aha! A fellow passenger turned him in — possibly while the airplane was still at the gate in Buenos Aires, given that there was no WiFi on the flight itself.
The type of person who sends out Internet messages while an airplane is preparing for departure but still at the gate, it seems to me, would be more likely than the average person to get news from blogs.
And yet this tipster sent the message to a newspaper, not a blog.
Score one for the legacy news industry!