Last week the bloggers had a big win over Dan Rather -- 14-0. Who, you ask, are the bloggers? They are people who send their opinions out over the Internet on any subject they deem fit or not fit to print.

Bloggers come in all political flavors. They put information on their Web sites that other bloggers can read and reply to.

The captain of the team that gave such a drubbing to CBS was Carlton Doolittle, an all-American conservative blogger from Texas.

We met in a chat room.

"Congratulations," I said. "What an upset."

"It was a team effort," he typed back. "The conservative bloggers have been waiting for some time to get Rather and his team."

"How did you find out how weak their line was?" I asked.

He typed back: "As soon as Rather kicked off with the story on '60 Minutes,' I sent a message to Tex Hotrod, Charley Rov and Sam Flyswatter. Then all the papers picked it up and ran with it."

"Is that when Rather called 'time out'?" I asked.

"Yes, but he fumbled and lost control of the ball."

I wrote, "I saw it on television."

"Once the ball started rolling, bloggers from all over the country blitzed Dan. None of us could leave his computer. It was the biggest reaction we've ever had on the Internet. I've gotten e-mails asking me to be on Fox, the 'Today' show and 'Good Morning America,' and Peter Jennings wants to make me Person of the Week."

"Talk about fame. What do you need to be a blogger?"

"A computer and the Internet."

"Do your blogs have to be true and verified by two sources?"

"No," Doolittle wrote. "That is the beauty of it. Anyone can send a message and not worry whether it is reliable. The truth is in the head of the sender. Some of our best bloggers have a reputation for putting the most outrageous things on their Web sites and having other people believe it."

"What does your big win over Rather tell you?"

"Blogging is no longer a spectator sport. Kids now do it after school. Colleges vie for testimonials from celebrity bloggers. The world will never be the same after the Rather fiasco."

"Blogging is relatively new," I wrote.

"It started only a few years ago. Bloggers used their Web logs to meet other men and women on the Internet. Then one day someone sent out a political message. The other side responded. Pretty soon the messages got meaner and meaner. Both the right and the left discovered they had the power -- and that's where we stand right now."

"There are a lot of people I would like to blog, but I'll check my sources first."

"It's not necessary. There are no rules. We lucked out against CBS. They tried to prove that George W. Bush was a lousy Air National Guardsman and it blew up in their faces."

"What now?" I typed.

"We're still blogging John Kerry's cowardly Swift boat acts in Vietnam."

"Thanks for joining me in the chat room. May I have your autograph on a fax?"

Doolittle replied, "Not if you're going to forge it."

(c) 2004, Tribune Media Services