But if the blog has become an easy venue for people to vent their negative feelings on cops, it has also demonstrably helped in saving those who otherwise would have been found guilty of untrue charges. For instance, Miller was one of the only ones to initially report on an absurd case in which a photographer was arrested for taking photographs of Amtrak trains — for an Amtrak photograph contest. As one can probably guess, many of Miller’s blog posts are based on similarly bizarre Kafkaesque situations. After he highlighted the story, the photographer in question appeared on the Colbert Report and the charges were swiftly dropped.
Newspaper editors have repeatedly claimed that the loss of editorial jobs will lead to a less watchful press, one in which government institutions will be able to get away with more unscrupulous activities with little independent oversight. But Miller arguably highlights more police abuse than a single reporter would have even in the heyday of newspapers. “I’m writing about cases that the mainstream media, for the most part, they ignored,” he said, noting that traditional journalists will eventually pick up a story once it has gained traction in the blogosphere.