Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gawker on why MSM's covering for Edwards

Gawker posted this a few days ago. I meant to call it to your attention. It begins - - -

If you want an efficient, capsule summary of why you haven't read anything in newspapers or seen anything on major network news about how John Edwards ran from National Enquirer reporters in a hotel parking garage, about how he hid in a bathroom for 15 minutes, and about how he was holed up overnight with his alleged mistress and love child — an awesome, amazing story — parse these three revealing sentences from Washington Post "gossip" columnist Roxanne Roberts, in response to one of many persistent questions about the scandal in an online chat yesterday:

“The Enquirer is not going to sell papers with nuance or sensitivity. I need more reporting from a credible source before I'm prepared to pass judgment. I'm not sure Edwards is a real candidate for the VP job, but if so will have to address this one way or another.”
It's important to keep in mind, when reading this odd answer, that traditional news media used to have something of a lock on the dissemination of information, and allowed themselves to be convinced that they had a bizarre duty to filter even accurate information of interest to their audiences, and to do so in the service of reinforcing various social institutions and norms, even though their jobs, their Constitutionally-protected jobs, were to do just the opposite, to disseminate information and challenge long-cherished moral codes.

This self-shackling, this corruption of a trade, has become fundamental to American news media, and in the quote above we see Roberts concisely showcasing her own deep-seated instincts.

First, there's a dig at the Enquirer, the implication that the publication threw aside the nuanced truth to sell newspapers. This sort of reflexive swipe itself lacks nuance, and ignores history. In 1994, the Times declared that, on the OJ Simpson story, the Enquirer "stands heads and shoulders above [any other publication] for aggressiveness and accuracy."

Slate's Jack Shafer in 2004 offered support for the tabloid's standards, if not its presentation, in "I Believe The National Enquirer/Why Don't You?," noting, "if you correct for stylistic overkill, you find a publication that is every bit as accurate as mainstream media."

Granted, the supermarket tabloid has stumbled, including with a 2006 libel case involving Kate Hudson, which it lost, and a retracted story involving false allegations that Cameron Diaz was cheating. But so have plenty of other publications, many with fewer than the Enquirer's 1 million readers. …

The rest of Gawker's post’s here.


I’ve posted before refuting the “It’s in the National Enquirer” MSM excuse for covering up a story concerning a prominent Democrat. See, for example, my post NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable.

How much legwork does it take to confirm with police that NE reporters filed a criminal complaint accusing Beverly Hilton Hotel security of roughing them up while protecting Edwards and spirting him out of the hotel?

What does it take to ask the police whether they’re investigating the complaint?

If yes, can they say what they’ve learned so far? Have they interviewed John Edwards, the principal witness to the alleged roughing up?

If yes, what did he say?

If the police aren’t interviewing Edwards, why not?

Folks, I’m sure you can think of many other questions reporters could ask to verify or refute the story including, “Hey, why don’t we call John Edwards and ask him some questions?”

Hat tip: Walter Abbott


Anonymous said...

Hey, did you pick up the Ari Shapiro piece on the politicization of the Department of justice under Alberto Gonzalez on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" this morning? The funny part is the unintended humor of having Jamie Gorelick on - who said she thinks there should be some accountability. She was also quoted or paraphrased as saying that they shouldn't hire political hacks for sensitive jobs.

Priceless. Accountability for the Duke lacrosse team would be nice, but that is precisely what the political hack, aka Gorelick, is trying to prevent.

Honestly, no Hollywood script writer could make this stuff up, it's just too weird.

Orson Buggeigh

bill anderson said...

Gee, the MSM, which promoted the Duke Frame/Hoax for a year, is worried about accuracy? Didn't Newsweek put pictures of Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann on its May 1, 2006, as rapists?

So, let us look at an alternative explanation: they got scooped, and one way the press reacts to getting scooped is to pretend that something did not happen.

Anonymous said...

And a follow up, Gorelick has an article in today's Washington Post wherein she goes on about accountability and the need to have professionals instead of political hacks in professional positions. Yep. Begin Sarcasm: That certainly explains why Duke has you defending their actions regarding the lacrosse players, doesn't it? End sarcasm.

A partisan hack helping to bury accountability in the ice box. telling the world with a straight face that partisan politics has no business in the professional world. So what does that say about Duke University?

Orson Buggeigh

Anonymous said...

John, I think you should make a phone call to the LA Police Department and see what you can get out of them. You outlined a plan for the MSM to verify or refute the accuracy of the NE story, so give it a go. Don't wait for them!