Monday, August 04, 2008

Brit critic: Edwards affair "'scoop' U. S. papers ignored"

Today media critic Guy Adams in Britain’s The Independent begins - - -

That old cliché about everything being bigger in America seems especially pertinent when attempting to describe the sheer scale of the crisis currently afflicting the US newspaper industry, which makes all Fleet Street's woes look like a summer picnic.

Last week, The Los Angeles Times decided to flog its historic downtown offices, on top of sacking 150 of its 870 journalists. So did The Chicago Tribune.

Almost every title in the land is now shedding staff; a hundred New York Times hacks have been offered voluntary redundancy; Newsweek recently announced cuts. It's a bloodbath out there, as US media companies attempt to claw a pound of flesh from haemorrhaging readerships.

Consider, against this backdrop of falling circulation and a failing industry, the decision of every mainstream paper in America to ignore the juiciest political story of the month (and possibly the year): the discovery by National Enquirer hacks of John Edwards, in the corridors of a Beverly Hills hotel, where his alleged mistress and alleged love child were also staying, at half past two on the morning of Tuesday, 22 July.

Since Edwards was, until recently, hoping to be president and will almost certainly have a prominent role in any Barack Obama administration, his marital integrity is a matter of public interest. It could yet become an election issue.

Yet neither the highfalutin NYT, nor the Tribune, nor even the LA Times, on whose patch the whole sordid business occurred, have yet stepped up to the plate to report it. Their old-fashioned reticence seems quaint, in this day of kiss'n'tell and chequebook journalism.

But it's also depressing: one of the reasons America's newspapers are dying is their perceived pomposity. Readers say they are too timid to rock the boat; right-wingers complain (with some justification) that they conspire to suppress damaging stories about Democrats. The general public thinks they have simply become boring. . . .

The rest of Adams’ column’s here. It’s well worth your time.

Comments - - -

Adams is right: The mainstream press has been derelict for almost a year now in not pursuing and reporting the Edwards affair story.
And he’s right that by suppressing the story, newspapers are in a process of hurting themselves.

The self-inflicted hurt will hit home once the story breaks through the MSM’s “news filter.”

When that happens, as surely it will, it won’t be public perception that newspapers “are too timid to rock the boat” that will hurt an industry already in steep decline in both circulation and public trust.

No one who’s watched America’s newspapers run fast, loud and recklessly with the Duke lacrosse, Jena 6 and “Haditha Marine massacre” lies believes the press is timid.

But it sure is biased toward the left.

And it’s not just “right-wingers” who believe that. Polls show most American’s do.

The leftward tilt of most newspapers is one reason so many of us are deserting them and moving to the “new media” where we can easily fact-check and get differing opinions.

When Americans learn the full story of the blackout of the Edwards affair, most will see the blackout as another example of MSM favoring Democrats and another reason to embrace the new media.


Anonymous said...


"It's a bloodbath out there..."

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

The Dallas Morning News(very green, liberal) just raised its daily price to $.75. Each time I walk by the news stand without purchasing a paper, I know I am doing my part.

I actually think the descent is accelerating.


Anonymous said...

The NY Slimes did their hatchet-job on McCain during the early primaries when they hinted that he was dipping his pen in the old company inkwell. Of course, they were very careful to avoid actually saying anything, but the series of stories was clearly intended to hurt McCain's chances with the GOP base.
Fast-forward to the John Edwards drama and not only is the Slimes not reporting a word, but the wannabe Slimes are taking the cue and zipping their collective lips. A sad day in journalism when the National Enquirer is reporting facts and the MSM is choosing instead to put our pro-St. Barack propaganda screeds. I ask you, is it any wonder that it seems only mentally deficient knee-jerk Leftists (sorry for the redundancy)makes up the Slimes readership. The Brits have them nailed spot on!
Tarheel Hawkeye