Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do-You-Still-Beat-Your-Wife Journalism

Remember that song from the Music Man about gossip? "Pick a little, talk a little, peck a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep! Talk a lot, pick a little more."

Is it OK to print nasty rumors about a public person--say, oh, I dunno. . . say a candidate for president--as long as your newspaper story clearly says that the rumors are unsubstantiated?

The New York Times seems to think so. Hey, is it their fault that the top story on my Yahoo screen is "Cindy McCain, like others, stands by man" ? I mean, gee, they said it was an unsubstantiated rumor.

The Poynter Institutes "Everyday Ethics" column has choice words for the Times; the title of today's column is "Repeating what you don't report." Unless you're a journalist or an ethicist, though, here's the bottom line: the New York Times says John McCain was carrying on with a hot DC lobbyist a few years ago. OOOOOOHHHHHH!

As a bleeding heart liberal who is usually rather gleeful when Republican candidates gag on thier own self-righteousness, I have to say this makes me ill. Shame on the NY Times. Glad I've never been a subscriber.

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