There’s lots of blather all over the web about the New York Times piece on John McCain.
I could link to something, but you’ve all seen it. Here are my own four comments:
First, the priestly class of reporters and editors in America have forever heaped spite on blogs for being cesspools of rumor and innuendo. So what’s so different about the Times piece? The opening concentration on McCain’s implied sexual affair is nothing but gossip from either unnamed sources or pure speculation. There isn’t a shred of direct evidence to support it, and as Dan Kennedy notes, its probably nobody’s business.
Second, the priestly class of reporters and editors in America routinely bemoan the dumbing down of journalism because of the innumerable stories about Britney Spears. How is the Times piece any different than celebrity gossip? The next time a guy like Jim O’Shea complains about Britney Spears coverage, just point him to the NYT McCain piece.
Third, anonymous sources. If there is a more cowardly way of reporting than using anonymous sources to create smear articles, I don’t know what it is. If you’re going to use anonymous sources, use them for real scandal — you know, like Watergate.
Fourth, I chuckled when I read the opening graphs of the story. The spin reminds me of this piece from the Onion. You can sensationalize anything if you want a story bad enough.
Folks, journalism is in serious need of reinvention, if this is what America’s finest paper thinks is news.