Friday, October 29, 2010
Screw the Messenger
I haven't turned on the TV yet this morning or scanned the newspapers, but I'm going to make an assumption that I wish weren't true but I just know damn well is: Every major news outlet in the country is running with the Christine O'Donnell one-night-stand story.
Only they're not focusing on the supposed drunken and unsuccessful sex act, since that would be beneath them; instead they're pegging their coverage off of the controversy and outrage that Gawker has spawned by posting the allegation. In other words, they're pulling an end-run and doing a story based on a specious and prurient claim -- one paid for by a media outlet with zero journalistic standards -- while piously pretending that they're simply doing a story about the story. As if somehow when they ask the question "Did Gawker Go Too Far in Smearing Christine O'Donnell?" they're not wallowing in the same pig sty Nick Denton and Co. did by running with the damn thing in the first place.
The anonymous O'Donnell sex story -- something which would never in a million years have been touched by a reputable entity like NBC, CNN or the New York Times -- will now be on NBC and CNN and in the New York Times under the guise of the necessity of covering the piece's fallout. Once again, as if you can do the story without mentioning "the story."
Remember a couple of weeks back when I linked to a terrific David Carr column dissecting what I called "ethical rendition" on the part of the mainstream media? Well I have a feeling you're about to witness it in it's purest, most repugnant form.