Politico Can Suck A Fat Dick

In a piece titled “Al Gore and the Media Protection Racket,” The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord argued that the existence of a police report involving the former vice president was news in itself, and the Tribune should have reported it as such. For the Spectator, it was déjà vu all over again — the magazine was the first publication to name Paula Jones in a 1994 story on then-President Bill Clinton’s sex life.

“And by not publishing what was a verifiable fact — which is to say news — that a police report existed placing one of the most powerful people in the American and global establishment at the scene of a disturbing potential sexual crime, the Tribune signaled on just which side of the power equation it sees itself as sitting,” Lord wrote. “By remaining silent, it was effectively heading off an investigation into Gore’s activities from any manner of other media outlets with more resources at their disposal than those available to a small Oregon paper.”

Portland Tribune Executive Editor Mark Garber responded to the article Friday morning, sending along a copy of the police report and arguing that it contained “little to no factual information.”

“Do you really believe it would be responsible journalistically to publish a story based on a police report that was filed months earlier by a lawyer whose client refused to talk to police or press charges?” Garber wrote. “Or, was it more responsible to actually investigate whether there was any basis for the story? After all, people make wacky accusations about public figures every day. How would we know, based on this police report that you value so greatly, whether this was or wasn’t a complete hoax?[“]

The mainstream media are still smarting from the embarrassment of being scooped by the Enquirer on the story of John Edwards’s affair with Rielle Hunter, which led to much handwringing in media criticism circles — including at POLITICO — about whether the press really vets presidential candidates. Books such as John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s “Game Change” reveal that the affair was well-known to Edwards staffers, who considered leaking to the mainstream media but in the end did not.

Now the networks and papers such as The Washington Post and New York Times are faced with a similar situation. Following the Enquirer’s second blockbuster scoop against a star of the Democratic Party last week, the mainstream media still treated the story as essentially a fringe narrative, with the first question coming from The Washington Post being: Did the paper pay for the story? The answer was yes, but not the $1 million that the masseuse, Molly Hagerty, asked for.

To be fair, Howard Kurtz was asking a legitimate question, since the accuser had claimed to be selling her story. But the fact that the first reported story in the Post asked this question, and not a question about the case itself, is revealing.

By Wednesday, however, the mainstream media had begun to treat the story differently. The New York Times ran The Associated Press story of the Portland police department’s decision to reopen the case and by Thursday had assigned a reporter, Jesse McKinley, to the story.

via Gore story goes mainstream – Keach Hagey – POLITICO.com.

Did the accuser cooperate with police? Of course not! Were the allegations old news by the time the Portland paper even heard of them? Certainly! Did she sell her story? You bet! Was Kurtz’s question perfectly reasonable? Absolutely! Could it have been the first question asked because there was enough of a record of paperwork that the press already determined there was nothing to this? That’s entirely possible, but still the question is “revealing!” Of what? We can’t be bothered to say! Has it been less than a half-dozen paragraphs since we explained how it was possible for papers to look into this even without having reporters lob questions at press conferences? You bet your ass! Are these allegations coming entirely from partisan writers? Indeed they are! Did we previously allude to an incident with Paula Jones in which the same magazine came up with nothing? Affirmative! Will that stop us from heavily implying that the media are up to no good if they choose to exercise due diligence before deciding whether to kick some hack conservative writer’s football, Charlie Brown? Fuck no it won’t!

I’ll stop Rumsfelding now, but also note how they refer to the Enquirer being first to pass along unverified news as a “scoop.” Really shows what Politico’s about. “Yeah sure there are indications out the ass that there’s nothing whatsoever to this, but the Enquirer was right about something politically-related — once —  and a conservative writer is pissed off so clearly the media is being negligent. Drudge link nao plz.” I mean I see a tabloid article about Obama having secret gay affairs at least once a month; maybe the fuckheads at Politico want to set about browbeating the rest of the media into treating that like Hard News Worthy Of Serious Consideration as well. For Christ’s sake the fact that the Enquirer is occasionally not making shit up means that they’re able to continue existing, not that they’re suddenly a reliable source. Blind squirrel, nut, etc.

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