Thursday, September 03, 2009

Print journalists blame the internet for their own failings

This story caught my attention in today's (9/3) NYT. It's about a tenaciously rumored wedding last month between Chelsea Clinton and Marc Medvinsky that didn't happen. But the substance of the story is irrelevant. The writer, Peter Baker, blames the persistence of the rumor, despite continuous denials by the principles and everyone around them, on "the internet-driven media culture, where," he says, "facts sometimes do not get in the way of a good story." However, if one reads further one finds out who really doesn't let facts "get in the way of a good story." He writes "the wedding rumor mill was started by The Boston Globe." Obviously, a mainstay of the "internet-driven media culture." But clearly it must have been carried on by gossip blogs and web sites. Baker writes: "Then New York magazine picked up the ball." (Another internet mainstay). To compound Baker's "inability to let facts get in the way," he says, "In July, The Daily News of New York said that 'Clintonistas are quietly being told to save the date.'" This rumor is once again advanced by another internet mainstay: "The Washington Post reported in August" and then "The Post followed up with a 1,775-word article." And, of course, that paragon of journalistic virtue "The New York Post reported [on Sunday] that the wedding could be that very day...."

So it seems there was no reason for throwing a grenade at the internet, except to cover up the ongoing failure of the corporate-owned media to let "facts...get in the way of a good story." Just imagine, when it really counts, how accurate the print media is likely to be.


sanda said...

Glenn Greenwald is often on this issue: (I hope.)

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