Skip to comments.Shocking Inside DC Scandal Rumor: A Media Ethics Dilemma
Posted on 10/30/2007 6:09:13 PM PDT by jimboster
So I was down in DC this past weekend and happened to run into a well-connected media person, who told me flatly, unequivocally that everyone knows The LA Times was sitting on a story, all wrapped up and ready to go about what is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate. Everyone knows meaning everyone in the DC mainstream media political reporting world. Sitting on it because the paper couldnt decide the complex ethics of whether and when to run it. The way I heard it theyd had it for a while but dont know what to do. The person who told me )not an LAT person) knows I write and didnt say dont write about this.
If its true, I dont envy the LAT. I respect their hesitation, their dilemma, deciding to run or not to run it raises a lot of difficult journalism ethics questions and theyre likely to be attacked, when it comes outthe story or their suppression of the storywhatever they do.
Ive been sensing hints that somethings going on, somethings going unspoken in certain insider coverage of the campaign (and by the way this rumor the LA Times is supposedly sitting on is one I never heard in this specific form before. By the way, ts not the Edwards rumor, its something else.
And when my source said everyone in Washington, knows about it he means everyone in the elite Mainstream media, not just the LA Times, but everyone regularly writing about the Presdidential campaign knows about it and doesnt know what to do with it. And I must admit it really is was juicy if true. But I dont know if its true and I cant decide if I think its relevant. But the fact that everyone in the elite media knew about it and was keeping silent about it, is, itself, news. But you cant report the news without reporting the thing itself. Troubling!
It raises all sorts of ethical questions. What about private sexual behavior is relevant? What about a marriage belongs in the coverage of a presidential campaign? Does it go to the judgment of the candidate in question? Didnt we all have a national nervous breakdown over these questions nearly a decade ago?
Now, as I say its a rumor; I havent seen the supporting evidence. But the person who told me said it offhandedly as if everyone in his world knew about it. And if you look close enough you can find hints of something impending, something potentially derailing to this candidate in the reporting of the campaign. Which could mean that something unspoken, unwritten about is influencing what is written, what we read.
Why are well wired media elite keeping silent about it? Because they think we cant handle the truth? Because they think its substantively irrelevant? What standards of judgment are they using? Are they afraid that to print it will bring on opprobrium. Are they afraid not printing it will bring on opprobrium? Or both?
But alas if it leaks out from less responsible sources. then all their contextual protectiveness of us will have been wasted.
And what about timing? They, meaning the DC elite media, must know if it comes out before the parties select their primary winners and eventual nominees, voters would have the ability to decide how important they felt it to the narrative of the candidate in question. Arent they, in delaying and not letting the pieces fall where they potentially may, not refusing to act but acting in a different waytaking it upon themselves to decide the Presidential election by their silence?
If they waited until the nominees were chosen wouldnt that be unfair because, arguably, it could sink the candidacy of one of the potential nominees after the nomination was finalized? And doesnt the fact that they all know somethings there but cant say affect their campaign coverage in a subterranean, subconscious way that their readers are excluded from?
I just dont know the answer. Im glad in a situation like this, if there is in fact truth to it, that I wouldnt have to be the decider. I wouldnt want to be in a position of having to make that choice. But its a choice that may well decide a crucial turning point in history. Or maybe not: Maybe voters will decide they dont think its important, however juicy. But should it be their choice or the choice of the media elites? It illustrates the fact that there are still two cultures at war within our political culture, insiders and outsiders. As a relative outsider I have to admit I was shocked not just by this but by several other things everyone down there knows.
There seem to be two conflicting imperatives here. The new media, Web 2.0 anti-elitist preference for transparency and immediacy and the traditional elitist preference for reflection, judgment and standardstheir reflection, their small-group judgment and standards. Their civic duty to protect us from knowing too much.
I feel a little uneasy reporting this. No matter how well nailed they think they have it, it may turn out to be untrue. What Im really reporting on is the unreported persistence of a schism between the DC media elites and their inside knowlede and the public that is kept in the dark. For their own good? Maybe theyd dismiss it as irrelevant, but shouldnt they know?
I dont know.
I say Edwards — and that means they were scooped by the Enquirer.
“I’m betting it’s Obama”
It’s gotta be. They wouldn’t dare sink the H-beast.
I feel that it is something regarding Obama. He and his campaign don’t seem to be acting the same, as of late.
I was guessing he had been threatened by Hillary. Still could be the case. this thing being whispered about — could be something planted by Hillary, to silence Obama.
You can safely bet that it’s not a Republican. They would never sit on a story involving a Republican candidate.
They’re probably waiting to spring it at the “right” moment, which means the moment it will have maximum impact. It doesn’t have to be a fresh story, either. Hmmmm, I wonder who and what the rumor is about. Could be Obama. LOL, what if it’s HILLARY? But seriously, if this is about some old, 10-20 year old affair that the spouse already knows about and has dealt with it and moved on, and nothing has happened since, then I don’t think it’s relevant to an election, except to embarrass a candidate.
Wow... I should have read more closely.
Has to be a Democrap. If it was a Republican, it would be front page news all across the country.
Not necessarily. They would sit on a story about a Republican and spring it on the public at an opportune moment if that meant tipping the balance of an election, you can bet your sweet patootie on that.
Not necessarily a story about a ‘rat, the liberals love to time the release of things damaging to the Republicans for maximum effect.
1) A documented, verifiable lesbian relationship on Hillary's part; or
2) A documented, verifiable extramarital affair between Obama and a white woman,
3) A documented verifiable homosexual relationship on Obama's part .
Nothing other than those things would potentially be derailing to either campaign: given Bill's catting around, most people would (I think and I can't stand her) not hold a heterosexual affair against Hillary, and, even though Obama is seen as something of a 'mr. clean' his having an affair would not be disqualifying unless there were more to it, such as it being inter-racial or homosexual.
If it is Edwards, BFD. He isn't a serious candidate even if Hillary and Obama drop dead.
He already said it wasn’t about Edwards.
My thoughts exactly.
Might as well have some race questions mixed in with the sex and politics "dillemma".
You mean our media doesn’t impartially deliver the news to the people, but is of such a united mind that it will withhold or censor news according to its agenda?
Nah, now why would I think that?
You reading my mind? Beat me by seconds!