Why oh why can't we have a better press corps? David Kurtz writes:
Talking Points Memo: NYT covers blogger's nasty attack on author of WaPo's Obama Muslim piece--but devotes only one sentence to actual criticism of piece.
And it is all true. Here's all that Maria Aspan has to say about Perry Bacon's concern-troll hit piece o Obama:
At Web Site for Journalists, Criticism of a Campaign Article Becomes a Melee - New York Times: A usual round of media self-criticism turned into a schoolyard brawl last week, as editors, reporters and bloggers traded insults over a front-page article in The Washington Post, all at the very online water cooler where they usually get their news about the industry.
The Post article, which ran on Nov. 29, was about rumors of Barack Obama’s ties to the Muslim world. The piece drew widespread criticism: the Columbia Journalism Review said the article “may be the single worst campaign ’08 piece to appear in any American newspaper so far this election cycle.”
The Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, devoted a column on Dec. 9 to the backlash against it, concluding that “the rumors were old” and that “convincing evidence of their falsity wasn’t included in the story.”
Then things got really ugly...
If the critics were right--if Len Downie and the rest of the Post management did indeed encourage 27-year-old Perry Bacon to write a concern-troll hit-piece on Barack Obama--then things were already ugly. If the critics were wrong, then things were already ugly in the other direction. The most important thing readers need to learn is in which direction things were ugly. But Maria Aspan doesn't think that informing readers about the underlying substance is her job.