See Glenn Greenwald.
David Perel is at it again today in the opinion pages of the WSJ. We mean, the tabloid gets one political scandal story right (i.e. John Edwards) and now we're supposed to listen him Perel preach about how courageous his checkbook-writing reporters are? We'll pass.
Worse, Perel re-tells the Palin fake pregnancy story and claims that after the rumor was posted on Daily Kos, the "mainstream media instantly joined the fray, questioning Mr. McCain's people about the report and triggering Mrs. Palin to announce that her teenage daughter was pregnant."
Where's the proof? We haven't seen the name of one reporter who pressured the McCain campaign about Palin's pregnancy. We understand that McCain aides claim the jackals in the press were demanding (off the record, of course) answers about the pregnancy rumor. But to date, they have not been able to name a single mainstream reporter who went there.
So it's ironic that in an essay that lectures the press on how do conduct itself, Perel simply passes along gossip as fact.
Specifically, Clinton minds. It's quite a skill: "I know, the Clintons are difficult to deal with and probably hope Obama fails."
Both Bill and Hillary are campaigning for Obama. But according to Fineman, they actually want him to lose. Talk about an historical race.
Claims Palin has been "slimed" by the press because it has made some inaccurate allegations about her record. So now every time a campaign reporter gets a fact wrong they're "sliming" somebody? Adam Reilly at The Phoenix thinks that's a bit much.
Editorial denounces McCain's lipstick attack as "silly." But the paper remains dutifully silent about its own lipstick coverage or how the press turned the "silly" attack into a blockbuster story.
For those keeping score this morning, the NYTimes blames the Internet for the non-story while the Post blames McCain. As for the press? it plays no role in the controversy.
Try to follow this logic:
There's no question that Senator Obama did not refer to Gov. Sarah Palin as a pig during his talk last night in Virginia. Although the allusion to lipstick within a week of Ms. Palin's popular line at the Republican convention has prompted a great deal of chatter around the Internet.
So according to the Times, there's no way anyone could suggest that Obama was referring to Palin with his pig comment. No way. But what created the chatter on the Internet was Palin's previous reference at the convention.
First of all, the incessant chatter about the comment has been coming not from the Internet but from the mainstream press, and especially cable television, which won't stop talking about the non-story. (See below.)
And second, what actually prompted the story were erroneous suggestions by reporters at AP, WSJ, and ABC, among others, who claimed the candidate was referring to Palin; claims based solely on the ability of reporters to read the candidate's mind since he made no verbal references to Palin at the time. That in turn was pounced on by the McCain camp as proof of a personal attack.
This whole episode has been a journalism disgrace. The Times' attempt to blame this non-story on the Internet just adds to the misery.
Take a look.
With a tip of the hat to CJR (we told you we loved them), here's an updated tally on the number of times the cablers have mentioned "lipstick" in the recent Tuesday-into-Wednesday news cycle:
Fox News: 98
Here's a County Fair bonus contrast: The number of times each cabler in the same news cycle mentioned distressed lender, Fannie Mae?
Fox news: 20
Behold, our Fourth Estate.