Because it unfolded over the weekend and might have gone somewhat overlooked, I encourage you to check out the Mediaite report from early Saturday morning, which managed to breathlessly and inaccurately hype an inaccurate National Enquirer gotcha about Obama supposedly having an affair. (Shocker, the 'story' collapsed.) The Mediaite effort by Frances Martel really was one of the worst things I've read all year. By anyone sitting in from of a keyboard. (Even worse than this recent, awful effort by her.)
Media Matters already demolished the contents of Mediaite's so-called article. But I think there are so many warning flags contained in this misguided effort that Mediaite founder Dan Abrams really needs to look hard at what happened and decide if, going forward, he wants to run a serious, grown-up site that reports about the media and politics. Or, if he doesn't care that Mediaite is viewed as link-chasing joke. Which I have to say, after this weekend it definitely is.
One rather massive red flag? in her report, Martel actually pointed to the fact that Matt Drudge was linking to the National Enquirer trash as a reason why the story was "credible." (She later changed that to "significant.") That's right, for someone on-staff at Mediaite, the fact that Drudge, a habitual liar who literally invents stories in order to make Democrats look bad (it's his job), linked to a extraordinarily dubious National Enquirer story, meant the story should be taken seriously. (Of course, it would have been noteworthy if Drudge had not linked to the Enquirer's pointless gotcha piece.)
I really think Abrams ought to publicly address Mediaite's weekend trainwreck.
UPDATED: Mediaite's lame and ongoing, we-were-just-passing-along-information defense continues to embarrass the site. As Media Matters documented over the weekend--and which Mediaite refuses to acknowledge--Mediaite couldn't even report accurately about the stuff the National Enquirer was peddling. In other words, Mediaite embellished the Enquirer report to make it seem more salacious and newsworthy.
UPDATED: It turns out that over the weekend, Abrams, writing in the Mediaite comment section, specifically endorsed the premise that because Drudge linked to the National Enquirer, it instantly became news [emphasis added]:
The author, Frances Martel, is reporting it as a significant story, at least about the media, now that Drudge linked to it. I may not entirely agree with Frances' reasoning as to why that makes it significant, but there is no question she is right that with Drudge's millions of eyeballs, it should be covered by a media site.
That's quite a standard. Of course, it would have helped if somebody at Mediaite had accurately covered the Enquirer story, rather than embellishing it. But Abrams doesn't seem to want to address that point.