Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
It is said that an infinite number of monkeys banging on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time will eventually produce a precise replica of Shakespeare's Hamlet. A couple dozen monkeys fighting over three typewriters for an hour and a half, on the other hand, will yield something a lot closer to Frances Martel's inane write-up of a National Enquirer article for Mediaite. (Slate's John Dickerson aptly describes the underlying story about a supposed Obama sex scandal as an "investigation about an alleged rumor." Marc Ambinder adds that he and other reporters looked into the non-story years ago, and found that ... there's nothing to find.)
By now you probably know that Martel's Mediaite article was guilty of treating "old, evidence free rumors as breaking news" in part because Matt Drudge was hyping it and that there are some indications Martel was more interested in creating a scandal than reporting on one.
But what struck me about Martel's article was just how poorly-written it was, and how little she seemed to understand the article she was summarizing. And in reading several other recent Mediaite articles by Martel and managing editor Colby Hall, it seems this is a common problem.