Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hey, Pinch: Demand a refund

The New York Times sends three reporters to Alaska and gets back a 3,100-word "investigative" article about Sarah Palin's career that's probably not the hard-hitting "gotcha" the editors had in mind. To the extent it's a "hit piece," it's because of the tendentious descriptors used by the employers, rather than any really damaging revelations of malfeasance by Palin.

Jennifer Rubin reviews the article and says:
Wow, are you shocked and appalled yet? Me neither, and I can't for the life of me figure out the point of the story. Ah, yes: the reporters were told to "get the goods" and this is all they found.
The Pentagon Papers, it ain't. If this is what Pinch Sulzberger is paying his reporters for, he's getting gypped. No wonder they're going broke.

UPDATE: The Washington Post sends one reporter to Alaska, who produces a 2,300-word article about Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla, another story that isn't likely to get a Pulitzer, either.

The astute news consumer will note that it is the "gotcha" agenda that makes these stories so damn unreadable. If these reporters had, instead, produced feature profiles that included the controversies of Palin's career -- rather than attempting to frame their stories as if they were investigating some big scandal -- the result might have been both more readable and more newsworthy. As it is, the reader can't help noticing that the reporters are trying to make scandalous mountains out of banal molehills.


  1. Consider the ginormous carbon footprint these lower 48 dirt-diggers must have left. Tsk tsk tsk.

    [Cue Peggy Lee singing "Is That All There Is?"]


  2. kitty... they left no bigger trail than you.

  3. They aren't even trying to pretend to be "journalists" any longer. Let them keep exposing themselves with this garbage until they are bled dry.

  4. So, anon, you don't buy that carbon footprint baloney, either!