Let Sleeping Dog Lie
Exhibiting that "New York Times state of mind" that has characterized the paper's (lack of) investigative effort in the Edwards story, Times' columnists, David Brooks and Gail Collins, argue that, after the Times' 11-day coverage of the affair, the John Edwards affair is ready to "recede[s] into history".
From State of Affairs
Gail Collins:David, we’re about to embark on back-to-back conventions, so let’s find something else to talk about besides the presidential race. Before the John Edwards affair recedes into history, should we discuss Lessons Learned?
One of the lessons DBKP has learned thus far: Don't depend on the New York Times to break anything of consequence on politically-sensitive news that affects Dem pols. Subtract from the Times' John Edwards' coverage the stories:
A. the Times stole from bloggers;
B. the Times covers itself for not covering the Edwards story; and,
C. that either furiously spun why it didn't investigate Edwards or conversational pieces like the Collins-Brooks gabfest.
What's left? Not much.
If forced, The NYT may comment only as much as is necessary on the National Enquirer's investigative work--before it assigns another reporter on its possible story about Edwards' possible past dalliance with a Duke co-ed.
Collins continues to echo the "Edwards scandal was a sex story" MSM meme--demonstrating that the Times is perfectly willing to let others beat it to the bigger story of the cover-up and the money trails that even now have our "crack research department" reaching for the Dramamine.
I hope the mainstream media doesn’t decide that this means they should commit their limited investigative resources to trailing every allegation of political adultery The National Enquirer uncovers. We all have specialties in life — I’m good with letting The National Enquirer folks hang onto their niche.
Could Collins be referring to the niche known as "news"?
As voters, our interest in which big names are sleeping around is real but limited. One limit is that you don’t torture also-rans. If Edwards had ever had a serious chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, this would have been a huge matter. He’d made his marriage a major part of his campaign — by the end, it was really the main thing he had going. Imagine the chaos the Democrats would be in right now if he had the nomination locked up.
"Imagine the chaos the Democrats would be in right now if he had the nomination locked up."
Actually, the REAL mental exercise would be imagining the chaos right now in the Times' editorial office. How would they go about reporting on a Dem nominee's scandal and cover-up that they had never written about?
Collins and the Times still don't get it: this was an affair--big deal. But it was, and is, an elaborate cover-up undertaken at precisely the time when the Times, and others in the MSM, failed to perform their traditional duties vetting and investigating candidates running for president.
Collins would have been spared the mental gymnastics of "the chaos the Democrats would be in right now if he [Edwards] had the nomination locked up", if the Times had assigned a mail room worker to do even the most elementary investigation on a home PC.
Regardless of their opinions of the National Enquirer, the tabloid presented the MSM with a gift-wrapped box of facts to check out in December on John Edwards, when he was very much in the running for the Democratic nomination.
What's more important than what media watchdogs, Gail Collins or DBKP think about the Times, are what readers, advertisers and stock buyers think about the decrepit Grey Lady. From a few months ago;
THE New York Times once epitomised all that was great about American newspapers; now it symbolises its industry’s deep malaise. The Grey Lady’s circulation is tumbling, down another 3.9% in the latest data from America’s Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Its advertising revenues are down, too (12.5% lower in March than a year earlier), as is the share price of its owner, the New York Times Company, up from its January low but still over 20% below what it was last July. On Tuesday April 29th Standard & Poor’s cut the firm’s debt rating to one notch above junk.
At the company’s annual meeting a week earlier, its embattled publisher, Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, attempted to quash rumours that his family is preparing to jettison the firm it has owned since 1896. Carnage is expected soon as dozens of what were once the safest jobs in journalism are axed, since too few of the staff have accepted a generous offer of voluntary redundancy.
Note to Colins, et.al.:
New York Times stock price (Aug 22 2008) - $13.21, down from the $23.65 of a year ago.
Might be time for the New York Times to change that "All the News That our Hopeless Editorial Staff Decides is Fit to Print" slogan to something a little catchier.
Like maybe, "We read the Enquirer, too"?
images: dbkp file