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Ask Piranhamous Anything

Friday’s installment of “Ask Piranhamous Anything” got lost in the shuffle, so Monday it is. Send your queries to FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com. This isn’t an advice column — Piranhamous doesn’t know what the hell you should do with your life any more than you do — and worse, he doesn’t care. Try to keep your questions short — we want to keep this fun, simple, funny and insightful.

Are networks and newspapers too focused on getting things first rather than right (i.e. the SCOTUS ruling and Fox News and CNN)?

Reporters have always wanted to be first, which in the Twitter age means right less and less. A “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment was rare before the 24-hour news cycle. But once news moved from newspapers to TV they happened more frequently. Now the news cycle has gone from 24 hours to 140 characters, which has only meant more mistakes. So can you really blame CNN and Fox? Absolutely. But the Twitter news cycle, while allowing for more mistakes, allows for those mistakes to go from a printed 24-hour shame to essentially being on the level of misspeaking.

Should Politico and White House Correspondent Joe Williams have gone their separate ways?

Williams is hardly alone at Politico in his contempt for anyone not in the Democrat Party, so what’s one more? The media stopped being honest brokers decades ago, we just have alternatives today that highlight them now. Williams was a little worse than usual, but rather than being an exception to the rule he’s probably just an outlier. Sad but true.

As a journalist I sometimes get death threats. What should I do about it?

Who doesn’t get them these days? If they’re the standard “I wish you were dead” cracks, take pride in doing your job well enough to get under someone’s skin with the truth to that point. If its a rarer “I am going to shoot you as you walk to your car” or even more specific, call the police. It would be better if you could just shoot the prick, but I hear prison isn’t as fun as it’s portrayed in the movies. Hopefully police can follow the digital footprints back to the person making them and they can either have their lives made hell through court costs or, better yet, they can find out how accurate the Shawshank Redemption actually was.
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