TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Did ABC Not Find Sitting, D.C. Madam-Frequenting U.S. Senator Newsworthy?

senatorvitter_071007.jpgABC’s Brian Ross, after viewing the so-called D.C. Madam’s client list, quoted in May:

“[The Palfrey clients'] names won’t mean anything to our audience,” Ross said in an interview. “They just weren’t newsworthy enough.”

Today:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case. The statement containing Vitter’s apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004.

A sitting U.S. Senator is not newsworthy enough?

ABC’s response, via spokesman Jeffrey Schneider:

“I think we said at the time, and I can certainly say now that if a member of Congress or a United State Senator had come up on the list, and we were able to confirm that, we would have absolutely reported that. We had access to documents from 2002 to 2006, and we believe that we had access to possibly as much as 80% of those records. As you know, Ms. Palfrey had records going back more than 10 years, and we did not have all of the records, but we did very meticulous reporting on the records we did have. … There are obviously six other years of records that were just released, and the Senator’s number must have been on one of those years we didn’t have.”

EARLIER:

  • Video: D.C. Madam Slams ABC News
  • Mediabistro Course

    Travel Writing

    Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!