The L.A. Times, be it ever so humble, has decided to dictate what constitutes news in them thar parts. The Left Coast Grey Lady, uninterested in what the National Enquirer might break, announced that no one — not even bloggers, for gosh sakes — will be allowed to write anything about John Edwards and his philandering.
The news was unleashed late last week and Jim Romenesko, bless his muckraking heart, was able to locate the memo from Times editor Tony Pierce. The Times might take some lessons from the Enquirer, at least on breaking stories.
Click continued to see the email…
From: “Pierce, Tony”
Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT
Subject: john edwards
There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.
If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don’t hesitate to ask
That will certainly calm paranoia about the Mainstream Media (MSM) suppressing the Edwards scandal. …
P.S.: Is the Times’ edict a) part of a double-standard that favors Democrats (and disfavors Republicans like Rep. Vito Fossella and John McCain)? Or does it b) simply reflect an outmoded Gatekeeper Model of journalism in which not informing readers of certain sensitive allegations is as important as informing them–as if readers are too simple-minded to weigh charges that are not proven, as if they aren’t going to find out about such controversies anyway? I’d say it’s a mixture of both (a) and (b). This was a sensational scandal the LAT and other MSM papers passionately did not want to uncover when Edwards was a formal candidate, and now that the Enquirer seems to have done the job for them it looks like they want everyone to shut up while they fail to uncover it again. …
P.P.S.: The Times apparently failed to get word of the ban to one of its bloggers in time to prevent her from shocking readers by saying she hoped the allegations against Edwards weren’t true. … 2:55 A.M. link