In case you missed it---How many items can a blogger write about a ”Marketplace” radio feature that turned out to be fabricated? Well, you can do one on the news, another on a cool Web site that raised hell about the situation, another about how the radio stations (mis)handled the situation and yet another on how the whole misguided enterprise got off the ground to begin with. You can also link off to Poynter.org, which did excellent work on the story.
To wrap it all up, you can throw out a guess: The reason this blunder made it out to the public is that everyone appeared to suppose that the other person had checked it. A New America Foundation fellow named Anne Stuhldreher was the one who found the author of the bogus testimonial, a guy at the Occupy Oakland encampment who represented himself as Leo Webb. She met with him four or five times to work on Webb’s story.
Perhaps the people at San Francisco radio station KQED figured that Stuhldreher had done all the due diligence necessary on the matter. They aired Webb’s stuff and acknowledged that they now need to review their vetting procedures. And when KQED passed along the story to “Marketplace,” perhaps the same assumptions took place. “Marketplace,” too, is reviewing its handling of the situation.
Also: Political reporting is as competitive and cutthroat as any professional pursuit in America right now. It’s just thousands of sharks circling around the same prey. Given the constant scramble for sustenance, it’s asking a lot to expect news organizations to chill out and not rush a story into print.
Yet when the story is about the Donald, that’s just the challenge. Be last.
*Mathew Ingram of GigaOm says that this chart tells you absolutely everything you need to know about the economics of the New York Times paywall. And is he ever right. The killer chart shows ad revenue, circulation revenue and total revenue. Two of those are headed off of a cliff. One is moving upward, though not upward enough for the Times’ liking. Guess which are headed which way, then check your projections.
*Speaking of the Times, if you want something of a pre-game analysis of the search for a new Times CEO, Ken Doctor has all the angles covered. Doctor:
The next CEO is a big roll of the dice, as the gaming table shrinks. There’s little room for error. Pick the right new leader and the Times has improved its chances for survival; pick wrong and these key years of 2012-2014, as news crosses over into a mainly digital business, will be cited in the obit. AP faces a similar tension as it seeks a successor for long-time CEO Tom Curley. Dow Jones, cushioned by parent News Corp.’s better-lined pockets, too, is finalizing its CEO search. Put them together, and it’s a signal moment for American news media, as three top positions open themselves up to possibility, and imagination, simultaneously.
*Tweet from @shanecyr: “Just think how many jokes they could tell on The Daily Show if Jon didn’t stop to explain every single one of them.”
*Entrepreneur laments that the fact that his firm was founded by a rabbi wasn’t quite enough to get the firm’s story good pickup in the national media. So he offers five tips for getting free publicity.
*Media Matters commends Bill O’Reilly for his ability to hold a grudge. This one’s against Al Franken.
*A tweet from @AntDeRosa: “’No offense to WSJ, but I think we got more comments this month than the WSJ got last year’ - HuffPo founding editor Roy Sekoff”
*CJR rounds up every conceivable strain of press sentiment vis-a-vis a drawn-out primary battle.
I just root for the story. It’s a line sportswriters use all the time, to defend against the charge that they favor a particular team. The echo is no coincidence. As Jack Shafer recently noted, the professional incentives facing campaign reporters and sportswriters are strikingly similar: both must “maintain reader enthusiasm for the months and months of caucuses or preseason games, primaries or regular season games, conventions or playoffs, and the general election or Super Bowl (or World Series).” In both cases, if you have a colorful underdog, you want him to stick around.
*Guess what Jon Stewart took aim at last night. Hint: Title of segment was “Rich Man, Richer Man.”