The Washington Post

What’s so corrupt about news tips?

Fellow Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, punditting yesterday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” deplores a “noxious cycle that the media is not being very honest about.” Stages in this miserable cycle, Rubin alleges, include taking tips from the Obama campaign — ”sometimes incorrectly, sometimes spottily” — writing stories based on them, watching as the Obama people use the reporting for attack ads and then, finally, doing stories on those attack ads.

Rubin appears to be suggesting that reporters’ accepting tips from news sources is a form of corruption. It’s actually more of a job requirement or a survival skill. Cultivate sources and tips, or die.

Political operatives from both sides and reporters who don’t take full advantage of this wonderful, all-American cycle — working it every day till early November — won’t remain political operatives and reporters for too long.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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