Hi Erik [Wemple Blog],
The media on media violence triggered by the ongoing release of my inbox from the four years I served in the Administration has led me to emerge from my self-imposed hibernation (for one night only).
Any reporter who’s ever interacted with me can guess that I am more than a little entertained by seeing the media eat its own. But they also know that there is a lot of hypocrisy going on here. They know that because they themselves have engaged in what you and others have called transactional journalism — the ultimate Washington DC redundant phrase.
And that’s because you can’t throw a dart at the White House Correspondents Dinner without hitting someone who has been involved in quote approval, ground rule negotiation, source obfuscation — and every other routine thing that goes on every day, on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the equation.
And with all due respect, that includes you.
We interacted often in 2012 and 2013. While we often disagreed, we were in vigorous agreement that accuracy in political reporting is vital, but often lacking. That’s all you & I were doing on September 23, 2012. But while I know what I meant in that exchange, and I know what you meant in that exchange — putting accuracy above all else – others could read your words through the rearview prism of accusation and say you were letting me edit your piece. You were doing no such thing. You would never allow your name on a byline if you didn’t believe in every word. Nor would Marc Ambinder.
So until there is some equivalent of the Geneva Conventions explicitly spelling out the rules we should all abide by, it would be far fairer (and accurate) to either indict everyone equally, or defend everyone equally.
But this Unethical Reporter of the Week routine, based entirely on whatever fakakta process is determining which of my email is produced to Gawker and in what order, is truly hypocritical. While it will take until late 2018 or even 2019 for all of my 80,000+ email to be out there, I have a well informed source who already knows what’s in my email:
I wrote them. I read them.
And right or wrong, this is the norm. It’s the norm in every newsroom — including your own — and every communications shop in the city.
So anyone shocked by the gambling going on in the casino is being disingenuous at best. And they are setting themselves up for a fall when their email is outed.
So I’m begging you, please don’t make me have to defend journalism again…