May 27, 2003

VIK RUBENFELD COMMENTS on Rick Bragg’s experience with bad publicity:

Mr. Bragg is experiencing, doubtless for the first time, how unfair hostile reporting is. Yet this is what the meanstream press has subjected every other business in America to for decades.

Hostile reporting is the result of the sentence all mainstream reporters say, specifically, “To be objective I must be hostile to the subject of the article.” That sentence is false. Hostility as a goal produces only attacks. It does not produce fairness. This is what Bragg, and the press, are discovering under these unfortunate circumstances.

And the Times isn’t even close to getting the full-bore Enron treatment. Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg observes:

Frankly I think Rick Bragg is getting a raw deal given the rules he was told to work under. But I can’t muster much sympathy since the Times represents the height of journalistic goody-goodieness and arrogance.

I suspect a lot of people will feel that way, though I’m not sure it’s entirely fair.