May 21, 2003

I KEEP READING PEOPLE -- Kaus is the latest example -- complaining about Howard Kurtz's alleged conflict of interest in covering media organizations while actually working for them.

But I don't get it. Maybe this is one of those weird journalistic things that only makes sense to journalists -- like, you know, the BBC's reputation for accuracy, or the idea that Mark Russell is funny -- but in law the solution to a conflict of interest is generally disclosure. If you disclose, and the client accepts, that's enough.

Here everybody knows about Kurtz's "conflict" -- you can't miss it when he's on TV and in print and when everyone is constantly talking about it -- and when you choose to read him or watch him, well, you've accepted.

So am I missing something (it's not as if I wrote a book on this kind of thing -- oh, wait. . . .), or is this just jealousy over his having such a good gig?

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis says I'm right.