Ed Driscoll

"All the News That Doesn't Harm Elizabeth Edwards"

Ace has a great round-up on the media’s stonewalling of the John Edwards story:

OPERATION PROTECT ELIZABETH

Never leave a fellow liberal soldier behind, and never stop fighting until the battle is won. The campaign continues.

“All the News That Doesn’t Harm Elizabeth Edwards”

I really can’t f***ing believe the media is now deciding whether to report big stories of national scope based on whether someone they like might be distressed by their reportage.

Of course I can believe it; I have to believe it. It’s what they’re doing, obviously.

I guess the New York Times didn’t like Cindy McCain all that much when it reported on McCain’s non-affair with his non-paramour.

Should media organizations be required to disclose which people they “like” and wish to “protect,” and which people they “don’t like” and “don’t wish to protect,” so that we might know beforehand where their biases may lie?

Seems like a bona fide conflict of interest, more so than many others. If the media is in the tank for Elizabeth Edwards, we need to know that, in order to properly evaluate their coverage of her husband.

But the classic showstopper is this moment from MSNBC’s David Shuster, in which he feigns shock at the John Edwards’ staffers are covering for his boss, and actually has the chutzpah to admit that he followed their advice on not covering the story:

More from Ace:

The media has two jobs here, which I’ve been seeing all day.

Job One: Reassure the public you knew all about this and are hardly surprised, because you don’t want them to think you’re so out of the f***ing loop this snuck up on you. So everyone’s in “Oh, of course I knew, it was all so obvious!” in-the-know cool-kid mode.

Job Two: The trickier one– attempt to explain how it can be you knew all about this but didn’t report it, or bother to do the minimum threshold of follow-up. Bear in mind, the National Enquirer is a small outfit. When they assign three or four people to a story, that’s a substantial fraction of their entire component of reporters and photographers.

It’s nothing for a network news organization to assign three or four people to a story — they’ve got hundreds of unpaid interns chomping at the bit to do something besides edit and fetch coffee, for God’s sakes. So even if they didn’t want to send a reporter, they could have sent a dozen recent graduates out there to get the story… which they would have gotten. This was not exactly a Phillip Marlowe murder mystery here.

Note that Job One and Job Two are basically impossible to square in any satisfactory manner. But they’re quite righteous and smugly self-complimentary about both.

In this video, David Shuster lets everyone know he knew allllll about this way before the Iowa primary, but failed to report on it — or, apparently, follow up at all– because “credible sources” within John Edwards’ camp assured him the story was garbage and that he’d be embarrassed to report it.

“You’re only as good as your ‘sources’ are,” Shuster says. Well, Dave, your sources are apparently shit, buddy, and you’re so f***ing credulous, stupid, or in the tank you deem them “very credible.” So I guess you’re not that good, eh?

Unable to let it stand there — with David Shuster looking pretty bad — he goes on to say how goshdarn angry he is about being lied to by his very credible people/crochet club buddies.

It’s their fault, you know.

Which is odd.

Edwards’ people were just doing their job. They did their job well.

It was Shuster who failed to do his job.

Why are they to blame? They never held themselves out as disinterested parties or objective observers. They’re supposed to be invested in their client’s/friend’s future.

Shuster was temporarily suspended by MSNBC, seemingly on orders of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, after his “pimped out” remark; nobody should be surprised that he, or MSNBC as a whole, spiked a story based on another Democrats’ threat.