Ed Driscoll

Our Poor, Harried, Overworked MSM

John Hinderaker catches this excuse from the Washington Post’s ombudsman and its national editor for not covering the New Black Panthers’ voter intimidation case, and its dismissal by the Justice Department:

Jennifer Rubin provided a concise summary of the case in her Weekly Standard article on it. I think this should be a big story, and I know it would be viewed as a scandal of epic proportions to which we would be treated on a daily basis if a similar story arose in a Republican administration. It is the sickening double standard of the mainstream media that adds the frisson of disgust to what is otherwise an interesting story in itself.

Has the story been overblown by conservative commentators on the Internet and/or underblown by the mainstream media? To Paul’s discussions we can now add the contribution of Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander.

Alexander considers whether the the Washington Post was right to have ignored the story until last week. Alexander judges that the Post should have attended to the story “because it’s a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights’ investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If Adams is pursuing a right-wing agenda, he should be exposed.” Alexander’s judgment is somewhat reserved at this point.

Why did the Post sit on the story until last week? Here Alexander relays the testimony of National Editor Kevin Merida. Merida termed the controversy “significant” and said he wished the Post had written about it sooner. “The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said.” Unfortunately, Alexander reserves his judgment on this excuse as well.

Meanwhile, responding to the excuse from CBS’s Bob Schieffer that “I was on vacation that week. This happened — apparently, it got very little publicity. And, you know, I just didn’t know about it,” Drew M. at Ace of Spades’ blog notes:

Strangely enough, the thrust of the segment is that FNC gave the story too much coverage. What Schieffer really meant is that the story didn’t get much publicity from the right kind of outlets, the approved gatekeepers he pays attention to. FNC? Doesn’t count.

The bigger problem is it sounds like poor old Bob is working by himself to put on Face the Nation every week. He has no producers, no researchers, no editors to keep track of things when he’s away or to help identify important issues. Nope just Bob. Sounds more like a guy doing a show from his basement on a webcam than a long running network show.

Hey, that’s a shot (albeit unintentionally) at the people who actually do daily video shows with just two people involved in the talent and crew. And it’s also pretty ironic that Pajamas has done so much to push this story, basically via the efforts of a couple of dozen people running around an L.A. office suite, unlike the vast resources of CBS. (And ABC, whose anchorman Charlie Gibson essentially used the same excuse last year, to explain why the network didn’t cover ACORN’s meltdown.)

In a way, I’m kind of surprised that this prominent General Electric spokesman is taking a couple of weeks off right now; everybody else in the MSM sounds like they’re just too darn busy and overworked to report on serious news these days.