Oh, That Incestuous Media

We don’t subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, our local paper, but occasionally the delivery guy will drop off a complementary copy. Last Sunday was one of those days; here’s an image of the front page. The image is pretty poor, but if you look in the top left-hand corner, you’ll see a very large, prominent blurb for a story titled “Monica’s Moving.” The extensive article inside (in the business section, no less) is about how Monica Kaufman, arguably Atlanta’s most recognizable local TV news host, has a $4 million house up for sale.

That’s a pretty good advertisement, don’t you think? Priceless, even, considering the AJC doesn’t sell advertising on that particular piece of Sunday front-page acreage. I mean, let’s say you had a house on the market. How much would it be worth to you to have it advertised for free on the front page of the paper?

Of course, you or I wouldn’t get that kind of special treatment. You have to, er, know somebody to get your for-sale listing put up that prominently. And here’s a kicker that somehow made it past the legal and ethical guardians at the AJC–Kaufman and the paper’s editors all work for the same conglomerate, Cox Communications. Nope, no conflicts of interest there!

But hey, I’m sure I’m just being cynical. No doubt everybody involved are all unselfish guardians of the public good–and of what we ought to know about. And clearly, we didn’t need to know that Kaufman works for the AJC’s owners, since that little fact isn’t mentioned in the article.

Ah, what’s to get upset about? Since when do “journalists” have to live by the same rules as the little people?