The New York Times, still smarting after losing scoops to Fox News, has thrown in the towel, vowing to avoid future embarrassment by monitoring the cable channel. We have a better idea — it’s called reporting.
An Illinois senator rises to the highest office in the land on pillars of a spectacularly slimy political organization, a group with a long record of voter fraud, theft, thuggery and partisanship. As sexy as such a story might seem, the New York Times didn’t consider it news.
That’s why the Times got scooped by outlets such as Fox News, for which it has nothing but contempt, on revelations that led to the fall of community organizing behemoth Acorn.
The wound was self-inflicted, rooted in little more than the partisanship of protecting a favored president. It left the field clear for a couple of journalism students to show that Acorn staffers openly encouraged pimping, child prostitution, human trafficking, mortgage fraud and tax evasion.
It’s right there on tapes posted to Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com. Unlike the disdainful Times, Fox ran with it, toppling a behemoth of political power.
Fox’s judgment now seems to play the role the Times’ once did, and the Times is no doubt left wondering how it could have lost out on yet another one.
The small picture error here is obvious: Fox News didn’t get the scoop on the story that brought down ACORN, filmmakers at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government got it — and they got the story about the hidden camera activists who baited ACORN employees into saying awful things because they were the ones who orchestrated, carried out and filmed the whole interaction. It would be a neat trick indeed if another news organization got the scoop on that story!
The big picture error is the notion that Fox News does more reporting than The New York Times. I am on record as criticizing the Times for ignoring the ACORN story, and I’ve no doubt that it wrongly ignores other stories too, sometimes due to ideological bias. But for heaven’s sake. Fox News produces so much less original reporting than the New York Times, and ignores so many more stories of national import, that only someone either actively mendacious or utterly clueless about the news media in America could assert otherwise.
I’ll have more on the general topic of The New York Times soon.