I saw someone say that it is insulting to the National Enquirer to say that the New York Times is now writing National Equrier type strories, because National Enquirer stories are geneally BETTER JOURNALISM. The question is not whther The New York Times has sunk to the level of the National Equirer. The question is whether many National Enquirer stories sink to the level of the New York Times.
Few winners have DESERVED "the Finger" more than the New York Times did with this week's really disgraceful (non) story on John McCain (see multiple blot entries this week). The New York Times actually won "the Finger" TWICE this week--once with the orginal story and again with its statement that it "stands behind its story".
WHAT story? There was nothing there except innuendo from anonymous sources. The New York Times ran a front page story alleging nothign more than that a McCain staffer or staffers, EIGHT YEARS AGO, got worried that McCain's friendship with an attractive woman lobbyinst MIGHT go too far, and supposedly warned her off. To print such a story on the front page was a LIE, as it constituted a representation that this was a significant story. The significant story, of course, is that the New York Times chose to run this story. That tells you all you need to know about the New York Times, as well as the rest of the mainstream media (who FIRST tried to run with this smear as a "significant" story, only to have to come arond to the real story: Has the New York Times AGAIN revealed itself to have no journalistic ethics at all (remember the "General Betray Us" ad, where the New York Times "ombudsman" found that the Times violated its OWN ethical standards in accepting the ad?). Amd the mainsteam media qickly showed that they ALL have no journalistic standards by TRYING to run with the New York Times story. The mainstream media again gets dishnorable mention for "the Finger" award, as they do essentially every week.
What "story" was the New York Times standing behind? There was NO improper conduct alleged. No one was quoted as saying that McCain engaged in improper conduct. The "story" could have been completely "true" (in the actual FACTS alleged), and still would have meant absolutely nothing. That is why this blog criticized McCAIN for saying the story was "not true". McCain was evidently saying the INNUENDO was "not true", since no improper conduct on his part was really alleged. Maybe some aide did panic, and "worry" that McCain might be getting himself in trouble (for no reason? Who could know--especially now, EIGHT YEARS LATER, when both McCain and the woman deny any impropriety). When the New York Times "stands behind its story", what are they standing behind? Are they standing behind the INNUENDO? Again, they deserve "the Finger" for that alone. Are they standing behind what UNNAMED SOURCES thought? HOW can the New York Times possibly do that? How can they know? They, and their reporters, weren't there--have NO first hand knowledge. This is actually the LIE behind ALL "anonmymous source" stories. The credibility of the media source is only part of the problem (the New York Times has none). The credibility, and accurancy, of the SOURCE is actually the more serious issue. But the media outlet is CONCEALING that material part of the "news", and allowing people with an agenda to strike from the shadows, wearing a mask provided by the media (in this case, by the New York Times).
To refresh your memory, or in case you have not read previous weekly award presentations, the "Flying, Fickle Finger of Fate is a statuette given by this blog each week to commemorate especially stupid and/or reprehensible behavior during the week. The statuette, of an INDEX finger, was originated on the old Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In" prgram. This blog has reprised the award, believing that the idea was too good to be allowed to go to waste.
Alan Colmes was a finalist for this week's award (see yesterday's entries). This was for his ludicrous suggestion that illegal immigrants are trapped/cowering in fear in this country, and are about to be trapped IN the country by a Berlin style wall. Of course, in actual fact the ONLY "fear" that illegal immigrants have in this country is being forced to LEAVE, without being able to COME BACK. Their only "fear" is of not being allowed to keep living and working here in violation of the law (while people in Mexico who have OBEYED the law are STUCK there--60% or so of them evidently preferring to live here). Most other weeks, Colmes would have been the nads down winner of "the Finger". This week, the New York Times had the coveted "Finger" in the bag from the moment Drudge linked to the coming story. There was never any chance anyone else could win the award this week. Colmes, therefore, has to settle for being runner up this week.
To the New York Times: This award is for YOU; you DESERVE it. Imagine the presentation of the statuette of "the Finger" by Dick Martin at this point. If you can successfully imagine that, it will give you the flavor of the signifincance of this award to the New York Times. It is like those awards for the WORST movies and performances of the year that came out today.
Next wek, the "Flying, Fickle Finger of Fate" will come to rest pointing at another deserving vicitm--oops! I mean WINNER.