Saturday, January 20, 2007

Not all Solomons are created equal

UPDATE: Even WaPo apologist Deborah Howell, whom I have criticized repeatedly, is critical of Solomon's hack job.
More than a dozen readers, both inside the newsroom and outside, were troubled by the John Edwards story on Page today. So was I. Most complainers thought that the story either wasn't worth a story or wasn't worth fronting or both. It was interesting enough to make an item in In the Loop, but not Page 1. I kept looking for the graf that would tell me that the buyers had some history with Edwards, that they were big campaign contributors, that there was some quid pro quo. Nada.
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The was a famous Solomon who was widely recognized for his wisdom... and then there is John Solomon. Jamison Foser at MediaMatters comments on WaPo's decision to allow this discredited Solomon to write a non-story about John Edwards selling his home. After detailing the non-newsworthiness of the article, Foser concludes:

But that's a front-page story for John Solomon and The Washington Post: John Edwards sold a house for what may or may not have been a reasonable price in a transaction with which unions whose support he is courting have no problem.

Lest anyone think that the Post's overhyping of this Edwards non-story is typical of its treatment of the finances of presidential candidates, we'll point out that, in all of 1999 and 2000, the Post devoted a mere 26 words to then-candidate George W. Bush's sale of Harken stock in 1990. Bush sold his stock while sitting on Harken's board of directors and audit committee -- and shortly before the company's stock tanked in the wake of damaging SEC filings. As we have previously explained:

In the months before the 2000 election, newly disclosed documents revealed that shortly before he dumped his Harken stock, George W. Bush had been told that the company faced a "liquidity crisis" and was "in a state of noncompliance" with lenders and that its plan to raise money was being abandoned. The documents revealed that the SEC -- which, at the time, was run by a close ally of Bush's father, then-President George H. W. Bush -- never bothered to interview Bush about his stock sale during its investigation of the matter.

During his presidential campaign, The Washington Post devoted 26 words to Bush's sale of Harken stock. The paper completely ignored the documents the SEC made public just months before Election Day. Completely ignored them.

But John Edwards' sale of a house for less than the asking price -- that's front-page news.

2 Comments:

Blogger liberal journal man said...

Edwards sold his house for less than market value...Barack Obama "attended madrassas"...it's as if they're clearing the field for Hillary...

6:34 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Sometimes the media does a lousy job because they are incompetent, sometimes because they are malicious but mostly because they just don't give a shit. But I don't think that they are giving Hillary a pass. This the way the DC press corps treat all Democrats. She's been smeared before and will be attacked again. See Digby's post on the Clinton Rules:

"We call these "Clinton Rules" but they are not really about the Clintons — it’s about the press corps and the way they treat Democrats. And I would add that there is another equally pernicious dimension to this. This tabloidization of political news is almost exclusively focused on Democrats and gives the impression that the left is unserious.
[...]
What this does is trivialize liberals. The press corps projects its own shortcomings on to Democrats and then attacks them for it. The silly, insubstantial (idea-less) tabloid mentality is pasted to the Democratic image which allows the Republicans to present themselves as the serious ones (even mental midgets who say things like "is our children learning" or "OBGYN’s can’t show love to their patients.") The "grown-ups are back" meme, which was very successful for Bush and Cheney in 2000 would have been impossible without the press having spent eight years covering the white house like Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee lived there."

11:33 PM  

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