Babies, Lies & Scandal?
September 5, 2008 3 Comments
What in the world has happened to journalism in America? US Magazine’s new issue features a picture of Sarah Palin and this essay title in large, bold letters: “Babies, Lies & Scandal.”
Megyn Kelly interviewed the magazine’s editor, Bradley Jacobs, asking him what lies are mentioned in the article. Kelly had read the article, so she knew the answer. But this guy knew the answer, too, and he wouldn’t say. There was a seriously misleading disconnect between the cover title of the article, which is all many people will ever see, and the contents of the story. Megyn Kelly demonstrated that. But what will be seen by more people, the cover of US Magazine, or Megyn Kelly’s interview? Damage done . . . irrecoverably.
Keep this in mind—with the cover they used, you know that US Magazine would have been careful to mention any lies if they could have dug any up and been able to back them up.
This brazen act from US Magazine one of two things: either this was a deliberate effort to undermine Ms. Palin’s character, or the good people at the magazine were simply trying to sell copies with a provocative title. If all they were doing is trying to turn the current hoopla about Palin into coin in their pockets, then it’s still a shameful act, because it is for their gain at the possible expense of an innocent person’s reputation.
The past history of demands for public apologies have made the act of apologizing a farce. Requested or not, it would be especially surprising to hear from US Magazine apology to Ms. Palin. If they had it in them to do that, it would rock the world of journalism.
US Magazine has already decided it has nothing for which to apologize. Some time after the Kelly interview with Bradley Jacobs, who put himself in harm’s way, the magazine explained the title. They said that the lies were all the lies about Palin that have been perpetuated in the blogosphere. Jacobs was faced with withering questions about why the article did not include crucial details to provide context for the negative banter about Palin and “Troopergate.” Jacobs shielded himself with the plea that the magazine simply didn’t have time to incorporate all those balancing facts.
What’s happened to journalism in America? US Magazine is what’s happened. Good journalism, real journalism, while it does exist in this country, has taken a backseat to the goofy antics of pop culture “journalism.”
Our only defense is to refuse to be moved by the pernicious and avaricious tactics of faux journalism. We need to grow our skills in critical thinking so we can participate in the national conversation with intelligence and discernment.
Tonight, following John McCain’s speech, it’s been reported that Sarah Palin had to speak last night using a new teleprompter because the one planned for her had broken down, that the teleprompter operator was unfamiliar with the device and lost the cadence of her speech during her presentation, and that the only hard copy governor Palin had was one that had been folded up and pocketed by a campaign worker and given to her when she arrived at the convention hall to give her speech.