The Washington Postís Paul Farhi makes the interesting point in this American Journalism Review op-ed that the biggest scandal in regard to the Tiger Woods affair may be that the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper did a better job of following proper journalistic procedures in breaking the scandal than much of the mainstream media did in follow-up reporting on it:
[National Enquirer Editor] Barry Levine finds himself surprised, appalled and somewhat amused by the way much of the mainstream media handled the Woods scandal. The Enquirer’s original story, he notes, took months of reporting. It involved many hours of interviews, polygraph tests, stakeouts, document dives and travel. It was checked and re-checked.
But many members of the MSM, he notes, exercised no such care in reporting subsequent aspects of the story. "It would have taken us a couple of years to properly investigate each of these women’s claims as thoroughly as we did the first" woman’s, Levine says. "The stories were all over the place. There was just some outrageous coverage."
That’s right. The editor of the National Enquirer doesn’t think much of the way the "respectable" media covered Tiger Woods. Anyone paying close attention would concur that he has a point. It might be that the biggest scandal to come out of the Woods affair wasn’t the one about a golfer. It was the one about the news media.
Meanwhile, The New York Times ñ that paragon of the mainstream media ñ is currently taking it on the chin around the blogosphere because one of its leading business reporters essentially doesnít know what she is talking about in this article from over the weekend.
The blogosphere exposed the vacuous nature of how much of the mainstream media addressed complex issues. Now the tabloids are doing a better quality of reporting than many MSM publications on certain major stories. Will the mainstream media have any credibility or meaningful stature left when the reformation of how we process information is complete?