Friday, July 02, 2010

Double standards are the only standards he's got

Last year Howard Kurtz was deeply troubled because ESPN was slow to jump on the sexual assault accusations aimed at Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:

I've got one more ESPN controversy to throw at you, and that's the story involving Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suddenly confronted with allegations from a woman who filed a civil suit against him saying that he sexually assaulted her a year ago. She never went to the police. This is a year later. Who knows whether it's true.

Lots of news organization reported it. ESPN initially did not and told its talk show hosts not to talk about it.

Can you really ignore a story like that

Funny thing, he sings a completely different tune when the target is Al Gore:

But, now, you have an accuser who, as I mentioned, her cooperation with the police was spotty. The police did not see any reason to launch an investigation.

Didn't that give you any pause about publishing?

LEVINE: Howard, it did not give us pause in the sense that this was something that had been buried. Was there some type of cover-up involving the police? We don't know.

I mean, I think our job was to bring it to the surface after we were able to corroborate certain facts of the story. And now there's public opinion on this story.

Let's look into the thing. Let's look into the evidence that's at hand. Let's hear from Al Gore in terms of his side of the story. He's officially issued a "no comment" about this, so I think there's still a lot that remains to be seen on this story.

KURTZ: You talk about Gore's side of the story, but you told me this week that "The Enquirer" did not call Al Gore's office for comment because you didn't want to lose the exclusive before your issue hit the newsstands.

Was that fair to the former vice president?

LEVINE: I think it was. You know, this was a competitive story.

You know, he could have gotten out in front of it by putting it in the hands of a news organization, to some degree, more favorable. We felt that we had the facts and we wanted to put that information out. Now is his time to come forward.

We thought our story was very fair in the sense that we said very high that the police had not charged him in any way. We also pointed out some things that we found out about the woman's past, that she had been involved in a previous domestic relations abuse case from 1998.

KURTZ: Right.

LEVINE: So we thought we laid all the information out.

KURTZ: Gore's office has not commented yet, and I put in a request as well. But isn't it possible, Barry Levine, that this woman is making this up and making a charge against a very famous person who is now being victimized

(I discussed the media and the Roethlisberger allegations here)

The MSM puts great stock in the value of its insider status. They know things that we outsiders do not. That allows them to see context and nuance that the dirty masses are blind to. What the public might think is favoritism is just superior knowledge. Because they know that Joe Biden is smart and Sarah Palin is dumb, it is AOK for pundits to mock the latter while ignoring the missteps the of Veep.

Yeah, they know Biden is smart just as they know (knew?) that Al Gore was a good family man.

Uh-oh. In the wake of the divorce and the sexual assault allegations, maybe the insiders aren't so knowledgeable after all.

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