Monday, March 22, 2004

Hypocrisy Shmypocrisy

Kevin Drum, in his new Washington Monthly blog, comments on the Kelley scandal. (Brief summary: Pulitzer-nominated Jack Kelley, who writes for USA Today, apparently completely fabricated a bunch of stories Jayson Blair-style [Blair was a reporter for the New York Times who made up a bunch of stories without getting caught because of his favor with chief editor Howell Raines who was fired over the affair]). He says:

"I really don't think it's unfair to ask Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan when they're planning to start their 24/7 coverage of this affair. Surely, at the very least, they should start baying for editor Karen Jurgensen's resignation, shouldn't they?"

Previous to this he comments: "But, er, um, Kelley is white, isn't he?" (Jayson Blair is black)

Implicitly Drum is accusing Kaus and Sullivan of racism and hypocrisy. Perhaps he should have thought things through before posting. Kelley writes for USA Today, at the low end of the totem pole as far as respectable newspapers go. USA Today (like Time and US News and World Report) is something targeted for people who don't want to strain their brains. It is at the tabloid end of serious journalism. I only read USA Today if I don't have internet access and I can't find anything else.

The New York Times on the other hand is much more respected. The Raines tenure at the NYT was tarnishing its reputation, which is why Kaus and Sullivan pushed so hard to get rid of him. The charge of racism and hypocrisy is a major stretch. There is more than sufficient reason for them not to have started 24-7 coverage of the scandal.

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