Thursday, July 07, 2005
Journalists behaving badly: Nearly a month ago I noted a piece by National Review's media reporter Stephen Spruiell that gave the other side of the story to a sensationalistic column by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Susan Paynter.
Paynter's column basically claimed that Marine recruiters had attempted to Shanghai a Seattle-area teen into the Corps -- a distortion of reality that the loony left like the Daily Kos quickly picked up on.
Follow the first link if you missed my criticism of Paynter's "journalism" the first time around. The thing I'd like to highlight now is my stunning predictive abilities.
Paynter's suggestion that she's continuing to "work her sources" is questionable in light of Spruiell's reporting. Paynter writes three columns a week, and her next opportunity to do the follow-up reporting (that should have been first-day reporting) is Friday. I wait in breathless anticipation, expecting little.
That was on June 14. Ten days later on June 24, I sent the following e-mail to Paynter.
Ms. Paynter, Ive been reading your columns for the past few weeks after reading the Stephen Spruiell piece over at National Review Online about the Marine recruiters.
I was wondering how your efforts at getting the Marines side of the story were going, and when I might be able to expect to see it in print (rather, on the Internet, since I live outside the P-Is circulation area).
Looking forward to hearing from you.
That e-mail went unanswered for a week and a half, so I sent a follow-up e-mail on Tuesday, with the original, unanswered text at the bottom.
Ms. Paynter, I've received no response to my query below. Are you still working on the story? Any response would be appreciated.
Well, I'm happy to say that Wednesday I got a reply. I won't publish Ms. Paynter's reply because I didn't send either of those queries using my Hoystory e-mail address, nor did I reveal that I was a blogger.
However, let me say that if you were awaiting a follow-up piece from Ms. Paynter, then you can stop, she's moved on and will not be bothering to present the other side of the story.
This is bad journalism, plain and simple. It's a disservice to the readers of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Marine Corps and journalists everywhere. Ms. Paynter and her editors, whose support she claims to have, get an 'F' in Journalism 101. I'd like to say that I expect better, but sadly I no longer do.