TM NOTE: The air conditioning whirred on at 7:00 a.m. this morning and boy are we grateful. Rough couple of days here, especially since our generator was on the fritz at exactly the wrong moment!
A GOOD EXAMPLE of the debauchery of our elite media. This is not the most important story in the pantheon of politics, but it is representative.
Whenever a new media outlet, especially one that takes pot shots at the New York Times and the Washington Post, does something wholly suspect, it’s important to call them on it.
Politico’s John Harris could learn a lot from Steve Capus on Ann Curry’s demotion, firing, replacement, whatever, from “Today.” It is being called brutal by other words, but it’s honest and straight forward. Capus on Curry:
“I think her real passion is built around reporting on international stories,” he said. “It’s tough to convey a sincere interest in something if you don’t possess it … and you could tell with her, you can tell with any anchor, whether they’re into it or not. And I think we’ve now come up with a role that will play to her strengths.”
Capus said that, although he felt it was right to give Curry a chance at the top “Today” job (she had put in fourteen years as newsreader and already been passed over once before), he had had no choice but to make the change.
“We gave her a year to prove herself, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that she had played at the highest level she could,” he said. “When you’re in the major leagues of our profession, you’ve got to continue to be at peak performance in order to stay there.”
That’s how professionals treat professionals. Curry gets to respond, which she did, disagreeing. So she wasn’t made of fluff! Curry should call Christiane Amanpour.
But instead of the professional treatment, Harris releases a statement that in any other world would mean Joe Williams deserves another shot, even if it begins with some sort of probationary period. Instead of saying outright that joining in on genital jokes about the Republican nominee is not up to Politico’s standard, Harris actually releases airy and laudatory word fluff.
From Politico on axing Williams:
“After some cordial discussions, Joe Williams and I mutually decided that the best step for him is to begin a transition to the next phase of his career,” POLITICO editor-in-chief John Harris wrote in a memo to staff, sent early Saturday morning. “Joe is an experienced and respected journalist, with keen insights into politics. After nearly 30 years in the business, he has the authority and is ready to give voice to his insights and conclusions in a new setting.”
“He’ll be on leave of absence during this transition, and he’s got my gratitude for the contributions he made here, both as reporter and editor. I have told Joe—and it’s a sentiment others who worked closely with him here share—that he’ll have my support as he prepares for what I expect will be a good and prominent next chapter in his career,” Harris wrote.
If Harris means those parts I emphasized in bold, Williams’ departure is disingenuous. This is how your cozy, back-stabbing, media echelon types blow it, but yet fail upwards mentality. It’s your 1% elite types covering for their own.
Williams joined in on a d#*! joke tweet about Ann Romney, which would have gotten most people fired on the spot without some flowery send off.
Partisan readers enable the media to continue this practice.
Because I found what Williams did offensive, but because it was aimed at Mitt Romney through his wife, the incoming caterwauling from partisans was embarrassing… for them. I actually care about our media, as my book proves, because I’m of the Thomas Jefferson school on that one. A free press is critical, but an ethical press is even more imperative.
No one wants anyone to lose a job, least of all myself. It’s no fun having fundraisers ala PBS or NPR, trust me, pushing regular readers to get involved with keeping this new media site thriving (understanding buying my book matters to my work); asking regular readers to subscribe for as little as $5 a month!
But considering there are no standards anymore among the paid plush jobs in new media (or traditional) publishing it’s important to note the recycling that continually goes on from those who have proved not worthy of the public’s trust. Taking bets on how long it take before Joe Williams lands at MSNBC or Current TV, maybe even CNN, because they could use any help they can get.
Partisan “journalists” always land on their feet today.
Pick a side or perish.