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Search and Destroy Journalism

Today, The New York Times writes about Jared Paul Stern and his attempt to extort money from a California billionaire.

Apparently, Mr. Stern let the cat out of the bag when he said that today's journalistic tendencies are to destroy people:

In the March 31 meeting, Mr. Burkle mainly haggled with Mr. Stern over how his payments should be made: in cash, as Mr. Stern wanted, or by wire transfer, as the authorities had pressed Mr. Burkle to insist, according to a person involved in the investigation.

In that meeting, the person involved in the investigation said, Mr. Stern spoke of Page Six's power.

"We know how to destroy people," Mr. Stern said, according to a person reading a transcript of the meeting. "It's what we do. We do it without creating liability. That's our specialty."

Don't let the Times' argument that search and destroy journalism is exclusive only to Page Six and other gossip columnists. This tendency is alive and well in the MSM. The most recent example is NBC and Dateline and their attempt to smear an entire group of people, NASCAR fans, as anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigots.

The American Thinker points out that The New York Times itself has engaged in this kind of journalism as well.

Comments (17)

Amazingly arrogant attitude... (Below threshold)

Amazingly arrogant attitude. It's the power of gossip to sell papers and "destroy" lives. The MSM is taking the place of corporate America as the big bad guys bent on exploiting people for personal gain.

I've been hearing some guy ... (Below threshold)

I've been hearing some guy on the radio for years saying what Stern is quoted as saying -- except the guy on the radio wasn't, you know, in favor of it.

His take was that if you're in journalism school and you want to graduate with honors, destroy somebody. Simple as that.

Somehow I can't fathom a Ti... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Somehow I can't fathom a Times gossip columnist trying to extort money from one of its column subjects so brazenly...but knowing Robert Murdoch's reputation it seems much more likely coming from the Post...but I confess I am a non-reader of the New York Post, so it would seem for good reason.

Yeah, the MSM: when we get ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, the MSM: when we get rid of them, then we'll have freedom.

Whenever I feel low, I come here and am reassured: idiocy survives.

I always enjoy observing th... (Below threshold)
Rob Filomena:

I always enjoy observing the tortured, conflicted relationship between the New York Times and the "neo-MSM Haters". Here we have the Times being quoted as a source, showing how it is a recognized authority, followed by a (yet another...yawn) swipe at the paper's integrity. Not to mention that the assertion that the TImes has engaged in similar bahavior, rather that such behavior is in the public record, is a reckless distortion of the kind that the MSM is repeatedly accused of in the conservative "blogosphere".

All you ever get these day ... (Below threshold)
Eon the terrible:

All you ever get these day out of these wretched journalists a bunch of liars,crooks are traitors why should we continue to subcribe to and listen to eand eatch these dirty lying no good reptiles

I'm sure you felt the same ... (Below threshold)

I'm sure you felt the same outrage when Tyra Banks filmed herself in a fatsuit.

Anyways, should we rely on Wizbang for news then? Certainly we get news and commentary about Cynthia McKinney. However, no commentary at all about the House Majority Leader stepping down. How odd...

Hey JP2,Actually, ... (Below threshold)
Rob Filomen:

Hey JP2,

Actually, if you read Powerline ( I don't know how to attach a link, sorry) there was a posting on Delay last week saying something to the effect of 'It's too bad he's stepping down' and 'he's been a great public servant for years' and 'he's done nothig wrong, at least nothing that's been made public'. I'm paraphrasing, but I'm close and I'm not kidding.

I think some conservative blogs, this one included, are suffering from "Blog Derangement Syndrome". It's a new form of disorder caused by an overdeveloped sense of self-satisfaction. Among the many symptoms is a belief that if it weren't for your blog, there would be no honesty in journalism.

Anybody remember the flick ... (Below threshold)

Anybody remember the flick "Absence of Malice"?

The media's ability to destroy people and ideas that they don't like has always been a problem in our society; it is the price we sometimes pay for freedom of the press. The ability to report - really, to SHAPE - the news is POWER. Where there is power, there is the posibility of corruption and abuse. This is why, no matter what one thinks of them, we all ought to be glad for blogs and alternative media such as talk radio and Fox News: they provide competition that acts as a check / balance on the media's power.

Despite my general disdain for the media and my suspicion of their bias, I think that Stern is something of an aberation, rather like a bad cop. Such people exist, but they are the exception. I'd say that most reporters aren't hateful people who exult in their ability to destroy people and would be horrified to know that one of their own thinks this way.

Let's see...DeLay has been ... (Below threshold)

Let's see...DeLay has been found guilty of what, exactly? And Rush Limbaugh has been convicted of what? And Trent Lott was convicted of? And (yuck) Gary Condit was convicted of? And Bush should be hung, according to Ben Affleck, because...?

That's the problem with the press: all that matters is the allegation, and the more salatious the better.

Nature finds a way to balance things out, and in the case of MSM, blogs are part of the answer. There's little question but that the major papers and the hot air news have abdicated their responsibility to report the news fairly, and almost every grownup has figured it out. They routinely practice agenda journalism and then wring their hands that circulation and viewership is slipping away.

There's a famous quote from The Daily Kos running through my head right now. Can anybody guess what it is? Anybody? Anybody? Buhler? Anybody?

stern? another stinking jew... (Below threshold)
joe mengele:

stern? another stinking jew? what is with them

They ( the msm ) think the ... (Below threshold)

They ( the msm ) think the answer to losing ciculation and advertising markets is to use more yellow journalism ?
their getting what they deserve , everyone almost knows now that they create news not report it..

I can only hope against hop... (Below threshold)

I can only hope against hope all the dots are connected in this racketeering franchise that lunchhour-citizen Rupert Murdoch sits atop. And when he hires as capo the likes of John "Four Dinners" Podhoretz, the scion of a family pedigree held together by Elmer's Glue for his supposed "brains" (??); Only in America, and Only by a foreigner! And he deserves all the "embarrassment" he's got coming. Perhaps the Aussie confused Podhoretz with Kristol! Anyway, "jPod" is a shitwad from way back who has been using the anti-semitism card as a housecleaning tool and was a behind-the-scenes (but, of course) actor in purging National Reveiw of Sobran, Brimelow and Taki. (And Rich "it's treason not to support the war" Lowery, and his nest of chickenhawks, are a poor trade. (Fine parrots, though!)) Back at the NYPost, JPod's baby: more neo-con robotization of opinion up and down the line. It seems to be a symptom of doctrinaire neo-conservative thought in the 21st century, that, provided that the party line is adhered to, what you do "for yourslf" is capiche. Does the modus operandi ring a bell? Protection rackets in broad daylight? Establishment low-lifes slumming like Nero out on the town? Hypocricy on a STUPENDOUS level? And no I don't know much about the columnist (yet), but I know who signs his checks. The recorded "mafia" allusion by the blackmailer is revealing and quite Kidan-esque. Connect the dots. *cueTrumpetsolo*

bobdog,I give. I ... (Below threshold)


I give. I don't read Kos, so...

jpg I have,nt see... (Below threshold)


I have,nt seen anything blogged about that Ohio democrat campaign staffer convicted of voter fraud in the last election either ? so there.

More from the New York Toil... (Below threshold)
Eon the terrible:

More from the New York Toilet Paper

While I think the whole Jar... (Below threshold)

While I think the whole Jared Paul Stern scandal is horrifying, I do think it could have happened at any newspaper in the country. MSM or otherwise. (By the way MSM is painfully vague)

One of the comments above mentions Rupert Murdoch's reputation and the link was to a NY Daily News article about Murdoch not responding to Burkle's complaints about Page 6. Is that the reputation you are referring to? He has a reputation for not responding to his mail? I know the man is widely bashed, but I'd love to know why you are bashing him.

I think the real question here is how the supervisors of journalists can do better in hiring, training and overseeing their workers. Because I truly think this could have happened at any newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station in the country.

Despite what Stern allegedly said about Page Six, I do not believe its purpose is to destroy people. The guy is obviously a power freak bragging to a rich guy he wants to control.

Rather Page Six provides day to day poloroids of what is happening in a certain segment of NYC society (the power corridor).

Yes it is peppered with a model or celebutant or two. But if you read it regularly as I do over a number of years, what you walk away with is the knowledge of a certain segment of society that is often hidden to regular people with little money and even less power.

Not interested in reading about them? Don't bother. But if you want to figure out a way to navigate yourself into certain high paying NYC jobs, Page Six is an invaluable reference, that almost like a public service gives you the inside scoop on people the poor and middle classes rarely have access to.

And by the way as gossip columns go, Page Six is one of the kindest.

I think that if you do not hire, train or supervise well, there is a chance someone like Stern and Jayson Blair can pop up and set off an explosion of bad press.






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