From: Salguero, Armando [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 09:57 AM
To: MIA Newsroom
Subject: Palin and Glenn Rice
The Naked Politics blog is repeating the “reporting” of the National Enquirer about Sarah Palin having an affair with former Miami Heat basketball player Glenn Rice.
It is on the FRONT PAGE of The Herald website.
So as a journalist, I ask:
Do we know this story to be TRUE? Are we certain it is TRUE because we’ve done the work or have a reasonable certainty that is TRUE?
Did anyone actually try to confirm this story before giving it Herald front page credibility? Did anyone call Glenn Rice to get independent confirmation? He lives in Miami, you know.
Is it now OK to repeat any “report” from the National Enquirer on the front page of the Herald’s website without actually reporting even one fact independently? The blog calls The Enquirer’s sources “solid.” How do we know the Enquirer’s sources — plural? And if we know the Enquirer’s sources, can’t we work them ourselves to see if they’re truly solid?
Question: Can I repeat on my blog any allegation made by the Enquirer culled from any book just because, well, if it’s in a book or in the Enquirer, Herald policy is now to assume it must be true?
There have been a couple of good Enquirer stories on athletes coming from other planets. Those are in bounds now?
If this Rice story, unconfirmed and unreported by us, can be published on our site, do the alien stories not meet the same standards?
These, by the way, are my questions relative to journalism. But there are other things at play here. The Herald, like it or not, admit it or not, is widely viewed as a liberal newspaper. Palin is a conservative.
So we put this story on our website and conservatives that read us ask why The Herald didn’t report the stories of President Obama being gay in 2007 and 2008? Those stories were in the Globe, a competitor to the Enquirer. The allegations were brought by the person who said he had a drug-crazed, gay affair with the President.
Obviously this is tabloid fodder. And we rightly never gave the Obama stuff any play because, I suppose, there was no confirmation or independent reporting done on the story.
So why is it OK to do the right thing on behalf of one presidential candidate having an unconfirmed affair but not on behalf of another potential presidential candidate having an unconfirmed affair?
We ignored the one back in 2008 and continue to do so to this day. But we run out and repeat the other first chance we get? They call that a double standard in my country.
And that also is bad journalism.
I remember when the Herald broke the Gary Hart affair story. I’ve been proud to work at a paper that did that kind of work. But this cutting and pasting and unprincipled gossiping we’re doing on this National Enquirer story is a journalistic embarrassment at best and comparative agenda writing at worst.
Just my opinion,