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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
AIM's Tabloid Double Standard
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Aug. 11 Accuracy in Media blog post by Don Irvine defends the honor of the National Enquirer over the John Edwards affair. After quoting New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt saying that the Enquirer issed "one sensational report after another" and noting that the Times "did not want to regurgitate the Enquirer’s reporting without verifying it," Irvine added: "Note the condescending attitude of Hoyt by equating the Enquirer with the gutter." (He then declares that "I am no fan of the Enquirer.")

But AIM had a much different view when the Enquirer and sister tabloids were repeating a claim that President Bush was having an affair with Condoleezza Rice and "shocking information about how the Bush Administration has failed to respond to terrorist threats." From a June 2006 AIM column by Cliff Kincaid:

While no conclusions can be made at this point about the politics involved with the latest attack on Bush, it should be noted that one of the main financial sponsors of [Enquirer owner] American Media, Inc. is Evercore Partners, an investment firm whose chairman is former Clinton Administration Treasury official Roger C. Altman. 

So how does ownership of the Enquirer by a former Clinton crony figure into its reporting on Edwards' affair? Irvine and Kincaid don't say. AIM thus joins the rest of the ConWeb in their selective outrage against supermarket tabloids, denouncing them when they report unflattering things about conservatives and treating them as legitimate when they report unflattering things about liberals.

But if we are now to believe that everything in the Enquirer is unquestionably true, then this must be too:


Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.

Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.

Will Irvine and Kincaid vouch for the Enquirer here as well?

Speaking of Kincaid, he spends his Aug. 11 column trying to steer the conversation his (creepily obsessed) direction, insisting that Barack Obama being a secret commie is a much bigger deal than Edwards:

The John Edwards affair is a chilling reminder that Democratic cover-ups can succeed, with the help of the media, and that even the most sophisticated “investigative” reporters are prepared to overlook potential Democratic scandals.


The implication of the Edwards scandal is that, if ABC News’s top investigative reporter could take Edwards’ side, without any serious checking of the facts, then other candidates may be concealing scandals and hoping and planning to get away with it.

Not that AIM and Kincaid haved worked all that hard to uncover any Bush administration scandals, mind you.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT

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