Calibrating The Outrage-o-Meter
At the risk of stating the obvious, one big reason the James Rosen and AP controversies have become front page news is that “the news” is a key stakeholder in the story itself. Replace ‘reporters from accredited outlets’ with ‘nihilistic hackers’ or ‘advocacy orgs’ and the tone of the coverage we’re reading, and questions we’re hearing, would be much, much different. Instead reporters are, quite naturally, behaving in both their normal journalistic capacities here and in their ancillary roles as trade association members — and so the whole thing has taken on much more valence with the press than we’ve come to expect when the DOJ is discovered taking liberties with its investigative powers.
That’s something everyone should consider the next time we learn a non-media figure has been subjected to secret, invasive federal subpoenas, etc. Until then, I’d note that in this case the coverage disparity is due in part to the fact that — to coin a recently misquoted White House official — the reporting does not reflect all relevant equities.Read More →