A weird idea of what constitutes 'Journalism's biggest crime'

Peter Wehner at Commentary reports on a weird statement by NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd:

"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," according to NBC's chief White House correspondent, Chuck Todd.

Perhaps in the universe inhabited by employees of NBC and MSNBC, that might be true. But Peter points out a few other crimes that may, in fact, be a little more substantial:

Not Dan Rather's use of forged documents in a one-sided 60 Minutes hit piece intended to cost President Bush re-election? Not former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair's plagiarizing and fabricating elements of his stories? Not former New Republic reporter Stephen Glass's fabricating articles, quotations, sources, and events?

There are, in fact, an endless number of "crimes" in journalism that are worse than deciding something is a story because Matt Drudge links to it.

And while we're on this topic: exactly who should decide what qualifies as a news story? Chuck Todd believes Chuck Todd should. Mr. Todd, of course, works for NBC and MSNBC - the latter being the most partisan and reckless cable news network in America, home to such magisterial journalists as Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow. So why should we trust Todd's judgment over Matt Drudge's? Because Todd is part of the "old" media, of course. Because he's an "objective journalist" who is able to sort through all the news of the day and determine what merits attention and what does not.

Mr. Todd's comments embody a particular mindset - one deeply resentful that the MSM is no longer the gatekeeper of the news, that there are now hundreds of outlets and blogs that influence the news and allow the American people a choice in what they are able to watch. 

Drudge hating is de rigeur among many in the media. Most of it is pure envy. But some of it - and here is where I expect Todd's complaints rest - is that Drudge highlights news that outlets like MSNBC refuse to cover because of their partisan bent. By God, when they want to bury a story, the MSM should be able to bury it. Period. Where does Drudge get off ruining their monopoly on information dissemination?

Quite revealing of the man that NBC entrusts with giving us the straight scoop from the White House, yes?


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky