The media November 2006
A new era in scandalology
Scandal in the eye of the beholder.
Stories that couldnt be more differentBob Woodwards new book and the Mark Foley sex scandalare examples of the difference between get-it-in-the-paper-now journalism and how-did-it-really-happen journalism. Or so wrote Deborah Howell, ombudsman of the Washington Post, last month. Readers questioned both, she added. In fact, the two stories were practically the same, since both were non-events that the Post, for whatever reason, was trying to blow up into scandals. What Mr. Woodwards book, or at least the publicity surrounding it, boiled down to was the less than earth-shaking revelation that presidents receive conflicting advice and intelligence in advance of almost every decision they make and that, therefore, no matter what they do, someones advice and intelligence will have been rejected. The rest was hype. Because the decisions President Bush made about going to war...
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