Friday, February 13, 2004

Ellisblog is on Kerry's Side!

Cognitive dissonance! That's what the headshrinkers call it and Ellisblog has a bad case this morning. The loathing of sleazeballia colliding with the loathing of Kerry, made even more disorienting by an all-too-rare example of admirable media behavior. What to do?

Unpack it, as pretentious management consultants say. Job one: Change the name (always change the name on a negative story to the name of someone you admire and see if you still think it's fair). Job two: recount the known facts. Job three, arrive at a preliminary conclusion based on the known facts. So let's do that:

Let's say this is a story about Colin Powell. Let's say that there is a woman who has approached numerous media organizations and every Republican political opponent of Mr. Powell's with a story. The story is that her "best friend" or her "close friend" (who used to be a reporter with the AP and at some point worked for Mr. Powell) had an affair with Mr. Powell and was shipped off to Africa when Mr. Powell decided to run for President. What is known about the source of this information is that she has a major axe to grind; she hates Powell. She really, really hates him. She is grinding the Mother of All Axes.

Publish her story or not?

The answer from "mainstream media" so far: "No."

Good decision: "yes."