Thursday, September 2, 2010

Palin, Vanity Fair and Journalism

I haven't read the Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin that has the blogosphere all abuzz but this post from Dave Weigel pisses me off,

Ben Smith has been flooding the zone on the problems with Michael Gross's dishy profile of Sarah Palin in Vanity Fair. I've talked to some Alaskan sources of mine and Gross's who are deeply unhappy with how the story turned out. Shannyn Moore, a radio and TV host in Anchorage, gave me permission to quote the e-mail she sent to Gross complaining about how he handled the material and sources. (In the story, Moore is portrayed rather cartoonishly, smoking and talking on her cell phone while driving, but there are people portrayed far more harshly.)
Follow the link and read the email that Weigel posted. You'll see that the entirety of Shannyn Moore's complaint consists of aesthethics and questions of anonymity. There is not one substantive argument in the entire email. Not once does Ms. Moore say that the Michael Gross misquoted her or anyone else. She does not point to a single factual inaccuracy. She's offended in how she was portrayed (the oldest aggrieved source complaint in journalism) and she cites someone who thought they had anonymity and didn't (the second oldest complaint).

If Gross double-crossed a source regarding anonymity then shame on him but unless Ms. Moore has a substantive complaint she should really just STFU. Same for Dave Weigel, he published Moore's email as if it were a devastating indictment of the validity of the article - it is nothing of the sort.

Weigel does link to a more substantive critique by Ben Smith of Politico but we're still in the land of he-said/she-said. Smith should do some reporting of his own and try to independently confirm what his sources are telling him. You know, the same thing he is chiding Michael Gross for. 


Anonymous said...

Very good blog post. Shannyn wants "Facetime" or else she wouldn't of posted that idiotic email on her FB and gave to Dave Weigel, of all people? I think her career just came crashing down on her head.
MJG research his article, following Palin, and going to Wasilla.
Steve Schmidt would clarify these crazy outburst of Sarah's, it all in Game change. Smith SHOULD do some investigative work All of them should! This is a brilliant piece and some hack from AK is trying to tear it down b/c of sour grapes? Shame on her!

Anonymous said...

Over the last 18 months, I have respected how Ms Moore ran her radio show and blogging life. However, her rant over the VF article dropped her down a few notches to me. If Moore (and other bloggers in AK) had this info on Palin, then why didn't they publish it? It really feels like she is peeved that MJG got the scoop in print. Agreed, shame on her.

PA_John -- you can find me on the German AK blog most of the time.

25thcenturygirl said...

it's odd that people are choosing to focus on hurt feelings when the VF article highlighted more than Palin's deficiencies. It focused on how her team uses fly by night orgnazations to pay her for her lousy speeches.

These journalists should be following the money and not whining about their feelings.

KaJo said...

What's worse, Shannyn Moore significant other Kelly Walters posted this on Moore's Facebook page:

Michael Gross could have written this important VF piece without violating confidences-the basic tenets of journalism.

In addition he painted Shannyn and Jeanne as panting Palin-obsessed bloggers-just like C4P! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Gross violated at least 5 major confidences and promises of anonymity. He is a rat bastard sonofabitch and I hope his future sources think twice before giving this twit any information.

Stay classy, Moore and Walters!