The other day, a couple of colleagues urged me to start posting pictures of attractive women on my web site. “Man can’t live on politics alone,” they said. “Even those Power Line guys spice it up once in a while with pictures of beauty contest winners.”
Naturally, I rejected any such suggestion as beneath my dignity as a political blogger. I am not about cheesecake, my friends. This site is about journalistic integrity. It is about The Truth.
So stick with me as I use the following photograph to make a Serious Point About Journalism.
Steve Smith (whom I saw in the Compton courthouse the other day) writes to inform me about this post, which notes a grave error made by the Los Angeles Times:
I’m not one of those people who put everything in a newspaper under a microscope, hoping to find a mistake somewhere. But when someone gets the most crucial facts of a story wrong, it is my journalistic duty to point it out.
That brings me to the big story on David Beckham that ran in the L.A. Times on Sunday. The piece, written by Grahame L. Jones, discussed the lavish lifestyle of Beckham and his wife, Victoria, once better known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls.
David and Victoria shower each other with lavish gifts, the story said. “While Victoria was expecting their third child, Beckham spent $1.8 million for a diamond encrusted sex toy with matching 16-carat diamond necklace.”
As fate would have it, I was scheduled to take part in a conference call with Victoria in connection with her one-hour NBC special, “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America,” scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/PT on Monday. Though I’ve spent a lifetime interviewing people great and small, I’ve never had the privilege of talking to the owner of a $1.8 million sex toy.
When my turn came, I got my chance. “Does the immense value of this item tend to inhibit you from using it?” I inquired.
And that’s when I discovered that, all those Pulitzer Prizes notwithstanding, you can’t absolutely rely on the Times.
“It isn’t true,” Victoria said, her voice calm and measured. “We do buy each other nice things,” she admitted, but some things get exaggerated. “I don’t have a diamond-encrusted vibrator.”
Now, friends: just because someone makes an accusation like that, are we going to leap to the conclusion that there has been journalistic malfeasance? Hardly! We demand evidence!
And so I say: take a look at the picture above.
A close look.
That necklace — which is either the 16-carat diamond necklace referred to in the story, or perhaps some other necklace entirely; I’m not quite sure which — has to be worth $1.8 million on its own.
And if it isn’t, then those straps have to be worth a lot. What are those made of anyway?
Proof that the L.A. Times got it wrong!
If you don’t believe me, look again. With enough study, you’ll see what I mean.