Patterico's Pontifications

7/29/2008

Blogger Interviews L.A. Times Blog Editor Tony Pierce on the John Edwards Love Child Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:11 pm

Bloggasm interviews L.A. Times blog boss Tony Pierce about his effort to muzzle his bloggers on the John Edwards love child story. Quotable:

I asked Pierce if the metro desk had the chance to follow up on the story, and if so, would he send out another post allowing his bloggers to write about it. He said that to his knowledge the LA Times reporters hadn’t found any additional information and expressed some skepticism of the National Enquirer story’s authenticity.

“I was really just reminding the bloggers that they write for the LA Times and they happen to be using blogging as a publishing platform,” Pierce said. “This isn’t something you would normally see in a newspaper more than once. We already wrote the one post quoting the National Enquirer and I don’t think you’d see more than that if there were no blogs and this was just a newspaper. That’s what I was just saying to them, that until we have a better source, let’s hold off on being part of the speculation.”

But near the end of our interview he interjected and said that he probably could have worded the email better.

Read it all. It’s short, interesting, and it’s original journalism by a blog, which I like to see. Advances the debate, which is all to the good.

14 Responses to “Blogger Interviews L.A. Times Blog Editor Tony Pierce on the John Edwards Love Child Story”

  1. That’s interesting.

    Now that the Metro Desk has apparently completed its inquiries, can the LA Times’ blogs discuss this subject or will they be muzzled because the Metro Desk decided there was nothing there?

    The statement that the LA Times’ bloggers are also reporters makes me curious. I certainly agree they are reporters but do they only investigate stories on the telephone or by going outside the building? Or do they also investigate stories by sharing and soliciting information via their blogs? If the latter, then stifling their ability to write on a subject is tantamount to an instruction not to investigate a story.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  2. “Advances the debate, which is all to the good.”

    Advances which debate?

    The debate on whether the LA Times blog editor edits the LA Times blogs? That sort of answers itself. I don’t understand why he shouldn’t, if the LA Times blogs didn’t need an editor he wouldn’t have a job, and if the LA Times bloggers feel constrained they should cut ties with the LA Times and develop their own blogs under their own standards. Obviously no one is keeping you from addressing it, just as no one is keeping anyone with a blog that is not affiliated with a media source which includes someone with the position of blog editor from addressing it. I guess one person’s “muzzling” is another’s “editing,” but the idea that a person who holds the title of blog editor would warn other people who agree to be bloggers for that particular media source that a certain story remains unverified or otherwise unsuitable to be discussed on the blogs affiliated with the LA Times seems unremarkable to me.

    Or do you mean the debate over OMG Edwards totally has a love baby and the media is covering it up and why aren’t we all talking about it because it’s completely true, come on everyone Edwards has a love baby? No one has been able to confirm or corroborate this National Enquirer story (even though Fox News Online tried its best) so most professional journalists are holding off until either they get confirmation it is actually a story, or until it turns out this is just some fake crap the Enquirer cooked up based on the way they spooked Edwards by chasing him around a hotel. I don’t see the debate there either. When and if there is enough confirmation that this is a real story and not just something fake that will discredit them for reporting it prematurely, rest assured the media will go nuts talking about it.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  3. No one has been able to confirm or corroborate this National Enquirer story (even though Fox News Online tried its best) so most professional journalists are holding off until either they get confirmation it is actually a story, or until it turns out this is just some fake crap the Enquirer cooked up based on the way they spooked Edwards by chasing him around a hotel.

    Where he wasn’t a guest. Leaving the room of the woman he’s denied having an affair with. At 3 in the morning. But yeah, other than that it’s fake crap.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  4. It’s pretty bad what the LAT is doing re censorship & candidate protection. Bloggers will keep up the pressure and continue to force internal changes, which is good.

    That said, this is small potatoes compared to the crap Obama’s pulling. I know JE has the baby in someone’s oven, it’s on the way, he’s probably not worthy of VP or AG or any post, and so now what?

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  5. Shorter: Traditional media will never acknowledge tabloid media.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  6. If the reporter didn’t sniff
    The Johnson of Biff
    You have to acquit

    Bel Aire (e59286)

  7. Jim #3: No one is disputing Edwards’ confrontation with the reporters and how shifty it all looks.

    But here is the scoop: it’s not because the woman is the mother of his love baby, it’s because she supplies him with the heroin he is so addicted to.

    And yet the MSM will never say that, even though I just reported it here. Edwards was clearly acting shifty in that hotel at night, he must have been up to something, he’s hiding something, so what is holding the MSM back on this? What else could it be but heroin?

    My point being, the real reason Edwards was skulking about that hotel with that woman has not yet been proven or even alleged with enough credibility for anyone in the media to report. Enquirer says love baby, I say heroin, and the Enquirer and I have equal credibility on the matter until some more evidence comes to light.

    And if anyone thinks the media is so biased or Victorian-gentlemanly to refuse to ever report this sordid story of the love baby even if they had enough evidence to report it is crazy. The second any reputable media source has enough confidence in reporting that a former VP candidate with a wife suffering from cancer has a love baby, the gates will open and it is all we will be hearing about for weeks. Such a story sells papers and commercials for Wolf Blitzer’s show; not reporting such a story makes no sense, especially when the guy isn’t even in office or currently running for office so that even the idea of being pressured by a powerful political figure makes no sense. Edwards is about as powerful or relevant as Dan Quayle these days.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  8. Edwards is about as powerful or relevant as Dan Quayle these days.

    Yeah, sure. Now

    Before this story broke, though, he was on the short list for VP, or at least a Cabinet position.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  9. My point being, the real reason Edwards was skulking about that hotel with that woman has not yet been proven or even alleged with enough credibility for anyone in the media to report.

    Yeah, that one always stops ‘em.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  10. The LAT doesn’t want the story to be true; to that end, they will continue the frightened ostrich act until and unless overwhelming and undeniable evidence is revealed — at which point they will still try to protect him by burying the story as deep into the paper as they think they can get away with doing.

    Icy Truth (4be48a)

  11. Show me the alleles linking the alleged love child and the pandering and allegedly philandering ex-senator as neatly as the stained blue dress was linked to Bill Clinton, or show me an actual confession, or show me an eyewitness who caught them in the act.

    If you’re going to build a case based solely on circumstantial evidence, at least make it competent circumstantial evidence (e.g., something that doesn’t rely on emotional reactions and thoughts that the Enquirer reporters impute to Edwards based on their read of his facial reactions). They were in the same hotel room at 3:00 a.m.? Well, yeah, that’s suggestive. But by that standard of proof, half the Longhorn Band’s trumpet section and I were illicit lovers back in 1978. (Or maybe we were just drunk college kids during a bowl game weekend.)

    It’s probably all true, or if it’s not, there’s probably something else equally bad that is. But this claim just hasn’t been proved. The Enquirer had a picture of Donna Rice sitting on Gary Hart’s lap in the days before Photoshop. On Edwards, they’ve got speculation and innuendo. Color me still unimpressed.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  12. Kausfiles has the scoop on the cover-up. The baby moma is getting $15k per month, paid by a FOJer.
    This is only going to attract more interest as sneaky John makes a spectacle of himself ducking and dodging, double talking, and trying to slink out of taking responsibility for his misbehavior.

    The only question now is whether our watchdogs in the MSM will out do dirty John trying to look the other way. Agenda journalism is its own reward.

    Ropelight (2af3e2)

  13. Tony Pierce is an ace. He has spent so much time and effort trying to bring this corrupt 19th-century organization into…well, not quite into the 21st century but at least the late 20th…that to see him getting cast as the iron hand of the dying mainstream media is really ironic. I’m glad he seems to have acquitted himself well in this interview, because his position is defensible (there are major, big-money lawsuit reasons why a big, rich organization has to be careful with stuff like this), and he also has a bunch of enemies within the paper who would just like to see him (and the web, and capitalism) go away. I know it looks from the outside like he’s just another part of the problem, but he’s actually a marked improvement and the Times needs more like him.

    Tim Cavanaugh (51b7e0)

  14. Ah the Longhorn Band’s trumpet section. Good times.

    Tablids play by their own rulwes that occasionaly intersect with the rest of the press but thankfully not that often. Again, were Edwards in the running there might be “more of a story” here. But whatever may or may not have happened everyone’s suffering from “scandal fatigue.” The paps have retreated from stalking Britney Spears, now that she’s keeping reugular hours and Lindsay Lohan now that she’s gone all Anne Heche. meanwhile the “legitimate” press is stumped by its inability to cocktail-up a Lewinsky-sized sex scandal to pin on Obama. Hope springs eternal, of course, but so far nada.

    Hey — maybe his wife has an “unmarried” secretary. Call Drudge!

    David Ehrenstein (21c975)


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