Here we go again. According to Eschaton The New Media Rules:
It looks like Republicans have learned a new trick in the media. If you give exclusive stories to journalists with the condition that no Democrats are to be allowed to comment on the story, journalists think that’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Not only that, but they won’t even bother to do any additional research for the story.
From Media Matters:
Under a purported embargo, which the Post said prevented reporters from revealing the administration’s decision until midnight — “too late” to contact Democrats for a response — staff writers Peter Baker and Charles Babington quoted anonymous White House officials spinning the decision regarding the documents(emphasis mine – afarensis). But while other contemporaneous print media reports noted Democrats’ previously stated arguments for full disclosure of the documents, the Post omitted them for the second day in a row.
Turns out Roll Call writer Lauren Whittington got the story from the GOP with the ground rule that she not call anyone else for the story.
After reading this article I couldn’t help but ask myself which media outlets in West Virginia were going to be running these advertisements. I called up Lauren W. Whittington (columnist for the Roll Call) to ask her if Brian Nick went into any specifics pertaining to his comment that stated: “The initial buy, which will be concentrated in the large media markets in the state.” I was interested in finding out, in specific, which television stations or “large media markets” Brian Nick was referring too. Whittington told me that Nick did not go into any specifics other than what she had presented in the article for “security reasons,” security as in they do not want Democratic operatives finding out this type of information.
Security reasons? WTF?
It would be nice if these were isolated incidents – but they are not:
Days after financial services giant Morgan Stanley informed print publications that its ads must be automatically pulled from any edition containing “objectionable editorial coverage,” global energy giant BP has adopted a similar press strategy.
According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP’s media-buying agency, WPP Group’s MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward negative editorial coverage.
Another magazine executive who had not heard about BP’s policy or of Morgan Stanley’s said his company has unwritten guidelines with advertisers from several industries, including auto, airlines and tobacco, to pull their ads if related negative stories are in the issue. These cases, the executive said, occur more with news magazines than lifestyle ones.
Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable indeed!