Friday, October 28th, 2016

Isthmus’ new standard of gossip reporting


We previously discussed Jack Craver’s blog post lowering the ethical standards of Isthmus* and the double standard revealed by his blog post. Now we have Craver’s response.

Craver at Isthmus’ website tries to defend his post attempting to “out” Senator Herb Kohl with this great standard,

In explaining why I didn’t think Baldwin’s open homosexuality would doom her chances, I mentioned that Sen. Herb Kohl, the incumbent, has long been rumored to be gay.

I do not regret mentioning that. Whether or not the rumors are true, they are relevant in discussing the the significant role of sexuality in American politics.

Whether or not the rumors are true. Wow. What an incredibly now low standard for journalism. But here’s the real point of Craver’s defense.

I don’t believe the media should investigate the personal lives of public officials. I would never ask a public official questions about his/her sexuality. But there’s no way in hell I’m going to write a post about whether a gay person can be elected in Wisconsin and not mention a previously-reported rumor that one of our senators is gay!

Craver doesn’t believe the media should investigate – he just thinks they should be able to report the rumor if it supports his argument. In other words, Kohl’s possible homosexuality is just too good to check!

By the way, Craver still does not mention Kohl denies being a homosexual. Craver also thinks adding the words “long-rumored” makes it all better somehow.

Finally, Craver makes a plea to his readers to pretty-please don’t contact the editors.

Last, I would prefer that anybody who disagrees with my take on this issue direct their criticism at me, not Isthmus. One of the great things about Isthmus is that it allows bloggers a great deal of latitude in determining what to publish. My blog posts are a different product than the articles I write for the paper, both in style and content.

Why not? Are the editors not responsible for both the content of the dead-tree and online versions of their product? To whose attention should we bring the lowering of the journalistic ethical standards if the editors are not interested in policing Craver’s blog posts?

As for the other point Craver makes, why should there be a different standard for the blog posts Craver writes than the other articles he writes? I would actually like some editor at Isthmus explain to me how Craver is allowed to engage in lower journalistic standards than Page Six in the New York Post.

Since, according to Craver the editors are uninterested in how he destroys the publication’s reputation, I guess the readers of Isthmus should just complain to me.



* “Isthmus” just sounds stupid without the in front of it.
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