By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuck In The Middle With Sludge
I guess I have no one to blame but myself, but I feel compelled to note this and it requires more than 140 characters…
When I write about the domino effect of low journalistic standards, I am usually supported. After a splash of Nikki news in the last 48 hours, The Daily is trying to jump on board the moving train after the bloodied their own nose with a scoop that turned out to be poop when the photo they had of Nikki turned out not to be Nikki.
The Daily, if you don’t know, is the iPad’s first Titanic, already in need of salvaging. And if you haven’t bothered checking in on your own iPad, it’s still running for free, even though the door was supposed to be closed to non-subscribers earlier this week. It seemed like a great idea by Rupert Murdoch, to make a great daily paper at a reasonable price for the iPad… but the content has been mediocre at best, which is shocking considering that they hired some very good people (some of whom are already ready to head out the door).
So, today, once we got past the 3 day old lead news story about Charlie Sheen… well, let me start again. After I got an e-mail and saw a tweet about The Daily having the scoop on why Nikki C&Ded Sharon, I went to the “paper” and saw that their lead story was Sheen. And then I saw Richard Johnson’s sad version of Page Six. He leads with a 2.5 week old story about Barry Avrich’s doc on Weinstein (the film premiered in Toronto on the 11th). Then the Nikki scoop is that he claims Nikki is blaming Sharon for giving Johnson Nikki’s address, where she was staked for 4 days before not having her photo taken.
But that’s not the scummy part. That’s just Johnson and The daily trying to make lemonade out of an aging turd they left on their own lawn. (Waxman is not the only one who says it’s not Nikki. Anne Thompson chimed in too. And based on the last time I saw Nikki, I would have to agree with them, though the vagaries of photography and possible plastic surgery make me an unreliable source after not seeing her in the flesh for about 6 years.) It was this that really disturbed me:
“Right or wrong, Finke blames Waxman for leaking her address.”
2 options. Either Sharon did give Johnson her address and he is hanging a source out to dry by bringing this up at all. The right thing to do – and does anyone do this anymore? – would be to shut the f*** up. Or Sharon did not give Johnson the address and he is leaving the door open to something he knows to be untrue. This is scumbaggery of the highest order.
Of course, the saddest part is that this is all over such low stakes… except for the bigger picture… which is the future of journalism, whether some want to seriously consider the chipping away at standards or not.