October 3, 2019

‘TOTAL HIT JOB:’ Attorney Ted Frank FOIA’d Ben Penn’s emails to Labor Dept. about Leif Olson and ‘this looks veeeeeery bad for Bloomberg Law’ [screenshots].

Related: When is it acceptable journalistic practice to “surface” old social media posts?

Journalists routinely complain about being forced to produce vast amounts of content under tight deadlines. Reporter often call me and request a quote instantly, because they are facing a deadline–whether or not I’ve had time to consider the issue! I get it. Social media has transformed the news landscape. The first to publish gets the glory.

Given these constraints, why would a reporter spend countless hours aimlessly scrolling through Facebook posts with the sole purpose of surfacing offensive tweets? There are so many other useful tasks a reporter can perform. Moreover, why would any competent editor at Bloomberg approve of such a task? Note to Bloomberg: this failure belongs also to your editorial team–they should face discipline as well as Penn.

As with the Des Moines Register’s attempt to cancel Carson King, a lot of news organizations once thought to be relatively benign are certainly blowing up their reputations lately.

(Which apropos of nothing, makes the timing of Clint Eastwood’s new directorial effort all the more impressive: Fake News Media is Really Going to Hate Clint Eastwood’s New Movie.)

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