Tony Pierce is in charge of all the L.A. Times blogs (there are like 30 of them or something? Crazy.) He is a good blogger and a keen editor (signing up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to blog was weird and awesome). So he's probably regretting sending this email, which Times arch-enemy Kaus picked up as an example of MAINSTREAM MEDIA MISSING THE POINT in re: the John Edwards Love-Child and Mistress Scandal.
From: "Pierce, Tony" Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT To: [XXX] Subject: john edwards Hey bloggers, There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified. If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don't hesitate to ask Keep rockin, Tony
Sigh. It's maybe not as bad as it seems, but yes, asking people not to mention it because of poor sourcing even seems to prohibit mentioning, like, that you think the sourcing is bad. Though, uh, they already have blogged about it. And, yes, newspaper-affiliated blogs are held to the standards of the publication they represent, generally, so if the Times itself doesn't want to sully itself with this story, it's understandable that they'd ask their bloggers not to mention it (further). Of course maybe—maybe!—the papers are working on reporting their own followup stories? They do that all the time when the tabs scoop them. Like with Lara Logan! And until they finish their own pieces, they tend not to acknowledge the stories at all. Or maybe everyone loves Elizabeth Edwards so much that they've convinced themselves this isn't newsworthy, even if true. Sigh. We'd all love the media to learn lessons from its misbehavior during, like, the Lewinsky thing, but what we meant by that was reporting with more nuance and respect for our intelligence not not reporting it at all.