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In Politics, the Web Is a Parallel World With Its Own Rules [nytimes] [View All]

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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:40 PM
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In Politics, the Web Is a Parallel World With Its Own Rules [nytimes]
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http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/22/weekinreview/22rute.html?ei=5065&en=4ae937899c0c50ae&ex=1078030800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print&position=

February 22, 2004

INTERNET AD ATTACK

In Politics, the Web Is a Parallel World With Its Own Rules

By JIM RUTENBERG

<snip>
The tension between the different strata of media was evident when The Drudge Report, the news Web site, recently reported that several major news organizations were investigating a rumor that Mr. Kerry may have had an extramarital affair.

Unlike the Monica Lewinsky scandal, news of which The Drudge Report also broke, the Kerry rumor had no accompanying criminal investigation, which could justify coverage by itself, and newsrooms across the country found themselves in a state of paralysis caught between ignoring a story millions already knew about or validating a charge without independent confirmation.

The pressure mounted as The Drudge Report posted follow-up articles, effectively fanning the flames. Those watching from the sidelines saw the situation as a test of just how far the major newspapers, magazines and television networks would allow themselves to be pushed.
<snip>

Ultimately, most news organizations, however, did not take the bait, with some ignoring the story entirely and others, including The New York Times, reporting denials from Mr. Kerry and the woman in question deep within their news pages.

There was no proof of anything, said Tom Hannon, the CNN political director. He said the network buried the denials in other campaign reports. Mickey Kaus, who had discussed the ethics of reporting the rumor on his Web blog, kausfiles.com, agreed that two different journalism worlds exist and he said that its a good thing.
<snip>
Now everybody can know what the political pros know, he said. So if youre a voter concerned about electability, you want to know Kerrys potential problems down the road. Now you have a vague idea, and you can discount them or take them into account depending on what you think.
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