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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, November 27, 2002
8:38 AM

PostWatch reader Fred Ray points me to a Jack Shafer piece on the New York Times, executive editor Howell Raines and Augusta. Aside from a senseless lead I may get to later, it's fun: some point, saturation coverage of a story begins to raise more questions about the newspaper's motives than about the story being covered. The Times reached—and passed—that point this morning with its 40th-plus news story, column, or editorial (since July!) about the Augusta National Golf Club's refusal to admit female members. Only a five-star general like Raines could have commanded such extravagant coverage as this.

The headline of today's Page One, above-the-fold story—CBS Staying Silent in Debate on Women Joining Augusta"—is the giveaway that the Times is blowing on embers in hopes that the story will reignite. ...

The fact that the network is still silent isn't big news today any more than it will be big news tomorrow, even if the Times were to contrive a story titled "CBS Stays Silent: Day 150." This sort of churning and whisking of yesterday's topic, adding new ingredients in incremental proportions in story after story until you build a 12-foot tall meringue isn't news coverage, it's blogging!

UPDATE: Yeah, I could provide the link to the Shafer piece--picky, picky, picky.

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