Yet another reason why politics and the media suck ass.

This is the story of a young woman who was lied about by reporters wanting a story and politicians hoping to smear John Kerry. It is also an example of why I would never go into politics.

There’s an interesting quote towards the end:

I started out as an ambitious young woman inspired by politics and the media. I’ve ended up disenchanted with both. If I had been an ambitious young man, this story would not have happened.

She’s right.

(I should mention that I had never heard of this story until I read this article. Am I just really out of it, or was this not as big as it seems?)

1 thought on “Yet another reason why politics and the media suck ass.

  1. Original comments from Blogger

    Anonymous said…

    This was.. what.. big news for a week or so? I remember it well enough. Saw the posting on Drudge and the mention of it being considered by numerous news organizations. I remember that short amount of time that it had had its airplay. Kerry didn’t respond right away, which made people think it might be true. About the time he denied it, though, people kind of started forgetting about it.

    What I think is interesting about her own account is how she does clearly state that The Sun ran the story first, and that numerous media organizations jumped on it. Most of those news groups are of a more liberal persuasion.

    And yet she mentions Drudge more than anyone else, as it was his posting that caught most peoples’ eyes. She talks then of a woman that had called her Monica Lewinsky with bad taste in movies whom she meets, and comes away feeling like she likes this woman. Then she talks about how Drudge set 40 minutes to talk to her on the phone – and all he had reported was bits and pieces he had heard; he never called her anything so rude – but she doesn’t even suggest that he was kind or that she appreciated his talking to her.

    She also just happened to throw in this quote:

    “Politics was like a scary game of telephone. During the last election, people had discussed rumors that Bush had taken cocaine, a not entirely illogical jump from his wild days with alcohol. This time, Kerry’s dating record between marriages might have led people to assume he’d be up for an affair.”

    It looks like she’s saying that “Well, things like this can start up, so I suppose I can see how this started.” But come on. Since when has alcohol been labelled the “Gateway Drug”? That’s pot, not booze. How in the fuck can you say that COCAINE might be the next thing to try if someone’s an alcoholic? I understand her intent in the statement, but I’d say that Kerry’s past with young women is more likely to cause more times with young women than Bush’s alcohol is going to lead to cocaine.

    When you get down to it, she got tied up in something she had nothing to do with, and she got a bad rep because of it. I suppose it’s a sad story, but it happens to people in the political forum all the time. Personally, I think I’d be more upset as a man getting called a racist by not only the news but by the other party over being a girl being accused of having an affair.

    So she got her fifteen minutes, and maybe she’ll get a book deal or a made-for-TV movie.

    But I don’t recall much more than reporters reporting the “possibility” of an affair between her and Kerry. and the ones that went so far as to slander her were apparently leftists, as in the end, she “liked” them.

    I’m not totally disagreeing with your original point, though, Heather. Politics isn’t something the weak or soft-hearted should dabble with. It is pretty cruel in the end – and the media plays a large role in that cruelty.

    Maybe this story was huge to her – because she had to see reactions on the street – but to the rest of us, it didn’t last very long at all before it died away. I’d almost forgotten entirely about it.

    She makes one thing clear – she hates Republicans. So to that end, I say fuck her. The less liberals we have in politics the better. ;D

    -AJ
    Thursday, June 03, 2004 9:24:00 AM

    Heather Meadows said…

    Yeah, she was pretty biased, wasn’t she? That bothered me, too.

    You make an excellent point about her portrayal of Drudge versus the other reporters.

    I suppose you could argue that since it’s an editorial (I guess), she doesn’t have to be unbiased…but you have to take into account that she went to journalism school. She should know better.

    Still, while it may not have made much of an impact on Joe Public, it did affect her life in a huge way. I would be interested to know if she will get the book deal you mention, or if she will have trouble getting jobs, or what other repercussions there might be. Of course, as she states that she doesn’t intend to talk about it anymore, I guess I’ll never know.

    I also think that there was an even more important message in her article: don’t believe everything you read. Of course, you and I already know that…but how many people out there still trust reporters? I think the Internet has done good things and bad things for the written word. On the one hand, it has made many people skeptical and cynical about anything they see written anywhere–because now, anybody who wants to can be published, virtually for free. On the other, there are plenty of non-net savvy people who haven’t learned not to trust what they see online, and there are also, as “the intern” mentioned, reporters who use the Internet as a resource for stories.

    This is a dangerous combination, and really it leaves me not knowing what to believe.
    Thursday, June 03, 2004 11:22:00 AM

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