Spitzer Substory

March 11, 2008 at 9:06 am 3 comments

Credit is due Tony Karon for blogging on the misleading way this story was first presented.

I first heard about it via a CNN e-mail:

— New York Times reports Gov. Eliot Spitzer admits involvement in a prostitution ring.

My first twisted-mouth thought: He’s running a prostitution ring? And a subsequent check online led me to headlines that were similarly misleading. But the Rootless Cosmopolitan (which I highly recommend) nails it:

I was intrigued by the headlines that came screaming off all the cable news networks and web sites on Monday about the New York governor’s “involvement in a prostitution ring” or his “ties to prostitution.” Those headlines had me giggling with schadenfreude imagining this rather self-righteous former Attorney General running a prostitution ring, or somehow being a beneficiary of the business—a kind of super-pimp of a type that would seem too fantastic even for Sin City or The Sopranos or gangsta rap…


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

Congestion $ing—Depends on Who You Ask Forest Hills Beach or Swamp

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anne  |  March 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Yes, it was a puzzling moment as the media were tripping over themselves to get A story out, to be followed by THE story.
    Hard to say which was more shocking or disturbing, but we will now enter the media phase of all Spitzer all the time, until something else breaks the spell. There will be the inevitable talk show, book and consulting circus that will follow, finally culminating in the movie rights to Sex and the State.

    Sex sells and this is a sensational story. Regrettably, through none of this can we expect others, both in the public or private sectors who are similarly engaged in sordid doings to clean up their act. We can, however expect the newly emerging generation of adults to become only more jaded by the examples set forth before them. It is truly a sorry state of affairs from every angle.

  • 2. Jason Roth  |  March 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I think if you were misled by the initial stories, it’s because they were being vague, not intentionally misleading. They probably said phrases like “involved with a prostituion ring” just because they didn’t know the nature of the involvement. I think it’s a stretch to assume they were vague so as purposely to make people think it was more involvement rather than less.

    I do think it’s a legitimate complaint to say the habit of the media these days is to release some story, any story, that even makes promises of a story to come. I even get annoyed when I read an article discussing what some politician is about to talk about in an upcoming speech. What is this, news Minority Report style?

  • 3. karbeth  |  March 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    That’s an interesting point–that they kept it vague to tamp down insinuation of greater involvement.

    Could also be that the NY Times couldn’t come up with something more accurate (their headline writers differ from the content writers).
    Deliberately misleading, I don’t know. It’s possible. It’s also possible that there’s so much news happening, and so much competition, that they simply can’t get it right/perfect so much of the time. It all contributes to the public perception that the media is more and more dropping the ball.


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