“She’s a Monster”: A Media Generated Controversy

Note: The following is another reprint from Mormon Matters. It took place before it was obvious that Obama was going to beat out Hillary Clinton and long before I had decided to vote for him. So it was politically unmotivated at the time because I would never had guessed I’d prefer him over the Republican candidate. Unlike the lawyer profession, where I feel the ethics of the profession are in fact ethical, I do not feel the prevailing ethics of the journalist profession are at all ethical. In fact, I think they are down right dishonest much of the time. This is not a knock on individual journalists. If I were a journalist, I’d follow the professions ethics and get viewership and keep my job too. But I believe the professions current ethics are… unethical. This was just one of many possible examples.

I am not an Obama supporter and this article is not politically motivated. It is actually a commentary on how the media often creates a controversy rather than reporting an existing controversy. This issue has been weighing on my mind since the Danzig case and the Salt Lake Tribune’s quick retraction of the headline. The Samantha Power story seemed like an apt example.

The headline read:

‘Hillary Clinton’s a monster’: Obama aide blurts out attack in Scotsman interview

As the article explained:

In an unguarded moment during an interview with The Scotsman in London, Samantha Power, Mr Obama’s key foreign policy aide, let slip the camp’s true feelings about the former first lady.”

And thus ended Samantha Power’s advisory role for Barack Obama. But what is the real story here? If the news media was being candid with us, wouldn’t the headline have read:

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