Journalistic Hackery on the Cain Story

Glenn Reynolds has a pretty simple question for Politico:

Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it?

He also points to this gem from Jim Treacher:

So we don’t know specifically what Herman Cain stands accused of doing wrong, who’s accusing him, or how to verify any of it. Other than that, this is some solid reporting from Politico.

And read this Pro Publica (not exactly a right-wing operation) takedown:

It is clear from the story that Politico posted Sunday evening that reporters had made extensive efforts to figure out what happened. But much of what appeared came from anonymous sources whose knowledge appeared to be second-hand or unspecific.

This story isn’t going away, and the voters deserve to learn more.  And Drew Cline of the Union Leader makes a point:

So conservatives complaining about Politico’s Cain story would be OK with news org knowing about Dem harassment complaint, staying silent?

Then again, how about the double-standards at play here?  From Jonah Goldberg:

Just curious: Has anyone who defended Anthony Weiner displayed outrage over Herman Cain yet?

This is going to be a tough and testing week for the Cain team.

UPDATE: Jack Shafer has a must-read roundup of the accusations and the flawed journalism at play here.


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