Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Open Letter to Tony Manfred on Palin Rumors

Dear Mr. Manfred:

This is Tony. His bio says a
recent graduate of Cornell.
Full disclosure. A) I am a conservative and B) I really love the 'vibe' of Business Insider & Sports Page Select. I'm a bit put off by all the editorial headlines framed as "reporting," though. It is clear to me that you guys have a huge bias against people like Palin and Bauchmann. And it's all good. It's a free country and you have enough GOOD stuff that makes the periodic idiocy you guys exhibit worth the trouble.

I read your quick article about the rumor in the soon to be published book by part-time Palin neighbor and peeping Tom - Joe McGinniss. You might be shocked for me to declare that I think it is fair game. (As history has shown from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the Longview, WA shipyard incident is that liberals are the ones who are narrow minded and not conservatives. But that is argument for another time.)

I only have two complaints. First involves some rather poor reporting in my opinion. In your article - RUMOR: Sarah Palin Had A One-Night Stand in 1987 you neglected a few fairly obvious journalistic omissions:

1. You fail to mention that McGinniss was the guy who rented a home next to the Palin's for the summer to write his book - unnerving the family and some other residents of Wasilla. Very few people will know McGinniss' history as a journalist who was willing to "make Hubert Humphrey look like Abraham Lincoln" until the Nixon team opened their doors to him. Therefore, someone who began their career willing to change their intellectual point of view to facilitate what project was 'easiest' is a pretty important oversight.  If conservative fiction writer Brad Thor or Ann Coulter were to write a novel on Barak Obama, wouldn't you mention their conservative bent? Of course you would because I assume you to be a man of integrity.

2. You also fail to mention that McGinniss has been accused of plagiarism by author William Manchester and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and his publisher settled a dispute over his book Fatal Vision rather than continuing in court. For a writer that William F. Buckley said used 'elaborate deception' - these things can help the reader to understand some sense of the how people have viewed his work in the past. This is (in Twitter language) a #bigfail.

3. I am assuming you didn't have the courtesy to check with Glenn Rice or even Palin's co-workers at the TV station as you didn't mention any attempt to do so. I also am assuming your response (forgive me) would be to say - "I'm just reporting what the author says."

Which leads me to my second general point.


I didn't graduate from Cornell so let me try to spend the energy to articulate this point better.  I notice that ALL of your other posts are about sports.  And sports gossip.  I'm cool on all that.  (I loved the pieces on Nadal and Tebow by the way.) 

But your "reporting" leads me to wonder if you or your editors were more interested in slamming a high profile person like Palin for ad circulation rather than being accurate - or fair.  It certainly isn't fair to drag Mr. Rice into gossip with the #1 most hated person by the main stream media this without contacting him is it?  Or does anything fly if your precede it with the word "Rumor"?

It is your additional citation of another Enquirer rumor (non sports related - unless sex is a new 'sport' to Sports Page Select) that Palin had an affair with her husbands business partner. This makes me question either your motive, your journalistic integrity or both.  

I don't see Business Insider reporting on the numerous OTHER rumors that fly about other politicians...well, except conservatives that is.  Where is the article on Obama's gay lover?  Or his fake Social Security number that doesn't pass eVerify? Or do you WANT people to think you guys are hacks?

Seriously dude.  If you guys want to be taken seriously, don't you have to put a little more effort into your reporting?

I am sure that your firm that just announced it's capital raising effort for $5 Million to $10 Million wouldn't be trying to get cheap publicity to show an increase of circulation or visibility.  Companies started by a CEO's who are banned from the securities industry are highly unlikely to do that i know.  But it does make someone wonder why they would let their junior sports reporter have at this bombshell rather than someone from the political wing. Hmmmm. (that is the sound of a mind that did NOT finish college trying to put together all these pieces that seem to suggest a bias).

As for Palin, I have no idea if she was in the same town as Glenn Rice at any point but it would seem highly unlikely for who everyone else knows her to be.  Rice was arrested (charges dropped) in 2008 on an assault charge - but you don't seem to want to address what this means TO THE SPORTS STAR you supposedly should be most interested in. (or in which you should be most interested.)  Are you telling me a second rate "journalist" (and I think it is fair to put his name in quotes) comes up with the scoop of the campaign simply by sitting next door to her house when every major news network, liberal interest group and thousands of lawyers have been digging under icebergs for 2 years?

What a schmuck you guys will seem to be by passing this along as news (even with your ridiculous "rumor" disclaimer) if it turns out to be true or worse - a fabricated lie.  Or - if you were consistent - and showed the integrity I think you might be capable of  - you will do this to EVERY candidate, whether they currently hold the office or not.

Now I want to be a Business Insider journalist.  I hear it doesn' pay worth crap but you guys have a blast.  So your editor Henry Blodget former contributor to far left wing SLATE as well as NEWSWEEK probably approves of my new column for tomorrow.  I see he has a history of making up stories with no basis in fact like speculating on salaries of other journalists. No - I won't be discussing his current ban from the securities industry or the either fraud charges that were swept under the rug with that pillar of governmental oversight - Elliot Spitzer.  

So I'm wondering if you would be kind of enough to run my blog tomorrow based on rumors I've come across about him on the internet.  Especially single sourced quotes from those burned by Blodget's past that are published by questionable sources on the internet. 

Oh, but gee.   You see I couldn't do that.  I'm a conservative.  Conservatives aren't perfect by any means - but they do believe in principle.  And I actually BELIEVE in things like what John Wooden said - 
Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights. 
Perhaps you will learn your career will be stuck at the TMZ level unless your employer - or you - make a change quick.

The Washington Post may not slam you for running this cheapshot piece - but I will so you don't buy the KoolAid that this somehow actually HELPS your career.  After all - you might end up with the reputation of McGinniss.



Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More