Paul Farhi from the WaPo has a story today that will harden even the most cynical heart.
Although the major television news networks openly claim not to offer money for stories, many admit to offering money to “license” personal photos or videos, which just happen to accompany interviews with the family members or subjects of said visuals. Farhi writes:
“ABC News and NBC News acknowledged that they paid the families of three rescued Chilean miners who were featured in ‘exclusive’ reports on ‘Good Morning America’ and the ‘Today’ show last month. In both cases, network correspondents told viewers that home videos included in the reports were ‘licensed’ by the networks, a vague disclosure that revealed little about the nature of the agreements.”
And of course, the “mainstream” media have no issue repeating stories cultivated by their more financially liberated brethren.
How else would we know about Brett Favre’s junk, had it not been for the almighty dollar?
And do we really need to know about Brett Favre’s junk in the first place?
According to Nick Denton, founder and owner of Gawker Media, the end justifies the means:
“[Denton] proudly points to huge spikes in traffic to his Web sites as a result of [stories based on purchased information]. He says that Gawker has gone from 300,000 visitors per week in 2008 to 1.4 million, in part thanks to scoops it paid for.”
“All sources [compensated or not] have an agenda, whether it’s bureaucratic rivalry, mischief-making or the mercenary impulse. They always have to be doubted. . . . I’m content for us to be judged by results.”
In other words, “everybody’s working an angle and trying to get ahead any way they can. If I can make a buck helping them screw their fellow man, then all the better for me.”
Makes me proud to be an American (sarcasm intended).
I’m considering offering a big cash reward for anyone with compromising photos of Mr. Denton. Let’s see how he likes it.