Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Rain Spoils Golf Outing,
Then 'Longtime Lobbyist'
Complains of Shakedown

One problem we face in cleaning the Augean stables of Albany is that wrongdoing exposed by one newspaper is often ignored by other media. This is part of human nature; reporters do not like to follow up on stories which have been broken by their competitors. They could reasonably be asked by their editors: why didn't you get the story first?

The problem with this fragmentation in reportage is that even if the accusation is serious and the wrongdoing or wrongspeaking significant, the attention it receives will be limited, and the story is unlikely to be followed up. The defense strategy of smart bad guys is to say nothing about an embarrassing matter, and let the story die on its own. Often reporters are more competitive with their own colleagues than they are disturbed by governmental misconduct.


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