Apparently the New York Times finds a decade’s old journalistic tactic to now be the work of “partisans” and reluctantly reports on its reemergence onto the national scene.
The genius of journalism is the cleverer you are in obtaining your story, the more successful you are. The Watergate reporters employed a number of tactics to garner lead after lead. In recent years, Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” profiled the creeps that lurk on the Internet connecting with underage kids. ABC uses hidden cameras for its show, “What would you do?.” By and large these segments have been a success and have shined a light on pressing issues.
The Times diagnoses this tactic by writing, “As their pursuit of the “gotcha” moment has become part of the cost of life in the public eye, one question is how willing politicians will be to advance their agendas on the backs of these muckrakers 2.0.”
How sad for the New York Times that politicians have to yield to this thing called accountability. It was once said that you get to know a person by what they do when no one’s looking. James O’Keefe and others who dabble in the so-called “gotcha” tactics are showing the public a side of politicians and public figures that they may not want shown.
But to the Times that approach is full of “deceit.” What a shame that the NYT pooh-poohs the expansion of citizen journalism onto the net. It could be due to a political ideology or a fear of fewer readers. I’d guess it’s a little of both.