(Moyers & Company) -- "Hot Air” — that was The Huffington Post's March 27th homepage headline on the National Enquirer’s exclusive that GOP presidential aspirant Ted Cruz allegedly had five affairs.
It was the sensation that drove the news cycle that weekend, providing great entertainment in the verbal ping-pong between Cruz and Trump. Cruz claimed that Trump had engineered the story onto the Enquirer’s pages, where Trump’s pal David Pecker is the CEO; Trump hit back that he did no such thing, adding slyly that while the paper had been “right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” Yeah, right.
But while it’s one thing for the Enquirer to run a story that is anonymously sourced with no credible evidence to support it—a story that violates every possible journalistic ethics—it is quite another for the mainstream media to give it play, even in the hardly clever guise of reporting on the mudslinging between two contenders. Why this story leapt the fence between the Enquirer’s dark back alley and the MSM’s supposedly glistening mansion of rectitude explains a good deal not just about our journalistic culture but about our political one. Basically, it illustrates how, long ago, journalism and politics simultaneously lost their way.
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