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I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.


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Saturday, May 1, 2010

What to Make of the Obama-Baker "Scandal"

The National Enquirer - a supermarket tabloid with a penchant for exaggerating reports and fabricating quotations - just "broke" a "story" alleging a sex scandal between President Obama and Vera Baker, a political fundraiser and former campaign aide. Full text with updates is here.

According to the piece,
While Baker has insisted in the past that "nothing happened" between them, reports reveal that top anti-Obama operatives are offering more than $1 million to witnesses to reveal what they know about the alleged hush-hush affair.
Surprise, surprise.

Is there any merit to this story? Even if it proves untrue, it could temporarily mar the President's "family man" image and waste time and resources on a possible investigation. Either way, the incident raises questions about the role of a tabloid publication in conducting actual reporting with political ramifications. The way I see it, the National Enquirer is nothing more than an inflammatory, outlandish blog -- except instead of emerging first on the web, its business model began with supermarket checkout lines.

Some blogs and online publications have broken real stories in the past, and many have gone viral quickly through mentions in the New York Times or Washington Post. But a simple Google search shows that the Vera Baker story has made little progress in either the mainstream media or the mainstream blogosophere.

Through repeated failures to report accurately, the National Enquirer has lost readers' confidence. Yet despite its incredibility, people like my mother will continue to read it as they load their groceries -- will this "news" affect the midterms?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having represented a Senator from North Carolina, I can say with absolute certainty that all Democrats that win NC are philanderers. This includes Kay Hagan.