Let the corrections begin. Ben Smith of Politico writes:
I generally avoid playing press critic, knowing that I live in a particularly fragile glass house, and that good reporters make mistakes.
But the Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin is so emblematic of much that’s wrong about the way she’s covered that it’s worth returning to, and I’ve learned that the its long wind-up is based on fundamental confusion about which of Palin’s children was at an event in Kansas City.
Palin almost never talks to neutral media outlets, leaving her — as critics accurately note — subject to none of the questions, challenges, and reality checks that the political press puts regularly to almost every other national political figure. She takes a lot of heat for this, deservedly.
But with the hunger for information about her, and the traffic she drives, the press sometimes compensates by printing thinly-sourced, badly-reported nonsense about her that it’s hard to imagine making it into a serious magazine like Vanity Fair if it concerned any other figure. Of course, this might not happen if she spoke to reporters — but that’s no excuse. I mentioned one wildly embellished anecdote in the Vanity Fair story yesterday, and today heard from the host of the Kansas City, Missouri event that begins the article.