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Undercover, Under Fire

You know I've been hard on the LA Times, but this piece is excellent: "The Washington press corps is too busy cozying up to the people it covers to ge

You know I've been hard on the LA Times, but this piece is excellent: "The Washington press corps is too busy cozying up to the people it covers to get at the truth." Ken Silverstein went undercover to expose some DC lobbyists. When he did they complained that he was...undercover...

Now, in a fabulous bit of irony, my article about the unethical behavior of lobbying firms has become, for some in the media, a story about my ethics in reporting the story. The lobbyists have attacked the story and me personally, saying that it was unethical of me to misrepresent myself when I went to speak to them.

That kind of reaction is to be expected from the lobbyists exposed in my article. But what I found more disappointing is that their concerns were then mirrored by Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz, who was apparently far less concerned by the lobbyists' ability to manipulate public and political opinion than by my use of undercover journalism.

"No matter how good the story," he wrote, "lying to get it raises as many questions about journalists as their subjects." 

Even Howard Kurtz plays the attack the messenger game. How are journalists supposed to actually report on these types of stories, Howard?

Chuck Lewis, a former "60 Minutes" producer and founder of the Center for Public Integrity, once told me: "The values of the news media are the same as those of the elite, and they badly want to be viewed by the elites as acceptable."

Read the full article. Thank you, Ken.

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