The Aftermath of C Street

In The Family, after a triple sex scandal in Washington.

Why did the much of the mainstream media — with the exception of MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow — lose interest in the C Street story after they mined the sex out of it?

I can only speculate. To be fair, it’s not quite that bad or that unusual. First, there’s the fact that having written about this for a number of magazines that might be said to be sort of mainstream — Harper’s, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Mother Jones — and talked about it on very mainstream television programs — NBC Nightly News, CNN, etc. — and radio — Marketplace, Fresh Air, BBC, etc. — I’ve sort of established ownership of the story. That may be a good thing for my book sales, but it’s bad for journalism, because it discourages other reporters from digging in.

Fortunately, there are a lot of solid journalists working around the country who didn’t get the memo — we’ve seen local news investigations in Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and beyond. That’s because some of those regional reporters simply aren’t that invested in access in the same way that national reporters are. That’s the good news.

Dig in, everybody. Don’t make Jeff do all the work.