Another, non-star exception

Ed Pilkington in The Guardian:

Jeffrey Epstein: how US media – with one star exception – whitewashed the story

The “one star exception” here is the Miami Herald, which published a series of investigative pieces by Julie K. Brown. But what about the Gawker? They called themselves a blog but a scoop-delivering blog with a readership so large is a mass medium in all but name. True, Nick Denton is a Briton but the project he founded – Blogwire, later renamed to the Gawker – operated out of New York City and focused on the exploits of American celebrities.

I linked to a Gawker piece on Epstein in April 2016. At that time, I had been expecting the mainstream media to take a closer look at the names in Epstein’s “black book,” but it didn’t happen then – despite the presidential election – and is barely happening now. The Gawker’s coverage of the Epstein affair can be found on their site. The blog went out of business in 2016, crushed by the Hogan-Thiel offensive, but its archives are still online.

The Gawker, one could argue, was a tabloid every bit as vicious as its English cousins. The question most relevant to this case, however, is not ethical but probabilistic: how often did the tabloid publish lies? If it had a well-founded reputation for truthfulness (in addition to repulsiveness, granted), the rational reader should have taken seriously its Epstein coverage.

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