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Across The Media Universe

Just wanted to mention a few things floating around Mediaville today.

First, we have Jon Friedman's love letter to the Drudge Report. (Which we discussed here earlier this week.) Writes Friedman: "Happily, the Drudge Report remains part-CNN Crawl and part-National Enquirer." Apparently Friedman and Public Eye have different ideas about what constitutes a compliment.

And then there's the news about David Gilbert, a former stringer for WCBS News Radio and CBS Network. According to the University of Georgia Red & Black newspaper, Gilbert, who has been touring the country giving pro-Israel speeches at top universities, has been falsely claiming to be a CBS News Correspondent. (The story isn't loading at the moment – presumably the Red & Black isn't used to national traffic – so here's the Atlanta Journal-Constitution write-up.) If Gilbert had really been a correspondent, he would have been forbidden from giving such speeches – and I'm guessing Public Eye would have heard about it. Gilbert has apologized, writing in an email "I have brought discredit upon myself and upon my profession."

Finally, we wanted to mention this week's episode of Frontline, which focuses on the outing of conservative Spokane, WA mayor Jim West through the aggressive tactics of the Spokesman-Review newspaper. I interviewed Spokesman-Review editor Steve Smith in May of last year, and he defended his newspaper's tactics, which included contracting an outsider to pose as a 17-year-old boy in a chat room. The Frontline story suggests that the newspaper, which floated still-unsubstantiated allegations that West molested children, went too far in its efforts to take down the mayor. It's well worth a viewing, both for the tragic storyline and the ethical questions raised by the actions of those on both sides.

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