Hartford Courant’s Rick Green: There’s No Media Blackout on Linda McMahon Prosecutor Tip

Hartford Courant columnist/blogger Rick Green wrote, in part of an interesting email exchange with me, “I’m not sure whether I completely buy the media blackout argument” with respect to in-depth Connecticut newspaper coverage of the story of Linda McMahon’s 1989 memo revealing that her wrestling company got an advance tip — allegedly from a federal prosecutor.

“A lot of this has been reported, it doesn’t yet have traction. I’m not sure why but it’s more than lazy reporters,” Green said.

The lazy-reporter argument is a straw man. I don’t think newspaper writers are lazy at all. I think they’re stretched and overworked.

For example, Ted Mann of the New London Day, the reporter who broke the Linda McMahon story, also blogs. Right now he’s getting buzz for his pungent observation that conservatives who complain about big government can be strangely silent when they’re also victims of the recent Connecticut floods, who are clamoring for federal relief. And good for Mann. However, I, personally, would rather see less bloviation from Mann and his brethren, in favor of extending his fine work on the McMahon story with additional enterprise journalism. Giving his own work “traction,” if you will. Traction is in the eye of the beholder.

The problem, Brother Rick,  isn’t reportorial initiative; it’s the difference between the corporate news filter of a newspaper and the personal news filter of a blog like mine.

Green and I have come a long way since January, when he was calling me “The Desperate California Sportswriter” and joked that I was accusing Connecticut journalists of being spineless. Then, Green was just having fun. Now, when he defends the vertebrae of his fellow ink-stained wretches, he’s being serious. But the charge is no more on point in the spring than it was in the winter.

For me, the real question is, How long is the learning curve for the Connecticut media on the Linda McMahon Senate candidacy? At what point does this slick and well-funded campaign of the head of an industrial death cult cease to be chatter and start to coalesce as an affair of state?

I’ll take my answer off the air.

Irv Muchnick

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April 2010

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