I’m flattered to see that the Washington Post — the small-town version of our Real Paper — is honing the journalist’s craft of chasing down slow-moving targets, swallowing them whole and regurgitating them in Word. It’s a version of a technique I’m proud to say I pioneered back when I was helping break the eggs for Uncle Joe’s omelette.
To a potshotting journo, Roger Ailes is a textbook example of a herd-straggler. Faced with reporting a fast-moving, hard-to-track story about how family conflict and boardroom melodrama are changing the media landscape — that is, how the Murdoch boys did in daddy’s successful pal — the Post‘s four, count ’em— four! — intrepid scoopers aimed for the blimp-shaped guy who developed that atrocity called Fox News. I loved, loved, the result:
I love these journalistic bombshells filled with baking powder and sparkles. Wonderful work, Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham, Paul Farhi and Krissah Thompson! Your clip files will forever contain a wondrous piece of Keller (Helen, not Bill) journalism compiled under a magical cloak of invisibility. It took a lot of elbow grease to finesse all those telling winks and revelatory nudges. Good stuff, kids. In fact, forget Keller. I smell Pulitzer. (He’s practically next door to me down here and believe me when I say he is ripe!)
Of course, the real story went right past them in a cloud-engulfed graf:
[Michael] Wolff, the Murdoch biographer, couldn’t help thinking the billionaire’s sons were taking advantage of the situation to achieve their goal of excising Ailes. “This is not principally about sexual harassment,” Wolff said. “This is an internal coup.” (“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said a person at 21st Century Fox with knowledge of the situation.)
Will nobody speak to Post reporters on the record? In this week’s pack of stories about Ailes, that “internal coup” is the lead ‘lope, the one that got away completely.
I couldn’t have done better work myself, said Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Duranty. And there, Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham, Paul Farhi and Krissah Thompson, is your blurb, sourced.