Journalistic Integrity

Let me see if I’ve got this “how to be a journalist” thing straight.

You go to a message board and post something laughably stupid, like “is Obama too skinny to be president?

> Does anyone out there think Barack Obama is too thin to be president? Anyone having a hard time relating to him and his “no excess body fat”? Please let me know. Thanks!

You get a brilliantly articulate response from “onlinebeerbellygirl”, who has never posted anywhere else on those forums and seemingly just registered that day:

> Yes I think He is to skinny to be President.Hillary has a potbelly and chuckybutt I’d of Voted for Her.I won’t vote for any beanpole guy.

You think, “JACKPOT!”:

> Love your response and your username (onlinebeerbellygirl). Would you mind shooting me an email so I can ask you a few more quesitons? My email is Thanks so much!

Then you cite this as “research” or a “source” in your shitty article in the Wall Street Journal on the same topic:

> But in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama’s skinniness be a liability? Despite his visits to waffle houses, ice-cream parlors and greasy-spoon diners around the country, his slim physique just might have some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them.
> …
>”I won’t vote for any beanpole guy,” another Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.

And that’s journalism, right?

Mighty tip of the hat to Sadly, No! for digging this one out.

  • Just… wow :

  • charliehice

    As a political nut I am concerned about uneducated remarks about political candidates on the computer. I am 78. When I see TV personalities, political candidates, lobbyists, whatever, I match their writings, personalities, political leanings and then I make comments.
    Most people do not care about anything, and that is file I use for stupid remarks like being skinny, etc. These people do not take time to become acquainted with mentioned people above.
    I still make mistakes. And, this Presidential circus is extremely different. I still take my time trying to decide. And, for the first time in my life, I do not want to vote. But, I will. Maybe not for President, but my votes will be based on newspapers, magazine articles, TV appearances, etc.
    Thanks for listening.
    an old man with an attitude Charlie

  • charliehice

    I am a political nut. And I study newspapers, magazines, TV appearances and then try to make intelligent decisions. If they are fat or skinny, that is their problem. I wish people who make stupid remarks would READ.
    charlie, an old man with an attitude

  • Just… wow :