It happened last year. You would think that they wouldn’t be that easy to fool again. You would be wrong.
Last year it was the Turk as White House Blogger prank. A great one indeed, and scarfed up by the cutting edge newshounds at the New York Times.
But the New York Times didn’t bother to fact check. Not with me. Not with the White House. And not with Google, which already had the stories from both the ABAJournal and the WSJ by the time they ran the story at 2:05. The Paper of Record blogged in its City Room this piece on When Lawyers Blog :…After all, as Mr. Turkewitz, a Manhattan lawyer, writes on his New York Personal Injury Law Blog, he is about to be sounding off on all manner of legal issues as the Obama administration’s new White House law blogger.
“Excited about new blogging gig as White House law blogger,” he tweeted this morning. “But hope I don’t have to spend too much time in D.C.”
Spoken like a true New Yorker.
But they don’t like to get punked. They don’t like it when some blogging lawyer like Eric Turkewitz makes them look just a teeny bit foolish, even if only because they jumped blindly into the abyss rather than do that fact-verifying thing that reporters are supposed to do.
But they can’t help themselves. Dangle a “hot” bit of news in front of a reporter and it’s like bloody meat in front of pitbulls. There’s just no stopping them, and they get drool all over the carpet.
There’s a question of the ethics of a lawyer being the source of information that serves to fool a newspaper. After all, as some argue, a lawyer is supposed to be honest and forthright, kinda like an overwrought boy scout in pin stripes who is never allowed to go to parties with the fun kids. Think of the harm, the newsprint murdered, the reporters’ time wasted, the humiliation of perfectly nice people just trying to do their job. Get a life. Even lawyers are allowed to have a little fun once in a while.
So what was the prank this year? How did the New York Times get taken yet again? Since I can’t take credit, I leave the glory to those who did the dirty deed and deserve the credit. And no, it doesn’t involve naked pictures of Sarah Palin, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.
Check it out for yourself at Patterico’s Pontifications.