Carr on Finke Is Pot vs. Kettle

In his front-page profile of movie industry blogger Nikki Finke, New York Times media reporter David Carr (7/17/09) can’t resist a self-congratulatory dig: “Her liabilities in the world of print–a penchant for innuendo and unnamed sources–became assets online.”

Those familiar with the print media world may recall that unnamed sources are not exactly unknown there. To find an example, I didn’t have to go farther than the first half of Carr’s own article, where he has a paragraph full of anonymous attacks on Finke:

“I’d prefer not to ever deal with her,” said a senior communications executive at a studio who declined to be identified. Many others declined comment saying, variously, “she gave me a nervous breakdown,” “she terrifies me,” and “there’s no percentage in me saying anything to you about Nikki no matter what it is.”

Hmm, anonymous sources suggesting dire things about a subject without providing any specifics–in other words, innuendo. Are these liabilities in Carr’s print-media world…or assets?

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.