NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The story reads like a cheap romance novel. A rich, powerful man from within the halls of government knocks up his girlfriend, and then leaves her for a sexy media starlet. And that's the story that the New York Post is reporting involving White House Budget Director Peter Orzsag: http://tinyurl.com/yklg29l
The story is written for maximum sex appeal. And the emphasis is wrong. This story isn't about the morals of Orzsag. Who are we to judge? I beleive the President of the United States is entitled to pick whoever he wants as an advisor. And Orzsag's sex life has little to do with his ability to put a budget together.
This story is really about the lack of journalism ethics and standards at a once-proud ABC. Bianna Golodryga is the network's lead financial correspondant. She reports on the nation's economy and government fiscal policy. And she was dating, and is now engaged to, and will soon be marrying her top source. Did she tell her bosses? Did they get a chance to judge whether her reporting about the economy remained objective? How does someone produce solid, hard-hitting journalism when they are romantically tied to the person who crafts the very policies they are reporting on?
Perhaps Bianna Golodryga learned to manage her professional and social conflicts at the feet of Barbara Walters, who revealed last year that she had an affair with Senator Edward Brooke in the 1970s while she was a Washington correspondent.
Journalists do not date the newsmakers they cover. There was a time when everyone knew that unbreakable rule. How low has journalism fallen? Goldodryga was dating Orzsag at the White House correspondents dinner last year -- in front of hundreds of her colleages. How many said "congratulations", and how many said "what the heck are you doing"?
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau