Media blogger and CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis, who appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources June 5 stating that the amount of media coverage on Rep. Anthony Weiner was “just pathetic,” now says that he was wrong to give Weiner “the benefit of the doubt.”
On the program, Jarvis criticized the media for their coverage, saying that they had “a choice” on whether or not to report on a story that he viewed as irrelevant, according to CNN transcripts.
Host Howard Kurtz asked Jarvis to comment on the relationship between “politics and the media culture” when public figures get caught in scandals similar to Weiner. Jarvis called the media reaction in such cases “sophomoric and immature,” saying that’s there’s no news in the fact that a congressman has genitalia.
Kurtz responded that the media kept covering the story because of Weiner’s inability to answer questions during interviews. Jarvis stated that in another scenario, if Weiner had “sexually harassed someone,” then the situation would warrant the media coverage.
“But if, at the most, he sent out a photo from his hard drive with his photo on it, what’s the big deal? What’s the news there? What’s the impact on democracy and how we live our lives? Zippo,” Jarvis said.
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“I asked: So what if he had a stupid picture on his phone and accidentally tweeted it, so long as he wasn’t sexually harassing anyone? But that’s not the worst that happened.”
“Weiner lied. That is the story. That’s what haters said in email to me after the CNN segment. They were right.”
iMediaEthics has written to Jarvis asking if he would still defend his critique of the media’s coverage of Weiner and will update with any response.