On his CBS News blog Public Eye (“Atwitter over Vitter” 7/10), editor Brian Montopoli slapped a self-congratulatory pat on the back to the mainstream media (yes, he used that term) for its “straight news” reporting of the sexual revelations involving Republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter.
Montopoli differentiated the mainstream media’s “straight” reporting to that of the “blogs and liberal sites” which focused on the hypocrisy of Vitter’s actions against his reputation as a “family-values conservative.”
“…it's the blogs and liberal sites like Salon that are jumping on the story and hammering Vitter for statements at odds with his behavior. If you want a straight news story, then, you can stick with the traditional media. But if you want a spotlight placed on Vitter's hypocrisy – and the rush of satisfaction that comes with experiencing schadenfreude that you can justify – you can head over to the blogs. Is it any wonder that the latter get so many clicks?”
Amazingly, Montopoli distances himself from “blogs and liberal sites” despite the fact that he is the editor of a blog – and for the same network as Katie Couric and Dan Rather.
Montopoli claims not to focus on the hypocrisy angle, but within the same article writes:
“Vitter, of course, is the Louisiana Republican Senator whose phone number appeared in the records of "DC Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Like Newt Gingrich and other conservative politicians before him, he offered up an apology chock-full of religious language.”
And just in case you missed it, Montopoli happily quotes, cites, and links (highlighted in blue) to all the offending references to Vitter’s alleged hypocrisy. Pitifully, Montopoli tries to assume the high road while letting the “blogs and liberals” do the dirty work of his liberal agenda.
In the final twist of irony, CBS and AP later cooperated on a story titled “La. Senator Faces Spreading Sex Scandal,” which highlights more gratuitously lurid details involving Vitter and a
With no additional relevance, CBS’s choice to pile on Vitter (would they do the same for someone else … maybe the Democratic mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the latter who had an affair with his campaign manager’s wife) is exactly the “schadfreude” - deriving pleasure from others’ pain - Montopoli supposedly deplores.