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Journalistic Credibility

Lee Walton

For the past three weeks, the Palter & Chatter has focused much of its reporting efforts on the trials and tribulations of Al Parish, the Financial Advisor and Investor, and those who have either suffered from or benefited by their associations with Big Al. This endless stream of articles has not been unlike the recent national media's handling of the Duke University Lacrosse team’s false rape case or the journalistic feeding frenzy surrounding the Imus firing. The common element linking these two national media events with that pursued locally by the Palter & Chatter is the wholly gratuitous manner in which the Palter & Chatter and several of the national news media handled each of these stories.

David Broder summed up the situation quite succinctly in his recent commentary about Journalistic power and credibility, “…when professional journalists loan their credibility to …others whose standards are far lower than those of the news organization where those journalists work, they not only damage their credibility but diminish the standards they are supposed to embody.”

The Palter & Chatter’s self-serving journalistic approach to the Al Parish imbroglio has thus far been a thinly veiled effort to divert its reader’s attention from its own involvement with the creation of Big Al, The Economist, whose reputation and credibility was enhanced, to a significant extent, by the publication of his weekly column, The Economist in the Palter & Chatter’s business section.

Over a year ago this commentary contained a short verse, Paper Politics, (March 4, 2006) worthy of rereading in light of the Palter & Chatter’s entanglement with Al Parish and others within the Lowcountry who hold positions of public trust, political power and influence. Thus the Palter & Chatter continues to damage credibility and diminish the standards of journalism it is supposed to embody.

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