Louisiana Politics Everyday

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Poser of the Week: Brendan McCarthy, Times-Picayune


McCarthy’s gossip column in Friday’s Times-Picayune attempting to connect Senator Vitter with Wendy “If That Even Is My Real Name” Cortez was praised by the journalism community.

“Brendan makes fiction come alive as if it were reality,” commented David Perel, editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer.

“The Times-Picayune is fortunate to have Brendan on staff. I strive to incorporate his style into my writing more and more each day,” said Jayson Blair, formerly of the New York Times.
Of course, like most of McCarthy’s writings, a few of the above quotes are a tad on the ridiculous side. Even more ridiculous is the Times-Picayune’s decision to print a convicted criminal’s allegations as front-page fact on a Wednesday and then on Friday bury her contradictory statement in one line at the end of another piece. What was so conveniently buried in McCarthy’s gossip rag?

“Meier, the madam, said the photo was not the woman she knew as Wendy Cortez.”

Do what?! So, this is the woman that Meier is certain was involved in a relationship with Vitter but can’t pick her from a known photograph much less a line-up? Cortez’s “boyfriend” also confesses that he, in fact, saw pictures of Cortez with a “dark-haired, city slicker” which must have been Vitter, right? What proof does he hold? Oh, that's right, the pictures were burned. Questionable sources. Questionable reporting. Questionable editing. I wipe better journalism on my toilet paper every morning.

Brendan, we suggest spending a little less time in the bottle at the bowling alley and a little more time interviewing people with one last name. In time, you might churn out something newsworthy.

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