Suddenly, the T-D is mum on Johnson
This Johnson story continues to get more interesting. Now Style is reporting that Johnson does not believe it to be politically motivated while at least one rumor out there contradicts that. What was not said today in the Times-Dispatch I find even more interesting. Ross Mackenzie's column was actually about one thing today, public officials behaving badly — namely, Michelle "MissBuns" Mitchell, Paul "That'll be $15,000 please" Goldman and William "Some of my best friends are mush" Cooper.
Notice anyone missing?
It was such a glaring omission given the amount of space the T-D has given the Johnson story. And if the T-D didn't think that Johnson "behaved badly" why run the story to begin with? That brings up what I wanted to get to today anyway — the paper's role in this whole story. You could certainly argue that the some of the private affairs of public figures are fair game. Years ago, we took a lot — a lot — of heat at Style for printing a story about former Mayor Leonidas Young and his penile implant. But that was part of public record in a lawsuit listing various items he purchased with money he allegedly had bilked out of congregants of his church. It was an unfortunate embarrassment that it was a penile implant and not, say, LASIK eye surgery, but we went with that story and I still think it was the right decision. The Steve Johnson story, though, I have a very hard time arguing from a journalistic perspective — especially its placement as a A-1 story at least three times since it broke.
What do you all think? Should the T-D have run with this story based on what we know, especially if the informants are unknown to the T-D? If yes, should it have been given the play it was given?