OK, so the headline above is a little off, as the R-J hasn't endorsed the Republican candidate ... yet. But Jim Romenesko of the Poynter Institute, the world's original media-watching blogger, prominently highlighted this morning my PoliticsDaily.Com piece posted over the weekend that raises three critical questions for the Review-Journal and Nevada politicians going forward now that the R-J front company Righthaven LLC has taken the unprecedented step of suing (for anything) a major-party candidate in the heart of an election season:
* Must Nevada's largest paper now include a passage in every news story it does on Angle's race against Senate Majority Leader acknowledging that its owners have sued her?
* Can the R-J, whose publisher and editor have been outspoken supporters of the darling, actually endorse her for Senate after having publicly accused her of stealing from them?
* Will they sue candidates who reproduce their in other races, long a de rigueur campaign practice?
My favorite part of the piece is UNLV J-School prof Mary Hausch on how exactly Shermy Sherm & The Funky Bunch will address the lawsuit in their forthcoming endorsement of Angle: "I guess they could say, 'We think she's a thief, but we like her a lot.' "
Let's see how long Editor Tom Mitchell and Sherm Frederick can duck the journalistic questions herein, if they can sober up long enough to remember that that's what their enterprise is actually supposed to be about. What I'd love is for Brooke Gladstone or Bob Garfield to cross-examine them on NPR's "On The Media." More than likely, the Bonanza Road bosses are much too craven to subject themselves to that or will squawk about "pending litigation" or, best option yet, turn it over to their journalistically clueless PR disaster, Righthaven CEO Steve Gibson. (Gibson didn't appear on Dave Berns' Nevada Today talk show on KUNV on Thursday, claiming he was tired of talking about this in the media.)
By the way, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has removed its R-J stories from its site since I made mention of it here on Sept. 3. And Steve Green of the Sun reports today two more entities settled confidentially, including the prominent blog Sweetness & Light. S&L owner Steven Gilbert -- goodness there are too many Steve/ns involved in this story, although not the thin-skinned one who prizes himself as a (cough) crack TV investigative journo and editor of a (cough) muckraking (cough) alt-weekly -- offered up this:
Can someone explain to me technically how that would work? Does this mean that R-J reporters at work can't access that website? And does this really and truly mean that the R-J has sued itself altogether out of view of one of the Web's largest conservative audiences?