Jazz covered the case of Jana Winter on Saturday, which made Hot Air one of the more unique news outlets in America. Normally when a reporter gets threatened with jail time for refusing to cough up a source in court, media outlets across the nation make it into a cause célèbre. Not this time, though, which has CNN’s Jake Tapper a little curious, to say the least. He asks Matthew Cooper, who got much more support from his colleagues in the Valerie Plame case, “Where is the public outrage?”
In part, the lack of interest in Winter’s plight might be due to the question Tapper poses to Cooper. He asks whether the public appreciates that the press holds public officials accountable for their actions — which is certainly the case with Winter, who gave the first indication that the police may have ignored the threat of the Aurora shooter, which was confirmed last week in court documents. The public, though, has grown tired of the selective accountability applied by many media outlets and reporters, although Jake Tapper has long been a somewhat more rare example of integrity in that department.
Mostly, though, it’s clear that other news outlets don’t like Fox News and won’t bother to rush to their assistance. The Daily Beast links to the Daily Caller’s research on coverage in mainstream media outlets, noting the disparity in interest between Winter’s case and similar such threats in the past:
The saga has also become something of a cause célèbre on the right, with bloggers and conservative commentators arguing that the case has not received the attention it deserves because Winter works for Fox, instead of, say, The New York Times or CBS. The conservative website The Daily Caller noted that The Times has yet to write a single article on the subject, even though the paper’s own former reporter, Judith Miller, went to jail for 85 days in 2005 for refusing to disclose the name of an anonymous source. And the conservative website The Independent Journal Review ran a story about the trial under the headline “Liberal News Silent As Fox News Reporter Jana Winter Faces Jailtime.”
“I think this is something that journalists, regardless of the outlet you work for, should be concerned about,” said conservative blogger Matt K. Lewis. “I certainly hope that the fact that she is from Fox News isn’t impacting the coverage you see from other outlets. I would hope that we would see more journalists stepping forward.”
I’d hope that too. It seems their outrage is as selective as their mission for accountability.