Just leave it alone

The New York Post has a story about a certain videotape that they haven’t fully seen, featuring a person whose identity they haven’t confirmed, allegedly using illegal drugs.  The purveyor of this tape wanted $2 million for it because it reportedly involves the daughter of a high-ranking American politician, but has cut the price to $400,000 instead.  The Post says they won’t pay for the tape, but they have run the allegation in its newspaper.

What should be done with this story?  It should be dropped.  I’m not linking it because I find it objectionable on two levels.  First, it shouldn’t have been reported at all until identities were confirmed.  It may be sad to say that a videotape of an ordinary woman snorting cocaine isn’t newsworthy, but it just isn’t, especially when the woman’s identity hasn’t been confirmed anyway.

If the woman’s identity was confirmed and she was a public official, then that would be news.  The person alleged to be in this tape is not a public official, but the adult daughter of a public official.  Does this inform us of public policy, competence or integrity in office, or corruption or abuse of power?  Not at all.  So what’s the point, except to take a cheap shot at a public official we may not like?

The Post should have left this alone, and so should the blogosphere.