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A Contrast in Ethical Standards or Lack Thereof

Two items at Romenesko show an interesting contrast in the way the rank and file reporters are treated and the journalism elite are treated:

First this from a Miami Herald memo written by executive editor Tom Fiedler:

…fund-raising concerts and events will be waved temptingly in front of us featuring such celebrities as Shaq O’Neill [sic], Bruce Springsteen and many more. Don’t succumb.

This isn’t about the celebrities and their own political persuasions, but about the events themselves. The money generated by ticket sales to many events will be earmarked directly or indirectly to groups whose mission is to influence the outcome of the election. As you know and understand, it is improper for independent journalists — which we are — to engage in partisan politics or to advocate for political causes…My advice: Unless you are covering one of these partisan events as a working journalist, stay away.

And then this from the Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain tended to his political base Sunday night: the entire national media. The maverick Arizona Republican, once (and future?) presidential aspirant and press secretary’s dream hosted a hyper-exclusive 68th birthday party for himself at La Goulue on Madison Avenue, leaving no media icon behind. Guests included NBC’s Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert, ABC’s Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Ted Koppel and George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Mike Wallace, Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer, CBS News President AndrewHeyward, ABC News chief David Westin, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, CNN’s Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, CNBC’s Gloria Borger, PBS’s Charlie Rose — pause here to exhale — and U.S. News & World Report publisher Mort Zuckerman, Washington Post Chairman Don Graham, New York Times columnists William Safire and David Brooks, author Michael Lewis and USA Today columnist Walter Shapiro. They and others dined on lobster salad, loin of lamb, assorted wines, creme brulee, lemon souffle and French tarts.

Oh did we mention it was an off the record session.

And there is more from the Washington Post and here is a tiny part of it:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted a welcoming party for the media Saturday night at the dazzling new Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, with the company picking up the $1.5 million tab. A jazz band performed as journalists cruised the restaurant booths offering sashimi, monkfish, spring rolls, bratwurst, penne with vodka sauce, pork dumplings, cookies, eclairs and the aforementioned creme brulee. Hugo Boss, Benetton, Sephora, J. Crew and other shops remained open for the guests.

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