Does Mainstream Media Have Post Envy?

nyp_cover_052606_envy.jpgOf course it does, says AdAge‘s Scott Donaton:

Like the teen who writes nasty things about a girl in his MySpace profile because he can’t admit he likes her, many mainstream-media journalists and pundits sneer at the Post because they can’t admit how frustrated they are by their inability to achieve the paper’s lively, confident, insider’s tone.

Setting aside Donaton’s assertion — and let’s assume mainstream media is all hot for-slash-jealous of the New York Post — how ultra-meta-meta is Donaton’s own column? Donaton’s prime example of love-hating on the Post:

On a recent Saturday, the Post splashed across its front page a story about the relationship between the CFO of a major media company and a woman accused of running a prostitution ring. BlackBerries buzzed from the Hamptons to Greenwich to Malibu — Omigod, can you believe it? — as word spread through the pop-culture industries. That day, the story found its way onto the radio, and by Monday and Tuesday it was in other papers, on the web and on TV. But many of the stories were about the Post story, in some cases exploring whether the CFO was a legitimate target or whether the paper had blown the whole thing out of proportion. Ignored was the fact that these reports were doing the same thing the Post had done: spreading word to their audiences about this man’s personal life.

How else, then, do you cover it? By not telling your audience whom the Post‘s story is about (it was about Time Inc.’s CFO, Wayne Pace, and his alleged bankrolling of a hooker)? That, in itself, generates even more interest in this “mystery CFO” than before.

Second-Day Coverage of ‘Post’ Stories Is Just Yellow Journalism [AdAge]