The Sunday Hustle

Standard

I picked-up a The Sunday Paper now on stands, the one with a glaring cover that promised, finally, a localized and intriguing story: “Hustler Scandal.” Turns out it was all just a tease.

And a tease that required one of those pesky “full disclosures” from TSP. The verbage “Hustler Scandal” was merely a built-to-order cover story about a splashy case that The Sunday Paper’s own attorney, S. Derek Bauer, just happens to be working on too. Convenient, eh? From the online version of TSP:

Hustler a news outlet? That’s news to most of us, who view the magazine as, at best, an amateur cheat sheet for gynecological exams. Doesn’t matter, says Hustler’s attorney in the suit, S. Derek Bauer. Bauer says he usually represents more mainstream news outlets. (In fact, he represents The Sunday Paper in intellectual property matters.) He took Hustler’s case, he says, because the magazine has a right to publish news stories just as much as any other publication.

In the TSP print version, the above sentence reads, “In fact – full disclosure – he (Bauer) represents The Sunday Paper in intellectual property matters.” The words full disclosure were jettisoned from the online version of the story as it’s real easy to go in and make such an edit, of course.

Has TSP not gone down this road before, with columnist Caren West not disclosing the whipping-up of fluffy columns that, tee hee, highlighted clients who decorated stuff and put her on their payroll?

The fact that Hustler magazine recently published, legally apparently, nude photos lifted from a videotape of Nancy Benoit is a great way to sell… well, more copies of Hustler I suppose. But turns out that TSP also had to disclose that the (March) Hustler issue containing the nude photos isn’t even still on newsstands!

Given that the weird Nancy Benoit backstory is a terrific feature story perfectly capable of editorial gravitas all on its own merit, especially at the hands of a capable writer like Josh Clark, I just wonder…. is there no kitty-litter rag in this entire town that can dish-up just one juicy scandal the right way? Or are they just too busy schilling for an associate’s agenda that they dilute and subvert good stories in the process of doing so?

Talk about a gaping media void.

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