The Blog

Shoe-Leather Reporting

1:31 PM, Jul 13, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Here's how you know that a reporter doesn't have anything new to report: he tells you he's conducted a bunch of interviews and he tells you what those interviews mean -- because you might be confused or dubious that there is anything fresh at all in those interviews if you weren't told ahead of time what to make of them. See, for example, this lede from the latest Palin-bashing story in the New York Times:

But interviews in Alaska and in Washington show that a seemingly relentless string of professional and personal troubles quickly put that goal out of reach.

So you're going to tell me something I already know, except you're going to give me some new insight into the problem, right? You're going to score an interview with her erstwhile allies, or her inner circle, or... her hairdresser? Yes, despite all those interviews in Alaska and Washington, the top quote in the story comes from Jessica Steele, proprietor of the Beehive hair salon in Wasilla, Alaska:

"Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart," Ms. Steele said in an interview at her beauty parlor in Wasilla, the Beehive.

Because if you're writing a piece on a woman, go to the salon. That's not sexist, that's just good journalism.

Matt Continetti didn't talk to Palin's pedicurist, but he offers a more interesting take on the governor here.