Shoe-Leather Reporting

Again we ask: Why all the fuss about anonymous sources? The practice of news judgment has atrophied to the point where the "flip-flop" scandal involving the Northwestern University lacrosse team's visit to the White House was set in motion by a columnist for the Chicago Tribune's luridly crappy Gen-X giveaway rag, Red Eye. It seems that Chicago Tribune editor Ann Marie Lipinski was rebuffed when she pitched the dubiously appropriate footwear item to her managing editors. But in a meeting with Red Eye columnist Maegan Carberry, she gamely resurrected the item. Here's Carberry's gripping account:

"I said `Oh, the flip-flops.' . . . She said, `Exactly!'"

"Oh, the flip-flops"? Truly a dictum to rank with "Follow the money" and "You're missing the overall." And so on to the Trib's front page, and then the Today Show. Say what you will about the next generation of ink-stained wretches: They do know how to identify the footwear. And suck up to their bosses.

Put Your Feet Up, There's More to the Flip-Flop Story [Chicago Tribune]


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