What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 17, 2010


Potter (as usual, damn him) has some interesting things to point out at the Slag Heap:
After considerable confusion as to his whereabouts today, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl emerged at a late-afternoon press conference. He'd gone incommunicado the rest of the day, he told reporters, "just to kind of prove a point: that you all need to be more responsible."
Ravenstahl railed about rumors that he had traipsed off to Mardi Gras, and confirmed what his press spokesperson had said previously: He'd been in the city all day.

I find this behavior so utterly baffling that I can't decide what's worse: the possibility that this is a weird excuse to cover for his absence, or the possibility that Ravenstahl is telling the truth.
But then he peeks behind the curtain:
But I will say this: If I were Luke Ravenstahl -- and thank God I'm not -- I too would suspect some members of the press of reckless behavior. One reason is Virginia Montanez's post about the mayor's disappearance.
Here's Pittgirl's post. Potter again:
I mean, there's a weird phenomenon going on here, especially where Montanez is considered. More than a year ago, I noted that local media outlets were willing to bend all kinds of rules for her. Back then, of course, Montanez was anonymous, blogging under the name "PittGirl." And reporters indulged that to a surprising extent:

I can't think of too many cases in which the Post-Gazette has done a 600-word Q&A -- plus prominent mention in multiple follow-up pieces -- with someone whose identity it refused to disclose. And it's not because nobody over there knows who she is. I know of at least one reasonably high-ranking Post-Gazette editor who has met PittGirl for lunch.

In fact, this may be PittGirl's most impressive accomplishment: Her popularity was such that she got some of the city's most prominent media outlets to play by the blogosphere's rules.

And so it seems to be. Now it's reporters who are being accorded anonymity by the blogger.
As always, Potter's insight is keen.

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