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Eric Boehlert Headshot and the Media Mess

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There was nothing wrong with debating the controversial MoveOn ad, arguing whether it was short-sighted and counterproductive or whether it represented some necessary truth-telling. MoveOn clearly wanted to elicit a passionate response. The group got one, and that reaction generated news.

But the week-long controversy the MoveOn ad sparked, and the press frenzy that fueled it, revealed more about newsroom elites than it did about aggressive progressives who purchased the Petraeus putdown.

Journalists needlessly obsessed over the ad. They wildly inflated the political repercussions. They rarely explained what the actual contents of the ad were. And they let Republicans float the allegation that The New York Times gave MoveOn a special discounted rate because the paper agreed with the ad's sentiment.

Read the full Media Matters column here.