Current Weather
The Spy FM

The News Tip: Saying It’s Over Doesn’t Make It So

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
November 13, 2011

Two weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain found himself fending off reports of sexual harassment published in the Washington political newspaper Politico.

“As far as we’re concerned … enough said about the issue. There’s nothing else there to dig up,” he said.

That was, predictably, not the end of the story. It continues on, unsettled, which says something about the age-old idea of “controlling the story.”

NPR’s media correspondent, David Folkenflik, has this news tip: Just because the subject of a story says it’s over doesn’t mean that’s true.

He tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish the Murdoch family also tried to put a stop to a story that just wouldn’t end. Four years ago, Folkenflik says, they tried to limit the problem to the first two arrests. Since then, many more people have become involved in the investigation.

Containing a story, Folkenflik says, “depends on what kind of information you bring forward, and it also depends on the nature of the story itself.”

When questions were raised about whether President Obama was born in the United States, a requirement for the presidency, the story didn’t end when Hawaiian officials said he was born there. The president had to hand the press his long-form birth certificate.

“He finally gave the most incontrovertible, most authoritative source he could, and the story evaporated at that point,” Folkenflik says.

In the current media climate, it’s harder to reign in a story once it has been set loose, he says.

“I think the way in which you deal with it is with speed and with fullness,” Folkenflik says. “But, you know, until you do that in a credible way, you’re not going to be able to get to the end of the story.”

Which other public figures have effectively ended a story by revealing evidence up front? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 6AM Living On Earth

Living On Earth

Living on Earth with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International.

View the program guide!

6AM to 7AM On Being

On Being

On Being engages listeners across the spectrum of belief and non-belief in conversation about life's deepest questions. From autism to the ethics of torture, Krista and her guests reach beyond the headlines to probe faith and meaning, ethics and new ways of being, amidst the political, ecological, economic, cultural and technological shifts that define 21st century life.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center