You were onto this scandal long before anyone else in the media, yet you got very little credit for that. How did that make you feel as you watched the trial?Reading Jason's blog (and also Karen's) afforded me the opportunity to watch the Nagin scandals unfold in extreme slow motion before anyone took them seriously. I appreciate the importance of rigor in verifying your reporting but there was an extended period when Jason seemed to be pretty obviously on to something and was largely dismissed as a crank. Despite the fact that there are talented reporters working in New Orleans I think this episode demonstrates how conservative and groupthinky their profession can be sometimes.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I sat through about 70 percent of the trial and I watched other journalists being praised by the prosecution for at least a few stories I know I broke, namely the granite deal between Stone Age and Cornerstone, the HSOA subsidiary, and the existence of the credit card Meffert was using under Netmethods’ name. Perhaps I’m taking it too personally, but I think there was an effort to diminish my role by both the prosecution and other journalistic entities. From the prosecution side I understand that the last word they wanted coming up in this trial was “blogger” in the wake of the commenting scandal, but on the journalistic side it’s tough to read commentary that dismisses and diminishes the work on the blog. Yes, much of my work was sourced anonymously, but this is not uncommon in journalistic endeavors, and ultimately the accuracy of the work should speak for itself. I’m a big defender of anonymity, but I suppose that’s another argument altogether.
The real turning point, in fact, came when Karen started to get some traction with the NOAH story. Lee Zurik ended up getting a lot of (deserved) credit for this but it also helped that this was a time when Gambit became the first media outlet to really take these "bloggers" seriously.
So, even though I still think this whole Nagin business is probably Clancy's fault in some way, his paper deserves an attaboy for helping call attention to the people who made sure the story was told.