As it happens anytime a smaller news outlet breaks big news, there’s strong skepticism among the mainstream media in accepting the news as significant or even credible. And understandably, that’s a point of contention for the start-ups and up-and-comers in the media world.
The Washington Free Beacon, a two-year-old conservative news site based in Washington, D.C., had its first major scoop this week with the so-called “Hillary papers” and went through the usual. Established media was largely suspicious, sometimes dismissive, of the findings in WFB’s report. (There’s a whole mashup on that here.)
Airing out his grievances on the matter, WFB Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti writes:
There is a moment near the close of every episode of “Punk’d,” Ashton Kutcher’s prank show, when a certain expression crosses the face of the mark, when he becomes aware of his credulity, his gullibility, his ignorance, his willingness to suspend disbelief in the service of fantasy. It is at this moment when the eyes of the mark open wide, his brow furrows, and his mouth, opened briefly when his jaw went slack, contorts into a frown. Then the grimace quickly becomes a tight grin—obviously forced—as the mark attempts to convey, with mixed results, the impression that he had been in on the joke all along.
I like to imagine such an expression crossing the faces of all of the sophisticated, holier than thou, “objective” reporters inside the library at Fayetteville, as it dawned on them that a small conservative news outlet had them scooped. Mainstream media, you just got punk’d.