According to Thucydides (that is, perhaps not in primary reality), when the Athenians demanded tribute from the Melians under threat of total destruction, the Melians rejected the demand as unjust. The Athenian ambassador replied that the concept of justice has a place only in dealings among equals; among unequals, the strong do what they will while the weak suffer what they must.
That appears to be the rule of big-league journalism: writers for large publications credit one another while ignoring the work of smaller publications.
My complaint about the Washington Post’s treatment of Haley Sweetland Edwards and the Washington Monthly turns out to have been – unusually for me – understated. I thought the WaMo story had run only this week. Not so. In fact it went online July 8, and was the subject of a blast email. Longreads listed it as #3 that week (and still has it at the top of a “health care” search), and it was Tweeted about by Nick Confessore, Matt Yglesias, and Lydia Depillis of the Post’s Wonkblog. So the WaMo piece didn’t hit the WaPo writers an editors blind-sided as they were putting their piece to bed; it had been in the atmosphere for two full weeks.
On the other hand, the Post seems to be a serial offender. Commenter Warren Terra reports:
The Washington Post got a Pulitzer in 2007 for their “exclusive” reporting “exposing” abuses at Walter Reed – essentially re-reporting (and expanding) a story that had been fairly well covered in Salon in 2004-5. The Post articles did not as I recall mention the reporting in Salon. Seems to work.
That’s confirmed by Wikipedia;the original Salon piece seems no longer to be on line.
It all seems pretty disgraceful to me. I’ve written to the two reporters who wrote the RVUC story, and will report on any response.