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Does This Mean The Dirty Is The Future Of Investigative Journalism?

Submitted by on July 31, 2013 – 3:36 pmOne Comment

It’s common knowledge that last week, former congressman and NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admitted to new allegations of exchanging sexual messages and photos with women who weren’t his wife, even a year after he resigned from Congress and claimed to have changed. Amid a story already steeped in absurd realities, one fact seems to be getting overlooked: the latest pictures and messages were originally reported by gossip website The Dirty.

The Dirty brought down the man who very likely was going to be the mayor of the largest city in America. Can we take a minute to think about that?

The Dirty, a gossip site about regular people (i.e. a place to trash random folks you know and C-list celebrities on a national platform) that describes itself as “the first ever reality blogger.”

The Dirty, which seems to be supported mainly by advertising from cougar hook-up sites.

The Dirty, which has an entire section called “Would You?,” which is just lewd photos of women taken from Facebook and cellphones.

The Dirty, whose founder Nik Richie (given name: Hooman Karamian) once mocked ESPN reporter Erin Andrews for asking him to remove nude photos of her taken by a stalker, saying it was “her fault.”

And yet, here we are, with Richie and The Dirty performing a valuable public service, and altering the course of a major election.

This isn’t the first time a less-than-reputable news source has had an undeniably important scoop. In 2007, supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer became the first to report that presidential primary candidate John Edwards had an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer who was later revealed to be videographer Rielle Hunter. The Enquirer was also the first to allege that Edwards was the father of Hunter’s child.

In 2008, Edwards admitted to the affair; and in 2010, he admitted to being the father of the child. The investigation eventually led to a federal campaign finance criminal court case, and the effective end of the career for a man assumed to have a major future in national Democratic politics.

The Enquirer submitted its work for a Pulitzer Prize, and was officially accepted for consideration in “Investigative Journalism” and “National News Reporting.” (It didn’t win either.)

So does that mean Richie will soon be demanding a Pulitzer for his work? The prize committee almost didn’t allow the Enquirer for technical reasons: it self-identified as a “magazine,” which are ineligible. There’s no word yet on the eligibility of  ”reality blogs.”

What do you think of The Dirty?


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