Remember last year’s story about Samantha Power calling Hillary Clinton “a monster?” No? Well, that’s no surprise. It wasn’t exactly “scoop of the year,” was it?
Except that, hang on …
The Scottish Press Awards ‘scoop of the year’ gong has been given to Gerri Peev, a reporter on the Edinburgh-based Scotsman, who wrote up a comment her interviewee clearly asked to be off the record. As a result of Peev ignoring the request, Samantha Power a high-flying member of Barack Obama’s election team, had to resign last year.
For those who don’t recall: Power, then a senior foreign policy adviser for the Obama campaign, told Peev: “We f—-d up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win… She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything…”.
Peev probably shouldn’t have published those words, but she did. And her story came out near the height of the Obama-Hillary contest, thus generating huge amounts of press and Internet coverage. (It was also in large part because, at the time, millions of people rather agreed with Power’s assessment.)
Not quite Woodward & Bernstein. Certainly, Peev should never have been so commended for breaking a basic rule of journalism. Yet what’s worse is that such an ultimately trivial bit of news should have been deemed prize-worthy at all. Mind you, I can’t think of a better story to have come out of Scotland in the last 12 months.