Wednesday night the Daily Beast's Justin Miller sent a tweet that we need to talk about.
A new, disgusting bombshell about Trump and women tonight @thedailybeast— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) October 26, 2016
It happens that I know Justin Miller from the meetings that the media has every month to determine who wins elections/from working with him at New York magazine. Justin Miller is a good man, a Michigan man. But Justin Miller, and many of the other writers covering this election, need to hear this message:
You need to stop sending tweets whose only purpose is to claim that you are going to POST HUGE MEGA-NEWS on Twitter at some point in the future.
The story that Miller eventually sent out was a report about how Trump had spoken in inappropriate, lewd terms about a female Apprentice contestant on the set of the show. It was a good story that broke timely news. But after Miller's hype, it seemed like a disappointment. A bombshell? Not really. Disgusting? Only a little!
Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald is another self-defeating self-hype offender.
My big cover story in @Newsweek that could change the dialogue about this election season will be published online tomorrow.— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 13, 2016
Eichenwald's piece turned out to be a comprehensive but by no means earth-shaking review of international Trump Organization deals that could present foreign-policy conflicts of interests in a Trump administration. Worth writing about. Didn't change the election. Seemed disappointing.
The king of the hype game, though, is indisputably the Washington Post's Robert Costa. Costa has extensive contacts in the world of conservative and Republican politics; he's an invaluable resource for anyone trying to understand how Washington, D.C., works. And yet. He is always at it with this sort of stuff, from the night of the second debate:
The night is just getting started.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 10, 2016
Wow, it's about to go down!!!
TUNE INTO MSNBC... will discuss story right after it posts— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 10, 2016
It turned out Costa had written a piece about a stunt involving Bill Clinton accusers that Trump wasn't able to pull off. Fun story. Not something worth staying up all night for!
Bob, as I call him (we've never corresponded or met), is also extremely guilty of overusing the words scoop and news.
scoop: LAURA INGRAHAM is helping w/ Trump's debate prep, being discussed as a possible HRC stand-in https://t.co/5AfccRNDeX— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 27, 2016
Someone who's involved in debate prep is "being discussed" for a "possible" role in ... debate prep? Ye Gods! Tell Bradlee to stop the presses!
This was from the night that the Times broke the mega-story (which they did, somehow, without tweeting "big story coming ... watch this space" first) about the women accusing Trump of sexual assault:
NEWS: Trump tonight is considering litigation against news organizations, per two people close to him— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 13, 2016
A lawsuit is being drafted now by Trump against the NYT. Very possible it could be announced tonight, though discussions ongoing.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 13, 2016
Did he consider it? Was there drafting? I guess. Was any litigation ever filed? No.
Here's a fun fact: Slate once beat another publication to press with its coverage of a particular news subject because the other publication's writer announced via Twitter that, at some point in the near future, he was going to publish a piece about that news subject. Loose Twitter lips sink ships, journalists! Also, they make the story you eventually publish seem like a letdown. Don't tell me what you're going to do—show me what you've done!