As most are undoubtedly aware, Newsweek writer Leah McGrath Goodman kicked up quite a controversy recently by publishing an article about online poker and gambling that many advocates of the industry have labeled as one-sided and lacking in factual accuracy.
Those who have yet to read “How Washington Opened the Floodgates to Online Poker, Dealing Parents a Bad Hand” can click on the link and do so. The piece is seemingly the latest salvo fired by Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, as the slant in that direction is quite obvious.
Where is the balance?
Newsweek is viewed by many as being devoted to responsible journalism and a good number of those on the pro-online gambling side who read the article took offense in that it failed to achieve proper balance. The piece neglected to offer insight from those whose views are in support of Internet gambling regulation.
Goodman recently defended her writing in response to a Letter to the Editors at Newsweek from Parry Aftab, the Founder and Director of WiredSafety. Aftab, many will recall, testified before Congress in a previous online gambling hearing. She, like many others, disagreed with Goodman’s conclusions in the article and pointed out that the best way to protect children from gambling online is regulation.
Writer claims no politics or bias involved
In defense of her article, Goodman stated that the piece was neither politically motivated, nor biased against Internet gambling. She claims to have spoken “with a wide range of experts, some named in the story and others not.”
Goodman goes on to state that her research “represented all sides of the discussion and included the White House, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, gaming regulators, industry advocates, youth-gambling experts, gaming companies, politicians, lawyers and scientists.”
The writer continued to stand by her story and her next statement was rather incredulous to most everyone who read the article: “No view was unwelcome and there was no bias for or against online gambling. The focus was simply on getting the best information possible.”
Goal of obtaining best information misses mark
It’s obvious by the response and attention that the article is getting from members of the industry who were not asked to contribute their views and/or wisdom that Goodman failed miserably in “getting the best information possible.” If she did actually speak to representatives from “all sides of the discussion” as is claimed, she was way off in giving equal time to those on the other side of the fence.
Newsweek makes the claim of being “a staple of American media for over 80 years, bringing high-quality journalism to millions of readers around the globe.” That high quality certainly wasn’t evident in Goodman’s article, despite her statements to the contrary.