By inserting themselves into the 2001 Chandra Levy investigation with breathless, often almost completely speculative accounts of the affair between a missing 24-year-old intern and then-sitting member of the House of Representatives Gary Condit, the media exponentially amplified the Levy family's nightmare, obscured potential police leads, and somehow, totally by coincidence I'm sure, made a lot of money off a truly sad incident.
That was bad enough. (See also: Missing White Woman Syndrome)
Now we have this. The Washington Post hops back into the middle of a seven-year-old story under thin cover of, "Recapping the twists and turns of an already incredibly highly publicized investigation will be a PUBLIC SERVICE because the original investigation LET A KILLER GO FREE." (Editors walk away, whistling, as we all ignore the press's original role in the debacle).
Huh. And the reliable circulation bump from yet another "White Girl In Peril..." story (This time merely a thin excuse for a franchise sequel!) had nothing to do with this editorial decision? The police aren't perfect, but pretending the WaPo is now only some disinterested, public-service-minded chronicler of the police's flawed investigation? Really?
Well. There are 10 parts left to go in the 12-part series. Maybe the Post still plans to explore some of the truly interesting issues this story brings up, such as our country's sick, possibly schadenfreude-based fascination with the tale of a mostly good girl who courted danger with "inappropriate" sex, or the many journalistic sins that can be covered by steadfast insistence on only publishing the speculations of "Sources Close to the Family" or "A Noted Expert on Interns Who Screw Powerful Men..." Maybe.
PS - I'm sure it couldn't have been the Washington Post's publicity/marketing/pr whatever team who already updated Ms. Levy's Wikipedia entry with an external link to the series? Because... ew.