Gotcha articles have been around since American journalists began producing newspapers for the public.
Like any product newspapers have evolved with societies norms, but the core mission - always printing the truth - has deteriorated during the rise of the digital age.
Once upon a time a person who knew something scandalous about a famous person quietly went to a newspaper and let a reporter confirm the authenticity of the claim.
Those days are gone, along with the decline of civility during the Trump regime.
The advent of the Internet unleashed a flood of partisan bloggers and hate websites that make accusations against people without proof in real time.
One of the most insidious websites is Big League Politics. You may have that name recently because the top three politicians in Virginia have been attacked by this partisan site.
Newspapers nationwide have been talking about the enormous scandal consuming Virginia politics right now, in which the Democratic governor and both of the Democrats behind him in line of succession are embroiled in what may be career-ending scandals.
To no one's surprise Big League Politics conducts hyper-partisan Republican opposition research and is funded by Republican sources.
Comically, the web page has an ethics section where it falsely claims to be "journalist owned" and states "We don't belong to the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, or even Bull Moose parties. Our only goal is to tell the truth.
What I see happening is these hyper-partisan sites, and other sources of online disinformation, slithering into mainstream news agencies posing a huge risk to legitimate journalists today.
Increasingly, people are having a hard time believing what they read because of this infusion of fake news from partisan sites and print publications like the National Inquirer.
The biggest problem is when you bring politics into these gotcha stories on steroids they affect already elected politicians, like the case in Virginia.
The only way to avoid cancelling the voters will, after electing someone, is to properly vet candidates. This is not happening for a couple of reasons, money being the biggest one.
Print publications are already struggling in today's digital age, and the smaller ones don't have the money to properly vet political candidates anymore.
Combine that limitation with the instant news on the internet and you can see what the print media faces when competing for readers.
Time for me to walk on down the road...