Move Over Sabrina – Another Philly Journo Disgraced


There’s something to be said for some reporters who come out of Philly

A few of them move on to the realm of disgrace.

The most notorious example of this is of course the case of Sabrina Erdely and her exposé for Rolling Stone “A Rape on Campus”.   Her piece was entirely fictitious and based from an uncorroborated account from one individual, who refused to provide the names of her attackers.  Erdely’s editor approved the story with such a thin background and it led the magazine down the path of a massive libel damage award.  Erdely sustained a $2 million dollar judgment.

Yesterday the Inquirer/Daily News ran a story with the byline of “Staff Reports” (hint: that’s your cue that the paper wants to bury this as far back as possible).  It was concerning one of the Daily News’s former intern-reporters, Ali Watkins.   A graduate from Temple in 2013, Watkins has bounced around print and digital media since she left Philly.

Watkins happens to be interesting because she comes up in this Federal indictment, right about here:

The reason: Watkins had a multi-year affair with a 57-year-old US Senate Intelligence staffer, James Wolfe.   Wolfe was arrested yesterday on charges of lying to Federal investigators on his role in leaking intelligence information to three reporters, one of which was Ali Watkins.

The investigation of Wolfe resulted in the reporters who were communicating with him getting their phones and electronic communications intercepted by the FBI.   As for Ali Watkins, the FBI contacted her to let her know that everything she’s ever said or done with her phone is now in the hands of federal investigators.   Thanks to the text messages the Justice Department won’t be needing Ms. Watkins to build a case for taking out a leaker.

Oh and it gets better: here’s Ali Watkins on the very subject she’s good at—leaks.

So much for the Fourth Estate.

Remember kids:  Democracy dies in darkness or some bullshit. ☕ 🙄