Let's talk journalistic ethics. Apparently, there's been all kinds rumors flying about in Eugene about the personal life of UO basketball coach Ernie Kent. Quite a few media outlets have discussed the existence of the rumors, without characterizing them.
Most say something like the Tribune's Dwight Jaynes:
Kent, the men’s basketball coach, is the subject of Internet rumors regarding marital problems — and what possibly caused them. ... I have no idea if all the rumors are true.
Is this ethical? Should a newspaper report the existence of rumors - without describing the rumors themselves, and without being able to verify some amount of truth? What role does the net play here? Is it news that a few websites, blogs, or message boards are spreading possible truths and/or untruths? If so, does that create an incentive for ne'er-do-wells to create websites for the purpose of spreading fake rumors?
And... what implications does this have for politics?