THE SPIKE….Liz Cox Barrett writes today that reporters frequently fail to mention their own role in media-driven controversies. Over at CJR, she draws attention to a small but telling example of this:

?[John] Roberts? Hometown Draws Scrutiny,? reads the headline on Tom Coyne and Ashley M. Hehr?s Associated Press piece today.

?Draws scrutiny? from whom, you ask? Have pro- or anti-Roberts interest groups been digging around the nominee?s hometown for oppo research purposes? Are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee taking a hard look at Roberts? childhood as they prepare for his confirmation hearings next month? If so, Coyne and Hehr don?t mention it. Indeed there is no evidence of anyone scrutinizing Long Beach, Indiana in Coyne and Hehr?s piece ? apart from Coyne and Hehr themselves.

This seems like a pretty sad excuse for a story. I suspect it’s one of those cases where the reporters just couldn’t stand the thought of spiking a story they’d spent a bunch of time on, even though they didn’t really come up with anything interesting. But sometimes, the spike is the right place for a story.