Lou Dobbs Destroys CNN’s Credibility

When I worked there, as co-host of “Crossfire,” CNN was known as “America’s most trusted news network.”

And rightfully so. Alone among the cables, you could count on CNN to deliver the news right down the middle. Yes, there were commentators on the right and the left, but the anchors played it straight and stories with no legitimacy never made it to air.

Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Lou Dobbs has changed all that. And Jon Klein, CNN’s president, is letting him get away with it.

Fill-in-the-Blank Stories

It’s easy to get jaundiced covering politics and government after a while. So much of what happens in WashingtonWorld is so predictable it’s like the old joke about old jokes. They’re so familiar, someone assigns numbers to them.

Even after the historic election of Barack Obama, the collapse of the economy and the sweeping agenda he’s proposing, the narrative is falling into the old joke patterns.

Just for laughs, let’s compile a top 10 list for the comedians here in D.C. They appear in no particular order.

A (Very) Public Embarrassment to the Nation's Capital

Marion Barry is on the front page of The Washington Post and other area pubs again today. And once again, the topic is the same — more scintillating scandal.

You want to know what’s wrong with the city of Washington? Just look at Marion Barry. I didn’t think it was possible for one human being to singularly serve as the personification of all the failings and woes of an entire city, but lately I’m starting to believe the two were made for each other.

The Washington Post's Mistress

Disclaimer: I know and have worked with a lot of Washington Post reporters and some editors. I happen to like almost all of them and have found them to be fair in both good stories and bad. However ...

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) had his mistress and the Washington Post Co. has hers. Sanford was after love. The Post was after money.

Michael Jackson Gone Too Soon

Armstrong Williams remembers Michael Jackson as the cultural and musical icon he was, and says the world will remember him for his contributions to society and not the unstable behavior that Jackson had displayed in recent years.


The Latest on the New Journalism

Coverage of the short-lived but very dramatic Iranian revolution points up the pluses and minuses of what is increasingly referred to as “the new journalism.” Coverage of breaking news on the spot by amateurs using phone cameras and Twittering on the Internet permits immediacy and verisimilitude by portraying events as they happen. Because it is not curated, observers have no way to assess the truthfulness of what they see.

The Meanings of MSM

It’s easy to get confused. Until bloggers started disparaging the “mainstream media,” I always thought “MSM” was a gay-guy thing in the Personals.

One can only imagine the quandary for a gay male blogger. Does he place his “MSM” ad in the “MSM”?

This is not LGBT-bashing, by the way. Let’s leave that to the conservatives and those who pander to their homophobic bigotry, the ones who don’t even know what “LGBT” means.

White House Broadcasts Send Wrong Signal

The media are obsessed, if not enamored, with President Barack Obama. That's not exactly a news flash, but in the 2008 presidential campaign and through the first 100 days of his presidency, Obama didn't have the networks' seal of approval.

Recent moves by ABC and NBC threaten that.

A few weeks ago, NBC aired a positive, though thoroughly interesting, special on Obama. Such moves are nothing new, even if this seemed especially laudatory; networks have frequently devoted time to "A Tour of the White House," or a similar program.

Perhaps Just One More Word on Palin Versus Letterman

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has graciously accepted David Letterman's second attempt at what he is trying to pass off as an apology for his inappropriate "joke" about her daughter having sex with A-Rod. Good for Sarah — but she really didn't have to.

After the increasingly unfunny late-night show host "joked" about Palin's 14-year-old daughter becoming pregnant by an adult male athlete while accompanying the governor to a Yankees game on her visit to New York, there was, understandably, a firestorm. Even Letterman's biggest fans had trouble defending him.

Letterman Apologizes (And Score One for Palin)

"I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed ... It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault ... I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future," David Letterman said on "The Late Show" last night.

After a week of controversy, the apology was spot-on and came not a moment too soon.