Media

Media Muddle

When the Society of Professional Journalists holds its national convention here in Washington this weekend, I’ll be part of a panel discussing the ethical questions surrounding the CIA leak case.

Putting aside the argument about what the hell a “professional journalist” is, or whether there are many ethical ones, we’re left with the many questions about covering the whole matter that are flummoxing all of us. (Maybe a good definition of “professional journalist” is someone who uses words like “flummoxing.”)
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There Are No Phony Soldiers

Once in a while, we all say something wrong — especially those of us who talk for a living. And when you do, the only answer is to admit your mistake, apologize and move on.

But not Rush Limbaugh. He refuses to apologize for calling men and women in uniform who disagree with George Bush’s war in Iraq “phony soldiers.” He still insists his remarks were taken out of context, misquoted, or aimed at somebody totally different — none of which is true.
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Republican Talking-Point Posts

I noticed that more than one of our Republican Pundits wrote virtually the exact same post, using the exact same words, which also used the exact same words used by Neil Cavuto and others on Fox News, which also used the exact same words as more than one Republican during the Petraeus hearings today. 
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Fourth Estate Gets One Right

As regular readers of this blog and my columns will attest, I’m not one to heap praises on the media, particularly the Washington press corps. As I see it, they have totally allowed themselves to be steered by and pulled wherever the blogosphere will take them — all in the name of getting there first and scooping their rivals. Now, I’m all for competition, but true journalism thrives and maintains its respectability when it can corroborate details from a credible source. 
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Summer of Scandal

Listening in to one of the cable outlets this morning I heard one of the anchors proclaim this is the “Summer of Scandal” for the Republican Party. Cue the music: Larry Craig? Bad. Ted Stevens? Bad. David Vitter? You get the idea.

What I found particularly irritating with this sensational coverage is the fact that two scandalous issues have unfolded TODAY and yet the media makes scant reference. Could this have anything to do with the fact that the focus of these two scandals involves Democrats?
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DailyKos vs. the DLC

It always amazes me how ideologues of both the left and right can filter out unpleasant evidence to arrive at the conclusion they wanted to reach all along.

The latest evidence is the campaign by leftist bloggers, who have become quite a force within the Democratic Party, to read the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) out of the party.
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The Foxification of America

Chalk up one more big step in the Foxification of America. Lured by the promise of big bucks, the Bancroft family has sold The Wall Street Journal to right-wing robber baron Rupert Murdoch. Which means there is one less place you can look for good, strong, objective reporting — and one less newspaper that publishes the truth.

Except for its Neanderthal editorial page, The Wall Street Journal is actually a damned good paper. One of the best. With top-notch reporters. Or was. But all that will change once Murdoch gets a hold on it. His goal is not just to make money — it’s to push his own right-wing political agenda. 
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The Times Can't Believe There's Good News

Check out this story.

It's a piece by Janet Elder, a New York Times reporter, about the paper's polling. It says that the Times couldn't believe that its polling showed an increase in the number of people who felt it was a correct decision to invade Iraq in the first place, from 35 percent last month to 42 percent this month. Nor could they believe the finding that the proportion of voters who felt the war was going badly dropped by 10 points.

The newspaper article said the findings were "counterintuitive." In other words, The New York Times cannot believe good news! Typical.
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The Debate Web

The great feature about the blogosphere is that everyone has an equal voice. Of course that’s the great problem too. Because, let’s face it: A whole lot of people who spout off online are cyberspace cadets. They have no Earthly idea what they’re talking about.

So now we come to the CNN-YouTube-debate debate: The Internet faithful are going bonkers. How dare CNN for insisting on deciding which questions to ask? That should be left up to a popular vote.

It’s hard to argue that the traditional media have often frittered away their credibility. They are frequently at the same time establishment elitists and panderers with their incessant coverage of trivialities like Paris Hilton.
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My Challenge to GE: Time for Cable News That Respects the American People

As a long-term investor in General Electric, this morning I contacted the office of the corporate secretary to the board of directors and sent a letter to be forwarded to the full board. I called for General Electric to put MSNBC up for sale, in a public auction, and to consider offers that are significantly above the current market value of MSNBC.

In the future I might well invite other citizens who might own GE stock (check your own stock and retirement portfolios) to join in a formal shareholder action.

While countless Americans feel disenfranchised and often insulted by current cable news, all shareholders have the right to support formal resolutions that would require change, and to publicly address questions to management and the board of directors at annual meetings.
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