An Assault on Fairness

I will have a longer and more detailed response to the views expressed by my colleague here, A.B. Stoddard, about the Tucker Carlson issue.

For now, first, this past July 6 I wrote a post on this site discussing a letter I had written to the Board of Directors of General Electric about their political treatment on several cable shows that, in my view, disrespected large numbers of progressive Americans in ways that were highly disadvantageous from a media, content and ratings point of view to MSNBC.

In Praise of Tucker

Earlier this week fellow blogger Brent Budowsky bagged on my friend Tucker Carlson in his post, upset because Tucker said Al Gore and George W. Bush have much in common and because he had shown contempt for Gore in his "sneering" comments. Budowsky's post, of course, invited the adolescent pile-on about Tucker, where readers called him everything from tool to weasel to twerp. 

The Openness Hustles

Remember Mikey? He's that kid in the cereal commercial who "hates everything." Well, Mikey would make a good reporter.

We are supposed to be professional skeptics, challenging any advocate's self-serving, one-sided promotion. As the journalism cliche goes, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." As a result what we do can be mighty inconvenient.

Which explains why there are so many efforts to sabotage the media. Everywhere we turn in and around government, we have people selling something. And selling it in deceptive ways.

Children Out of Control — School Shootings Surface Everywhere

Once upon a time, even though there were metal detectors, guns in schools were a rare occurrence. Now it seems that hardly a week goes by without a shooting. Asa Coon recently shot people at his high school before ending his own life, there was a shooting at Delaware State several weeks back, and in Pennsylvania police apprehended a boy who seemed to have been planning a "Columbine" incident at his high school.

Whites Out Front

Hello. I am Bob. And I am a white American. I mean WHITE. I fit all the stereotypes. My soul food is Wonder Bread. I am so ashamed. No, not because we are responsible for so much injustice and oppression. There is that. But I am embarrassed because as a group, we whites don't have a spokesman or two to express the feelings of all of us.

Swift-Boating a 12-year-old

He’s at it again. The Rush Limbaugh Smear Machine is in high gear.

First he smeared all members of the military who don’t support the war in Iraq by calling them “phony soldiers.” Then he smeared an Iraq veteran by comparing him to a “suicide bomber.” And now he’s gone after 12-year-old Graeme Frost, accusing him and his parents of lying, just because they dared oppose George Bush’s veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation.

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.”)

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.

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. 

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.