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Monthly Archive

February 2006

How a Wrong Number Became a Fact

Journalists from just about every major news organization are confusing one of the key facts surrounding the story of a foreign company taking over American ports.

The American press has done a fine job stoking concerns over the fact that a company from the United Arab... More

Meltdowns in Iraq, Texas and Cambridge

Time and The New Republic examine Iraq’s accelerating meltdown, while The New Yorker revisits another political mess in the arid lands of Texas.

According to an article in the current issue of Time, "Civil wars, as a general rule, don't announce themselves when... More

Guessing What Apple Has Up Its Sleeve

When journalists rely on rumor and teasers from companies promoting their new products, are they practicing journalism, or inadvertently giving companies free PR?

A certain popular computer company based in Cupertino, Calif. is set to reveal "some fun new products" today -- reason... More

Tom Easton on Being the First to Smell a Rat at AIG

The Economist reporter talks about the difficulties of going out on a limb and the travails of taking on AIG and Hank Greenberg, the company’s famously aggressive ex-CEO.

American International Group, Inc. recently reached a $1.6 billion settlement with the SEC and New York state authorities after a... More

Blog Swarm Responds to Kristol’s War Critique

William Kristol weighs in on the seriousness of the war effort, touching off a serious effort among bloggers looking to rehash and reinterpret his remarks.

Yesterday, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, criticized the Pentagon's handling of... More

One More Sportswriter Mentions Wheaties, We’re Outta Here

Winning gold is nice - but as countless American journalists have made clear throughout the Turin Games, getting your face plastered on a Wheaties box is nicer.

When competing in the Olympics, winning gold is nice. But to judge by the recent Olympic coverage, winning cardboard is... More

A Reporter Returns From Iraq An Optimist

On the National Review Web site, Victor Davis Hanson gives one more stunning example of how resilient and persistent our delusions about Iraq can be.

Everyone sees the Iraq that they want to see. This has been the case ever since America invaded three years... More

‘Fed Watchers’ Feed Reporters Something Like News

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson Jr. resigned Wednesday. So, what does it all mean? That depends on which news source you’re reading or watching.

Roger W. Ferguson Jr., the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, resigned Wednesday. So, what does it all mean?... More

What’s Really at Issue in the Ports Deal?

In the political battle over the decision to let a U.A.E.-owned firm run some of America’s ports, what’s being lost is any sense of whether this is, objectively, a good thing or not.

In the middle of the political maelstrom yesterday over President Bush's decision to go forward with handing over management several... More

That’s the Sound of CJR Daily Cringing

One of the world’s most strident sounds is that of a grown-up voice discussing the latest teenage slang, as Weekend Edition reminds us.

In the hierarchy of the world's most cringe-inducing sounds, right up there with the blaring of a car alarm in... More

Market Survey: Business Executives Prefer Cosmo

When it comes to inane career advice, it’s a buyer’s market this week.

When it comes to inane career advice, it's a buyer's market. You can't crack (or click on) a business publication... More

Cheney Warmed Over, Bloody Baghdad and Beinert on TV News Coverage

U.S. News looks at the bloody realities of life in Baghdad and New York reports on yet another reporter who might be headed for jail.

Both Time and Newsweek lead this week with the Cheney shooting incident, but thanks to the vagaries of the newsweekly... More

Reporters Smell Fresh Narrative, Pounce

How “Veterans Run for Congress as Democrats” became the go-to narrative for the political press.

As we've noted before, political reporters in election years, desperate to make sense of events that are not yet ordered,... More

Fukuyama Declares the Death of Something Else

Bloggers respond to Francis Fukuyama’s declaration that neoconservatism, whatever it might once have been, is dead.

Francis "End of History" Fukuyama had a piece in the New York Times Magazine yesterday entitled "After Neoconservatism," which began... More

To BusinessWeek, Up Is Down, and Down Is Up

As if we needed any more convincing, BusinessWeek provides yet more evidence that the media’s obsession with short-term stock prices does not make any sense.

As if we needed any more convincing, BusinessWeek provided yet more evidence yesterday that the media's obsession with short-term stock... More

It Takes Two to Tell Boston Airport Story

The Boston papers tell strikingly different stories about the same subject - a reminder of just how valuable two competing voices can be.

With big-city American newspapers at a critical juncture, two-newspaper towns increasingly seem to be an anachronism. Denver's two competing papers... More

Times Scores with Profile of Dirty Tricks Company

How did two fresh-faced naïfs stumble into D.C. and, a short time later, land multi-million dollar contracts from the U.S. government?

How do you get your first job in the field of state-sponsored propaganda? You can't cut your teeth at a... More

The Buck Stops Here - and There, and There, Too

What’s the difference between “birdshot” and “buckshot”? A live victim of a hunting accident, instead of a dead one. Yet a number of journalists don’t seem to have figured that out.

Sometimes, it's the small stuff that matters most. In reading the coverage of Vice President Dick Cheney's having accidentally shot... More

All Cheney All the Time

We set out to write a Blog Report free of any mentions of the Cheney Hunting Incident. Alas, the blogosphere refused to play along.

Our aim was true. We set out to write a Blog Report free of any mentions of the Cheney Hunting... More

ABC Gives a Free Handout to “Wolves”

A story on ABC’s Web site crosses from reporting on a commercial phenomenon into the realm of free, uncritical publicity.

Reporting on the success of a commercial product is always a tricky enterprise. When considering the news value of a... More

Hunting for Blame (And a Place to Pee)

Forget about Harry Whittington’s assorted injuries - bloggers want talk about the enormous purple shiner the MSM is allegedly sporting.

Forget about Harry Whittington's assorted injuries, let's talk about the enormous purple shiner the MSM is sporting! It's "another black... More

Reporter Fed Pill Story, Swallows Whole

Newsday trots out an expert to discuss the implications of a study on hormone replacement therapy and heart disease - without disclosing the expert’s massive conflict of interest.

Newsday reported yesterday on the results of a recent government study investigating the link between hormone replacement therapy and heart... More

Barron’s Bashes Google, Just for Kicks

Increasingly, reporters who cover the markets don’t just write the news; they are the news.

The financial press has plenty of faults, but it also wields incredible power. A single negative story can cost a... More

Newsweeklies Thwarted By Publishing Cycle, and New York Discovers Blogs

The major newsweeklies mock Vice President Cheney, New York profiles “blog moguls” and The Washington Monthly discovers a new way of quantifying media bias.

Fresh off its finger-on-the-pulse report two weeks ago about "students with everything going for them engaging in orgy lite," as... More

That Ain’t No Ranch Hand, Boys ‘n Girls

We ponder that age-old philosophical question: If the vice president shoots his hunting buddy in the forest and only a Republican operative is there to see it, did it actually happen?

Yesterday we were forced to ponder that age-old philosophical question: If the vice president shoots his hunting buddy in the... More

Accuracy in Media: Not So Accurate

Cliff Kincaid thinks CJR Daily unfairly labeled Doug Bandow a “conservative pundit.” Problem is, conservative pundits think Bandow’s a conservative pundit, too.

We enjoy reading the latest dispatches from our friends over at Accuracy in Media, a conservative media watchdog organization. And... More

Bloggers Detect Right - or Is It Left? - Wing Bias in Olympic Coverage

The Olympics are here, and with that tradition comes another, more tedious, one: journalists squeezing “controversial” storylines out of humdrum events.

The Olympics are here, and with that tradition comes another, more tedious, one: journalists squeezing "controversial" storylines out of humdrum... More

There’s Money in Fear, But Don’t Tell CNN

CNNMoney returns to a favorite far-from-objective source for another article stoking oil fears that are utterly unwarranted.

A couple weeks ago we critiqued a rather outlandish Fortune article that asked readers, "Ready for $262/barrel oil?" We were... More

It’s an Ugly Story, and There Are No Heroes

The outcry in the Muslim world over editorial cartoons has exposed deep rifts between cultures. But that doesn’t mean that no one is wrong.

The American press has been wringing its hands all week over the violent controversy surrounding the publication, in September, of... More

A Barrage of Cringe-Worthy Valentine Stories

This time of year, a certain amount of cringe-worthy Valentine’s Day-related reporting is to be expected. But just because you know it’s coming, doesn’t make it any easier to stomach.

This time of year, a certain amount of cringe-worthy Valentine's Day-related reporting is to be expected from practitioners of "service... More

Mass Alarm Over Mass Data Sweep of Blogs and Email

The Christian Science Monitor broke a big story on its front page today, leaving bloggers concerned - very, very concerned.

The Christian Science Monitor broke a big story on its front page today, reporting that the "U.S. government is developing... More

Super Bowl Nausea

It’s early in the year, but we think we’ve found a finalist for the Best Correction of the Year 2006.

It's early in the year, and we are sure that many other candidates will come to our attention -- they... More

Eason Jordan Shoots From the Hip, Again - and Misses, Again

The former CNN exec wrote Monday that two organizations that track media deaths in Iraq are undercounting those fatalities. He’s wrong.

It's sadly appropriate that the war in Iraq -- that ongoing bloodbath whose very reality so often proves maddeningly elusive... More

BusinessWeek Has a Big Idea

When a newsweekly pronounces that U.S. GDP has been understated by $1 trillion and our trade deficit is actually zero, some careful scrutiny is required.

We're all in favor of journalists with contrarian points of view. Indeed, we suspect that the American press would be... More

Iran, Presidential Power and a Hemorrhaging CIA

As a nuclear-armed Iran looms ever closer, Newsweek dives into the fray with a deeply-reported profile of the country’s fiery and fearsome president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

All three newsweeklies bring us an examination of one aspect or another of national security this week, and, taken together,... More

A New Spying Story Ignites Blogorrhea

As congressional hearings on the Bush administration’s eavesdropping program get under way, bloggers react to a Washington Post article disclosing more details about it.

As congressional hearings on the legality of the Bush administration's eavesdropping program get under way today, a substantial debate is... More

The Man Who Brought Blogging to Iran

Hossein Derakhshan discusses the nascent blogging movement in Iran and his trip to Israel to try to help Iranians understand a country their president describes as an enemy.

Hossein Derakhshan (Photo: Lisa Goldman) Hossein Derakhshan is an Iranian-Canadian blogger whose blog, "Editor:Myself," helped ignite what has been... More

Pinning Down the President About - What?

The Associated Press calls itself “the essential global news network.” We’d suggest adding “the official home of the 2008 election-related non-story.”

The Associated Press calls itself "the essential global news network." Might we suggest an added tag: "The official home of... More

Bank Shells Out Bundle; Editors Get What They Pay For

On Tuesday, the vice chairman of Wachovia walked away from the job with more than $500 million in cash and stock - and the financial press mostly just shrugged.

Wallace D. Malone Jr. had been the chief executive of SouthTrust Bank, a publicly owned company, for many years, and... More

Reporter Groupies Service Rockstar of Finance

Raiding corporations is fun. And it’s not as hard as it sounds - especially when you can get a passel of reporters to lend a hand.

Raiding corporations is fun. And it's not as hard as it sounds -- especially when you can get a passel... More

Embedded with a Night Patrol in Fallujah

FALLUJAH, IRAQ - Curfew falls at 11 p.m. each night, after which anyone found out on the street is considered a target.

Part of a continuing series about the life of an embedded reporter in Iraq. FALLUJAH, IRAQ -- The curfew had... More

Army of Bloggers Pounces on Muslims Upset With Comic

We have some advice for the PR department of Islamic fundamentalism: Get yourself some bloggers.

We have some advice for the PR department of Islamic fundamentalism: Get yourself some bloggers. The blogosphere's response to the... More

Seven Newspapers Grapple With Bush’s Flip-Flop on Oil

How well did the press explain the context of the president’s unexpected and seemingly grandiose announcement about America’s dependence on oil?

"America is addicted to oil," President Bush declared in the State of the Union last night, proposing the country develop... More

The State of State of the Union Reporting

Some reporters must call a “certified movement analyst” to decipher politicians’ expressions. Others dispense with expertise and perform this sort of analysis all by themselves.

Some reporters must call a "certified movement analyst" to decipher politicians' expressions and gesticulations. Others dispense with expertise and perform... More

The State of the Union, Reflected in a Fun House Mirror

Like Rashomon, different bloggers watching the same speech will seem to remember different parts — or none at all.

There's nothing like a State of the Union address to expose the Rashoman-like quality of the blogosphere: different bloggers watching... More

On Patrol In a Tense Fallujah

FALLUJAH, IRAQ - No more than a minute after leaving the base, we swung a hard left and were bouncing down the streets of Fallujah, kicking up a dust storm in our wake.

Part of a continuing series about the life of an embedded reporter in Iraq. FALLUJAH, IRAQ -- A couple Marines... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news

The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”


Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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