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Monthly Archive

March 2006

Michael Gordon on Reconstructing the Iraq War

The co-author of the new book Cobra II discusses the planning failures of the Iraq War and how he researched his account.

Michael Gordon is co-author of the new book Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of... More

Dobbs Pins Down Illegal Immigrants, Give or Take 9 Million

Lou Dobbs takes a tough look at the immigration debate — and plays loose with the numbers.

CNN's Lou Dobbs has been drawing a lot of attention lately for his passionate arguments in favor of stronger immigration... More

Is Jill Carroll Really Iraq’s Patty Hearst?

Members of the press are making a lot of assumptions about reporter Jill Carroll and her captivity without much in the way of evidence.

We were thrilled yesterday to hear the news that the sweet-faced, intrepid Jill Carroll had been freed in Iraq. (This... More

On 44th Street, the Debt Piles Up - and So Do the Reporters

Reporters discover the latest threat to Times Square: The National Debt Clock is about to run out of digits.

Reporting on the national debt is a daunting task. Deadly, slumber-inducing phrases lurk at every turn. Long-term interest rates. Entitlement... More

The Pit, the Pendulum and Michael Eisner

The former Disney executive’s talk show debut receives a surprisingly warm welcome from journalists and critics, who grudgingly admit there’s a certain charm to his bulldozing impatience.

The American media generally falls into two camps: content providers, and business managers who come up with godforsaken terms like... More

Braving the Front Lines - In Turkey and New York City

Q: When is a photo of Baghdad not a photo of Baghdad? A: When it’s Turkey. Plus, Hugh Hewitt shows the bravery of a true stateside blogger.

Bloggers are raising questions about the authenticity of a photo -- purportedly of a Baghdad street -- posted on the... More

One Good Plug Deserves Another … and Another, and Another

The tale of one Fox affiliate’s news broadcast and its obsession with the network’s hit show 24.

It's hardly unusual for a local TV news outlet to promote one of their own network's shows. We're used to... More

The Seven Habits of Highly Questionable Op-Ed Contributors

Rare is the guest columnist or op-ed contributor who isn’t trying to sell something, be it a book or a company or a war.

Rare is the guest columnist or op-ed contributor who isn't trying to sell something, be it a book or a... More

Surprise! Caffeine + Alcohol = Drunk

Reuters reports on the jaw-dropping findings of Brazilian researchers: drinking Red Bull does not magically negate the chemical effects of alcohol on the human body.

It's not every day that a news organization gets to report on a study so controversial that it threatens to... More

Jack, George, Don and Caitlin

U.S. News and TNR look at Bush’s “CEO administration,” while others reminisce about Jack Abramoff and dig in to the psychology of writer Caitlin Flanagan.

We find yet another chapter in the ongoing Jack Abramoff saga in this week's Weekly Standard, where writer Mark Hemmingway... More

Just Because They’re Not Shouting, it Doesn’t Mean They Don’t Care

Relying on oversimplification and groupthink, reporters in Israel and the United States are failing to understand the implications of the election taking place in Israel.

The press' instinct to apply simple narratives to complex stories isn't limited to American politics. Apparently, members of the media... More

War Zones, Real and Virtual

Today in the ‘sphere, the debate over Ben Domenech’s “Red America” flameout continues, and Lara Logan draws praise for her spirited defense of the reporting being done in Iraq.

The fallout from the newest young plagiarist to be exposed -- Ben Domenech -- and his resignation from the Washington... More

Botching the Pesky but Basic Details on a Big Story

Reporters count up the numbers in the General Motors and Delphi buyout plans — apparently relying on some “fuzzy math” while doing so.

In a startling attempt to save their own hides, General Motors and Delphi announced this week that they will offer... More

Hewitt vs Ware vs Stones Cry Out vs Wolcott

Bloggers discuss press performance in Iraq (and CNN’s panel discussion on press performance in Iraq) and anticipate the demise of (almost) all media.

For the past two nights on "Anderson Cooper 360º," CNN's Cooper has convened a panel to discuss press performance in... More

Bush One, Loathsome Little Troll Zero? Or Not

Blogs weigh in on the relative success of President Bush’s press conference and the media’s distortions of the record of the Liberty University debate team.

President Bush threw caution to the wind during yesterday's press conference and took a question from Hearst News columnist Helen... More

Baseball No Longer the Simple Pastime of Yesteryear

The World Baseball Classic is big business — a story some media outlets understand better than others.

The inaugural World Baseball Classic came to an exciting close Monday night before 42,000-plus fans in San Diego, as Japan... More

All of a Sudden, It’s a Great Job Market for Wingnuts

The Washington Post’s new conservative blogger makes us wonder about the paper’s motivation for hiring him –- and about how newspapers cover conservatives.

Simple fixes are rarely good fixes. Case in point is the Washington Post, which has admirably jumped into the world... More

Are You Going to Believe “Images” or Words?

The White House is subtly implying that violence in Iraq is a figment of the media’s imagination.

We've had a strange but persistent thought these past few days watching administration officials try to make the case that... More

Pixie Dust, Promises and Bizarre Side Effects

Reporters far and wide have been mining the story-rich terrain of the sleep drug Ambien — and we’re having trouble staying awake long enough to keep up.

Yesterday, producers at CNN broke a wacky story about a Manhattan resident who paints pictures in his sleep. "For several... More

AP Story Serves as Political Rorschach Blot

Today may be the first day of spring, but the interminable snowball fight among partisan bloggers shows little sign of thawing.

Today may be the first day of spring, but the interminable snowball fight among partisan bloggers in the 'sphere shows... More

The Man Who Knew Too Little and Wrote Too Much

Jon Friedman occupies a singular place in the world of media criticism - we’re just not sure what it is.

Media critics are a strange lot. They're often better writers than they are reporters -- which may be why they... More

Snow Tries to Snow WSJ, Gets Blowback

Perhaps Treasury Secretary John Snow should spend more time reading the Wall Street Journal and less time trying to spin it.

These days, it would appear that most Americans aren't feeling too chipper about the state of the U.S. economy. "Majorities... More

Marilyn Johnson on Writing About the Dead, Not the Dying

The former celebrity journalist talks about her new book on the world of obituaries - both the journalists who write them and the readers who love them.

Marilyn Johnson (Rob Fleder) Marilyn Johnson's new book The Dead Beat explores the world of obituaries -- both the... More

It’s Not Nice to Fool Fred Friendly - or Someone Playing Him in a Movie

As long as the ends justify the means, and Arianna Huffington gets some free publicity out of the deal, all’s well in her backslapping celebrity blog bubble.

The Arianna Huffington / George Clooney blog flap is still alive and simmering, mainly because of Huffington's post of yesterday,... More

Is That a Snapple Ron Burgundy Is Slurping On?

Product placement, which before seemed to be confined to sitcoms and movies, has moved into the newsroom.

Local television news is very much in the news today, and things aren't looking so good. First, the Hollywood Reporter... More

An Ominous Development Looms - on Page A22

Lawyers for Lewis Libby have served subpoenas on the New York Times and Judy Miller - and, if they succeed, they may alter the very nature of the reporter/editor dance.

In an unwelcome development, the New York Times today tells us that lawyers for Lewis Libby, the former aide to... More

Gary Pruitt Picks a Few Cherries

McClatchy’s CEO defends his company’s acquisition of Knight Ridder, but his argument that the newspaper industry is in good shape just doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

In today's Wall Street Journal, McClatchy Chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt defends his company's decision this week to spend $6.5... More

Another Day, Another Trashing of the Times

While bloggers take on every story in sight, the paper itself goes blog wild, debuting two new ones.

Today is a day like every other in the blogosphere. That is to say: it's Trash the New York Times... More

Paint-by-Numbers Reporting on the Feingold Story

The coverage of Senator Russ Feingold’s proposal to censure President Bush has been pretty weak. Anyone paying attention?

It would be counterproductive for us to try to tell reporters and editors what to cover and how to cover... More

Bush Flops as Press Critic

On Monday, President Bush once again unfairly accused a paper of publishing a bit of closely-held, super-secret information which, in retrospect, turned out to be neither closely-held nor super-secret.

On Monday, during a speech at George Washington University, President Bush spoke at length about the U.S. strategy to combat... More

The Conservative Crackup, and Iced Lattes in Iraq

Pundits ponder the foreign policy of both parties (or lack thereof), while The Weekly Standard brings us poolside coverage from Iraq.

In this week's National Review, Rich Lowry writes about what he terms "To Hell With Them Hawks" Republicans. "These are... More

The Real Nano-Tech Story

Writing in the Washington Post, reporter Rick Weiss takes the revolutionary approach of writing about nanotechnology’s current applications, rather than its future ones.

The subject of nanotechnology exists at a special crossroads--that hollowed place where journalism dances with science fiction and, inevitably, spins... More

A Meditation on Disconnects and Dinosaurs

The sale of Knight Ridder sheds light on the industry’s biggest problem: Readers are moving online, but the ad money is still in print.

The sale of Knight Ridder Newspapers to McClatchy Co. -- and McClatchy's determination to unload at least 12 of those... More

Sure, It’s All About the Emotions

These days, business dispatches from Wall Street are awash in worries. Forget the invisible hand of the market. It’s all about the invisible furrowed brow.

Sometimes the most perplexing questions about the American economy come from the least likely of sources. Several years ago, for... More

Christina Asquith on Iraq’s “Golden Period” for Reporting

Asquith discusses the trials of freelancing in Iraq (which she did in 2003 and 2004) and her new book about the challenges of being a rookie teacher in a poor public school (which she was in 1999).

Jack FairweatherChristina Asquith, a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, has 10 years of experience as an investigative journalist covering education... More

Right Story, Wrong Headline

This Wall Street Journal story delivers something more interesting than the headline promised.

Interesting headline on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today, but one that almost seems like it was... More

Saying Nothing, Making Page One Anyway

When the Secretary of Defense says we’ll do something, reporters sometimes hear more than was intended.

The Washington Post peaked our interest this morning by fronting a story headlined, "U.S. Sets Plans to Aid Iraq in... More

The Mating Dance of the Blogerati

Bloggers and mainstream media folks attend a party. Insert punchline here.

"Boldface," Campbell Robertson's gossip column in the New York Times, brings us news this morning of a party at the... More

A Swarm of Bloggers

A conference on blogging and politics reveals that blogs are increasingly serving as important political tools, but nobody seems to understand how, or why.

I may be woefully behind in my understanding of the blogosphere's collective will, but one thing I took away from... More

Newspapers: Dying All the Way to the Bank

Print journalists tend to be a pessimistic bunch, but with Knight Ridder’s likely sale imminent, bloggers are taking care of the doom and gloom quite nicely by themselves.

Mainstream media print journalists tend to be a pessimistic bunch, especially when it comes to newspaper companies and, say, their... More

Flack Defrocks Press, Anoints … Blogs?

Articles in the New York Times and the New York Observer reveal: the MSM no longer has a monopoly on reprinting press releases from PR people … because there are blogs now.

It must have stung a little, what Richard W. Edelman, president and chief executive of the public relations firm bearing... More

Poli Wonks Meet Tech Wonks

This week at the “Politics Online” conference at Georgetown University, the usual suspects churned out the usual arguments about blogs, politics, and the media.

The funny thing about conferences dealing with the blogosphere is that the more of them there are, the more everything... More

Business 2.0 Sees Money in Extra-Terrestrials

The starry-eyed reporters at Business 2.0 embark on a back-to-the-future romp through outer space and find investment opportunities that are out of this world.

During the early days of the Internet, business reporters wandered the earth, pom-poms in hand, cheering for seemingly every investment... More

Harper’s Races Right Over the Edge of a Cliff

The magazine is scorned for an article advancing a discredited theory about AIDS.

The essay on AIDS in this month's Harper's magazine by Celia Farber starts off like a scientific whodunit -- as... More

Piecing Together the India Business Story

During President George Bush’s visit to India last week, media stories focused on an important bilateral nuclear agreement and ignored an important bilateral trade agreement.

As President George Bush wound up his visit to the subcontinent last week, media stories focused almost exclusively on a... More

Newsweek Launches Savage Attack on … Newsweek!

What’s behind the widespread public confusion concerning the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative? Writers at Newsweek have found the culprit - in a word, themselves!

Today Newsweek brings us yet another cover story on health -- in particular on the widespread public confusion that ensued... More

Tara Parker-Pope on Avoiding the Press Release

The Wall Street Journal ‘s Health Mailbox columnist discusses the importance of not taking anything at face value, the nuance of health reporting, and her pet peeve.

Since January 2000, Tara Parker-Pope has written a health column for the Wall Street Journal. In the past, she has... More

Antarctica Gets a Bit Smaller

Colorado scientists produce the first evidence that Antarctica’s massive ice sheets are shrinking significantly, bringing a flurry of coverage at outlets across the country.

Yesterday two scientists at the University of Colorado announced their finding that Antarctica's massive ice sheets are shrinking by 36... More

Another Law Not Worth the Paper It’s Written On

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times cover a new wrinkle in the twisted tale of Guantánamo Bay’s detainees - but only the Post really gets it.

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times write today about a Guantánamo Bay detainee's claim in court that... More

Gushing Over China, and Exploring the Reality

Business reporters have long feared and bowed before the awesome economic potential of the Chinese market, producing coverage both breathless and simplistic.

Business reporters, and the media in general, have long feared and bowed before the awesome economic potential of the Chinese... More

How Does a Lady Get Any Sleep Around Here?

The media worked itself up, and tired itself out, talking about whether or not Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep while a case was being argued before the Supreme Court.

By all accounts, yesterday afternoon's special session at the Supreme Court was tough to get through. As the court heard... More

George Clooney and Grant Heslov on Ed Murrow

In honor of the Oscar awards Sunday night, CJR Daily is reposting an interview with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, co-writers of Good Night and Good Luck.

George Clooney (Melinda SueGordon/Warner Independent Pictures) George Clooney and Grant Heslov are the co-writers of "Good Night and Good... More

NYU Blog Ranks Newspaper Blogs

PressThink’s Jay Rosen and his students at NYU rank the best blogs at America’s biggest newspapers, giving their survey’s top standout, the Houston Chronicle, cause for celebration.

These days, it seems that best-blog lists are almost as ubiquitous as bloggers themselves. Recently, however, PressThink's Jay Rosen and... More

Press Exercised by Exercising White House

The press has taken on some hard-hitting stories this week, from the cleanliness of the president’s desk to Condi’s workout program.

The beauty of mainstream journalists hopping on the blogging bandwagon -- if there is beauty to be had -- is... More

Bush Praises Bloggery, Bloggers Lap It Up

For some bloggers, the news that the president liked their collective work was, at first blush, less surprising than the fact that he had finally discovered it.

Yesterday, Matt Drudge posted excerpts from the newly published book Strategery by Bill Sammon, in which President Bush meditates on... More

My Mother’s Obit

A son reconsiders the hometown paper

A few days before she died in January my mother asked me to write her obit. She had her practical... More

In a Party Mood, USA Today Gets It All Wrong

USA Today sings the praises of the citizens of New Orleans, while failing to understand just who - and how many - they are.

Yesterday, as New Orleans celebrated the climax of its first Mardi Gras since Katrina, USA Today ran a cheery front-page... 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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