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Monthly Archive

May 2006

Peter Beinart on Liberals, Terrorism and the War in Iraq

The former New Republic editor discusses his new book about liberalism’s response to the threat posed by terrorism.

On Tuesday, May 30, former New Republic editor (and current Editor-at-Large) Peter Beinart's book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals --... More

Tears and Jeers for Katie’s Farewell

Oh Katie — you’re really gone! Oh, wait, you’re just moving to another network …

On this, Katie's Last Day!, Ms. Couric is receiving shout-outs from all over the 'sphere -- some syrupy, some surly,... More

Times Fails to Get Even a Cliché Right

The paper runs a story that’s not only tired, but that also manages to contradict both itself and another piece that ran just a few days earlier.

There are a number of great seasonal clichés in journalism: the Christmas shopping story, the back-to-school story, the "spring is... More

Journal Outdone by Buffalo, Detroit

Over the past week, the Wall Street Journal has given a cursory treatment to the important news about General Motors’ buyout program.

At midday yesterday, the Wall Street Journal online contained a prominently placed piece of five-day-old news. The short article by... More

Court Rules in Favor of Journalism

An appeals court puts bloggers and journalists employed by professional news organizations on equal footing - at least in the state of California.

The blogger known as Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem may never rival Bob Woodward in recognition or prestige. But... More

Newsweek Discovers Doomed Spinsters Marrying

It’s not often that we have to wait 20 years for a correction, but this is one of those times.

It's not often that we have to wait 20 years for a correction, but this is one of those times.... More

Okay, It’s Hard to Get 2006 Right - But 1994?

A New Yorker article typifies the Washington press corps’ tendency to hew to conventional wisdom, no matter how many times that wisdom has been proved wrong.

There is no off-season in political prognostication. This midterm election year -- with the president's approval ratings in freefall and... More

Iraq: For Journalists, the Deadliest War

Three more reporters are caught in the violence in Iraq, and the war has now proved more costly for journalists than any other in history.

The New York Times brings us a somber reminder this morning that with the deaths yesterday of two journalists working... More

Lara Setrakian on Untold Stories from Guantanamo Bay

The ABC News reporter discusses her interview with a group of recently freed Guantanamo detainees - and how Gitmo should be covered.

Lara Setrakian, an off-air reporter with ABC News' Law & Justice Unit, last week posted on ABC's Web site an... More

What the F—k Are They Driving At?

The New York Times changes a quote to omit an obscenity - and turns fury into mild exasperation.

It's not that we're particularly titillated by dirty words. And we can understand why most newspapers, for the sake of... More

Mindreaders Befuddled by Enron Jury

As the nation waited to hear the outcome of the Enron trial, television news hosts struggled to fill empty airtime.

Word came late yesterday morning that the Enron verdict would be announced at noon -- just the sort of biding-time,... More

A Reporter’s Reporter in Iraq

Nir Rosen operates outside up-armored news bureau compounds to bring the muffled voices of Iraqis back home to the States.

Nir Rosen's voice is quiet, almost gentle, and at first it's a little difficult to hear him when I call... More

Market “Jitters” Up, Down, Up: Who Cares?

Newspapers are dropping their daily stock listings — shouldn’t market round-up stories be next?

In recent years, many newspapers, including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Orlando... More

Bloggers Respond Warmly to Dobbs’ Fire and Brimstone

The CNN anchor launches another attack on Bush administration policies, and online commentators respond in kind.

CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is not one to mince words -- especially when it comes to his personal crusade for... More

Prefrontal Cortexes Fuel Talk Radio?

As you read this, experts are hard at work studying the brains of people suffering from myriad ills, from Alzheimer’s to dyslexia … to, apparently, political passion.

As you read this, experts are hard at work studying the brains of people suffering from myriad ills, from Alzheimer's... More

Bloggers React to Anchor Shuffle With Dismay

Elizabeth Vargas fans respond with anger and disappointment to the announcement of her departure from ABC’s anchor desk.

Less than half a year after anointing Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff the next-generation anchors of World News Tonight,... More

“Good News” from Iraq Found - in Northern Virginia

The Washington Times rushes to page one with positive tidings from Iraq, but overlooks one minor detail - actually gathering the news.

In recent times, several conservative commentators have complained about the lack of positive stories coming out of Iraq. But to... More

Gore Running on Fumes, Addington Running the White House

A series of profiles in this week’s magazines goes inside the heads of some powerful men — and the nanny who raised one of them.

With Al Gore's new film due out Wednesday, New York magazine becomes the latest media outlet to hop aboard the... More

Harper’s Ben Metcalf Throws Hissy Fit, Spits Up

Would somebody please give the magazine’s literary editor a back rub? Or maybe pour him a cup of sleepy-time tea?

Would somebody please give Harper's literary editor Ben Metcalf a back rub? Or maybe pour him a cup of sleepy-time... More

Bloggers Get Riled Up Over Illegal Immigration Newsflash

As the debate over immigration continues, the San Francisco Chronicle weighed in Sunday with a story that sparked heated commentary from conservative blogs.

As the immigration debate continues, the San Francisco Chronicle weighed in Sunday with a lengthy front-page story, reporting that "The... More

Vaughn Ververs on Transparency, Focus and Critics

The editor of CBS’s Public Eye discusses better-than-expected cooperation from CBS employees and answers some of the blog’s critics.

Vaughn Ververs is the editor of CBS's Public Eye blog. Before launching Public Eye in September, 2005, Ververs was... More

And Just What Is

Journalists love lists - so much so that this week, most didn’t bother telling readers about the source behind a “power ranking” of Congressional leaders.

This week the Web site released its "power rankings" of Washington's most formidable and effective Congressmen and Senators in... More

KPIX Leads the Way on the Kaiser Investigation

The San Francisco CBS affiliate’s series of reports on Kaiser this month shows just how good local television news can be, when it wants to.

Last week we tipped our hat to the Los Angeles Times for publishing a set of investigative stories which shed... More

Aliens: A Topic Made for Blogging

The blogosphere is busy dissecting the media’s (mis)handling of the immigration debate — and in most cases, amnesty is not being offered.

The blogosphere is busy dissecting the media's (mis)handling of the immigration debate -- and in most cases, amnesty is not... More

Round ‘Em Up! Ride ‘Em In! Raw … Talent?

Are U.S. companies really looking to outsource jobs to rural America? A CNN story, backed by a single source, says yes. Logic says, probably not.

Lots of news organizations run themselves dizzy in the endless chase to define the latest zeitgeist-making trend -- that elusive... More

At CNN, “Who Knows?” Counts as Reporting

On Wednesday, Paul McCartney and his wife announced they were separating, blaming an intrusive media as a factor. A CNN report on the split effectively proved their point.

On Wednesday, former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife of four years, Heather Mills McCartney, confirmed that they were separating,... More

Once There Were Giants

Time Inc. has laid off the nation’s premier investigative team: Donald Barlett and James Steele, who for more than 30 years have set standards others could admire only from afar.

In a doleful shirt-tail, or footnote, to the New York Times story this morning on the appointment of a new... More

Morning Shows Buried By Snowstorm

On Wednesday, Tony Snow did William Ginsburg one better, appearing (or appearing to appear) on all three network morning shows at the same time.

You've heard of a "Full Ginsburg" (that is, when one guest appears back-to-back on a single day on each of... More

International News, Falling By the Wayside

The U.N. wonders why many international stories don’t receive the coverage they deserve. The short answer (at least in the U.S.) is: Editors know their audience.

On Monday, the United Nation's Department of Public Information unveiled its annual list of the world's "10 most under-reported stories."... More

Tony Snow Show Snows Bloggers

While news outlets gave Tony Snow’s debut high marks, what did bloggers think?

The day after Tony Snow's first on-camera performance as White House press secretary, high-profile commentators are weighing in. In the... More

The Atlantic Shows That Ideas Can Be News

In the current issue of the magazine Joshua Green provides a detailed portrait of how Wal-Mart’s heath-care woes are impacting the health of the American economy, and vice versa.

Last October, various media outlets reported on a leaked Wal-Mart memo, which recommended various ways for the world's largest company... More

A Kinder, Gentler Press Briefing?

It’s hard to imagine Scott McClellan or Ari Fleischer tearing up at the podium, but Tony Snow did just that today in his on-camera debut as White House press secretary.

It's hard to imagine Scott McClellan tearing up at the podium, and harder still to imagine Ari Fleischer doing so.... More

Iraq, Christians, and the “Time 100” Party

More on reporters in Iraq, permanent-looking military bases, and inane conversations among celebrities.

In New York magazine this week, writer Jennifer Senior looks at life among reporters in Baghdad. The piece is certainly... More

Michael Schiavo, Blogger, Stirs Things Up Again

The battle over the future of Terri Schiavo may have ended months ago, but the battle over Michael Schiavo’s blogging future is just getting started.

The battle over the future of Terri Schiavo may have ended months ago, but apparently the battle over Michael Schiavo's... More

David Dusek on Golf, Editing and a National Magazine Award

The Ellie winner discusses his winning feature, “The New Way to Putt,” his own golf handicap and magazine articles that can shift paradigms.

David Dusek is the Senior Managing Editor of and This week, his feature in the October 2005... More

White House Goes on Offensive Against Press

A barrage of press releases claiming media inaccuracies shows that new Press Secretary Tony Snow may be more nimble and adept than his predecessor – but not any more correct.

In the latest battle between 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the media, the White House has taken to sending out flurries... More

Blowing the Whistle on a Potential Owner

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a bidder for both that paper and the Daily News is looking to gut them. With offers due Tuesday, the city’s newspaper journalism is up for grabs.

A story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer bore some mildly disturbing news: Onex Corp., a Canadian investment company that is one... More

Business Press Misses Politics of the Pump

There are many reasons for the soaring cost of gas, but looking at the relationship between politicians and energy companies seems to be off-limits for some reporters.

As the economist Milton Friedman once said, "The business of business is to make money." True enough, but it is... More

Press Pretends It’s Not a Player in the Saga of Al Gore

Political journalists like to pretend they’re umpires, not players. But political journalists, whether they acknowledge it or not, are setting the stage for a Gore comeback.

"Al Gore Might Yet Join 2008 Contenders," a Wall Street Journal headline declared earlier this week. "For former Vice President... More

New York Times, USA Today Reverse Roles

A comparison of the two papers’ home pages this morning reveals USA Today had better reporting, better news judgment and made better use of the Web.

As of 11:15 this morning, the home page of the New York Times, generally regarded as the heavyweight among national... More

Do It Now, Fix It Later!

A blogger’s discovery of a “major security hole” on makes clear that the Gray Lady is still learning to swim in the tumultuous seas of the blogosphere.

Recently, the New York Times has begun dipping its toes into the blogosphere by launching the occasional Times-sanctioned blog. And... More

New York Times Goes Medieval On Us

What with all the “jousting” and “skirmishing” going on in the paper’s story about appeals court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, certain basic facts fell through the cracks.

What with all the "jousting" and "skirmishing" going on in the New York Times' story today about appeals court nominee... More

Local TV Gets Static from iTunes

A few stories, culled from different news outlets, paint a curious picture for local television stations.

Sometimes it takes a few different stories, appearing in different news outlets, to tie an issue together and put it... More

CNN Catches Wind of an Explosive Story

What if the government triggered a 700 ton blast in the Nevada desert, but no news organization bothered to cover it?

As we logged on to this morning, one headline among the network's list of top stories quickly caught our... More

Blogs Respond to Cohen Responding to Blogs Responding to Cohen

Netizens fill the inbox of a Washington Post columnist with emails “emanating raw hatred,” then tell him that digital lynch mobs are, well, to be expected.

Yesterday, columnist Richard Cohen wrote a piece for the Washington Post entitled "Digital Lynch Mob," about the venomous response he... More

Chronicle Jumps on ‘Huge’ Story - From Last Month

It’s by and large a 24/7 news world now, though occasionally one still comes across exceptions.

It's by and large a 24/7 news world now, though occasionally one still comes across certain exceptions. This morning, for... More

Running Out of Goss

American magazines this week hover backstage and try to provide some analysis of what exactly is going on behind the tattered curtains at the CIA.

On Friday President Bush announced that Porter Goss would be stepping down as the director of the CIA and, yesterday,... More

Los Angeles Times Contributor Successfully Mixes Booze and GDP

What do you get when you cross a noir-inspired op-ed with a think tank economist? An enjoyable business column.

We've complained more times than we would like to recall about the stilted, often leaden way in which most business... More

Kos Pummels Hillary; Left & Right Pummel Kos

The ubiquitous political blogger launches a broadside on the New York Senator and her presidential prospects, leading fellow liberal bloggers to take turns pile-driving him to the mat.

Yesterday, the Washington Post published an opinion piece by ubiquitous lefty political blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas attacking Senator Hillary Rodham... More

Los Angeles Times Produces An Investigation That Pays Off

The newspaper digs into the troubled kidney transplant program run by California’s largest HMO, providing the very definition of a public service.

Amid all the Pulitzer hubbub a few weeks back, one major newspaper in particular was noticeably absent from the list... More

Americans Don’t Trust the Media, Bloggers Quibble Over It

The New Republic and don’t see eye-to-eye over a new poll about how much Ameicans trust the media.

Jonathan Chait over at the The Plank, the New Republic's blog, takes issue with the conservatives at, who he... More

A Veteran Critic, on the Press and on Critics

Mark Jurkowitz on the difference between writing for newspapers, alt-weeklies and blogs, and his new role at the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Boston Phoenix media critic Mark Jurkowitz announced this week that he will be leaving the paper in July to become... More

The Times: Where Editors Sleep Standing Up

How many corrections — and updates of corrections — does one story warrant?

On occasion when we're reading the morning newspapers, we wistfully think about how nice it would be if Jean-Francois Champollion,... More

Man Porn! Bites Porn! Dog Porn!

Computerworld sexes up a story on the ongoing battle for DVD supremacy between two next-generation, high-definition formats.

The word "porn," when used in a headline, tends to catch the eye (and, when used online atop a story... More

Chronicle Kills Babe Ruth Prematurely, Then Hints at Time Travel

The legend of the Sultan of Swat took a few mystifying turns on the Web site of the San Francisco newspaper this morning.

Last month we took copy editors at the Washington Post to task for managing to add -- thanks to a... More

Of Singleton and San Francisco

The Bay Guardian gets fired up defending the status quo of daily journalism in the Bay Area - a situation which to us hardly seems worth preserving.

Last week, when MediaNews announced that it was purchasing three dozen Knight Ridder papers from the McClatchy Co., we briefly... More

CNBC, Money Honey Fake Out the Markets

The Money Honey (and her CNBC cohorts) hyped her “surprising” scoop then feigned surprise when viewers were actually surprised by what she reported.

Three days on, there is still plenty of disagreement over who is to blame (and for what, exactly) in the... More

CNNMoney Delves Into Problem of Mom Salaries

The financial news site recycles a PR gambit into a feature story.

"Being mom could be a six-figure job," one of the top headlines on CNN's homepage teased this morning. We were... More

MSNBC Drops Plame Bomb, Blogosphere Ignites

A correspondent for the network reports yet another sensitive thread of the Valerie Plame story, bringing forth much chatter from bloggers.

Last night on Chris Matthews' show, Hardball, MSNBC correspondent David Shuster reported that former CIA officer Valerie Plame was working... More

Flack Says Ogle Google Girl, Reporters Comply

ABC News grants “Google’s First Female Engineer” two chances to spread the company’s good news - and spread it thick.

"It's hard to believe that search engine giant Google hasn't even celebrated its 10th birthday yet. But still, the success... More

NBC’s “Exclusive” Enters Third Dimension

If there were a protective shelter for words abused at the hands of American journalists, one word in particular would deserve a special, quiet recovery room.

If there were a protective shelter for words abused at the hands of American journalists, it would no doubt be... More

Faux Southerners, Threats from Pellicano and Yet Another Rant on Iraq

The New Republic punctures the image of a blowhard, while Reason takes a cheap shot at reporters in Iraq.

The New Republic kicks off the magazine report this week with a look at the life and times of Senator... More

Ephron Confuses “Embedded” With “Bedded”

The writer decries the military’s program for embedding journalists with military units, but she misses the point entirely - and misreads history.

Nora Ephron, for all her prodigious gifts as a writer, appears to have some trouble grasping the linear nature of... More

Disaster Season Upon Us; Dispatch Boiling Lava Reporters Soonest!

Reporting on disasters - especially disasters yet to occur - offers up endless possibilities for the mainstream media.

Reporting on disasters -- especially disasters yet to occur -- offers up endless possibilities for the mainstream media, which sometimes... More

Al Qaeda On the Run From - Bloggers??

Bloggers react to a story about expanded presidential authority, news that al Qaeda has allegedly been defeated in Iraq and Stephen Colbert’s Sunday speech mocking the Washington press corps.

In a startling piece of journalism, the Boston Globe reported yesterday that "President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to... 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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