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Monthly Archive

September 2006

Bloggers Debate Detainees’ Rights, Habeas Corpus

Bloggers are reacting to the Senate’s approval of the Bush administration’s detainee bill with triumphant glee, cynicism, and dejectedness.

The U.S. Senate jumped on board with the U.S. House of Representatives and the Bush administration last night, voting to... More

Reuters: Cash-Strapped Fools to Drown Sorrows — Yeah!

Every autumn comes interested industry parties predicting strong holiday sales — and reporters who find such forecasts newsworthy.

In a development that would seem to bode well for the annual Reuters holiday party, Reuters cheerfully reports today that... More

The Dow Wastes Journalists’ Time

Business writers spent another day today reporting on things that didn’t happen.

The sports pages, mercifully, spare us from daily headlines such as, "Barry Bonds Has Not Topped Hank Aaron's Home Run... More

Inhofe, Climate Change and Those Alarmist Reporters

On Monday, Sen. James Inhofe railed against climate research and the scientific press. But untangling his arguments about bad science and bad reporting is a difficult task.

It's hard to tell what Senator James Inhofe loathes more: the scientific consensus that climate change poses serious threats, or... More

Another Poll For Bloggers to Mull

Bloggers chew on — and try to digest — a poll of Iraqis revealing, among other things, that six out of 10 surveyed support attacks against coalition forces.

A poll of 1,150 Iraqi adults published yesterday by presents a complex view of the occupation and insurgency. As... More

Post Goes For Flash, Dispatch For Substance

In its story yesterday on an Ohio congressional race, the D.C. paper focused almost entirely on political scandal.

Following in her husband's footsteps, Laura Bush made an appearance in Ohio Tuesday to raise money for Joy Padgett, the... More

Frank Rich Cranks Out the Story — Again

It’s hard to write a review of Frank Rich’s new book — because it’s a hard book to read.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich's new book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From... More

T.O. Racks Up Yardage on the Most Viewed Lists

News producers and news consumers go crazy for the latest bit of T.O. drama. Sigh.

(An occasional look at the most popular, most blogged, and most emailed stories on the Web.) Terrell Owens may or... More

Business Mag Crunches Numbers, Figures It All Out

Today BusinessWeek Online provided the state of the nation in a nutshell. More precisely, America is 6. It is not 1. Need we know more?

The World Economic Forum, best known as the catering outfit that handles the annual meeting for rich people in Davos,... More

Clinton’s Leg-acy: “Unsightly Man-Calf”

Tip to politicians and other public figures: want to distract at least some media types from talking too much about timely topics? Show some leg.

Tip to politicians and other public figures: want to distract at least some media types from talking too much about... More

Bloggers Dissect Meaning, Upshot of NIE

Web scribes debate Tuesday’s declassification of a National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism.

On Tuesday, President Bush declassified a National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism, asserting that the document bolsters the administration's arguments concerning... More

Praise Fit For a King in the Queen City

The Cincinnati Post ran three Bush appearance-related pieces on Tuesday, but one simply did not belong.

President Bush paid a brief visit to Cincinnati Monday afternoon to promote his handling of the economy and raise a... More

New York Post Could Learn From Fox’s Chris Wallace

Rupert Murdoch-owned companies sure seem to be sucking every last bit of life out of the Wallace/Clinton interview on Sunday.

Maybe it was the typically puerile and irreverent headline that made us do a double-take: "Rice Boils Over At Bubba."... More

Sports Illustrated Makes a Big Bet on Fantasy Sports

The venerable sports magazine extends its coverage in order to snare that number-crunching, sports-loving demographic who can’t get enough.

For years, David Bauer, the deputy managing editor of Sports Illustrated has played fantasy baseball and fantasy basketball. Then this... More

The Scorecard on Clinton V. Wallace

Bill Clinton turned a humdrum interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace into this weekend’s must-see moment.

As anyone who was within 50 yards of a television this past weekend surely knows, former president Bill Clinton had... More

Striking a Blow For Transparency

It’s about time that readers had access to the same statistics that columnists use to make economic arguments — and it may be beginning to happen.

After we published a column last week criticizing David Brooks and, to a lesser extent, Paul Krugman for the way... More

Tribune Is Teetering … Let’s Get on With It

Suddenly everything is on the table for Tribune, from going private, to selling off its TV stations, to a sale of the entire company.

The news out of Tribune Tower at the end of this week is big, with the Tribune Co. announcement that... More

Waiting For Macaca

The reporter who broke the news of Virginia Senator George Allen’s Jewish ancestry tells how she got the story.

In late August, the Forward's Eve Kessler published what was to become a blockbuster story, raising the issue of Virginia... More

Bloggers on Sulfur, Evil, and Contempt

Yesterday Hugo Chavez referred to President Bush as “the devil” — leading countless bloggers to revel in the deviltry afterwards.

In a speech delivered yesterday at the United Nations, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez referred to President Bush as "the devil,"... More

Child Pornography: To See, or Not to See?

Do reporters need to see child pornography to write about it?

Writing in Salon on August 24, Debbie Nathan wanted to start a conversation about child pornography. She raised the question:... More

The AJC Takes the CDC’s Temperature

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke yet another solid investigative story about the Centers for Disease Control.

As Americans pick the spinach out of their salads and sandwiches, and patients contact doctors to ask if there will... More

When All Things Are Not Equal

While the Voice of America under Kenneth Tomlinson’s direction has taken some hits to its credibility, a little perspective is in order.

In a sense, it's a little hard to know what, exactly, to think of the Radio/TV Marti and the Voice... More

The Smell of Marketing in the Morning

If you’re an anxious marketing manager in an industry desperate for a hit holiday-season product, where in the media might you go to hype your newest ware?

If you're an anxious marketing manager in an industry desperate for a hit holiday-season product, where in the media might... More

What Next, a Pound of Flesh?

Among the various tightropes that the modern newspaper walks is the one between appealing to its readers’ better natures or basest instincts. The choice is not always so clear.

Among the various tightropes that the modern newspaper walks -- between objectivity and subjectivity, patriotism and dissidence, commercial interest and... More

Spies in the Newsroom

More revelations from the investigation of HP’s attempt to spy on journalists have some bloggers looking for the bigger story.

This morning, Damon Darlin and Kurt Eichenwald of the New York Times revealed more evidence that Hewlett-Packard had "conducted feasibility... More

In Defense of Brent Musburger

In the imbroglio over the ABC broadcaster’s on-air revelation of a quarterback hand signal, it was USC that overstepped, not Musburger.

More so than in any other sport, the language of football borrows heavily from the language of war. For the... More

NYT, LAT, Wires Get the Story in Somalia

Following an attack on Somalia’s president yesterday, readers of American newspapers could actually find considerable coverage on the bombing this morning.

Underreporting from Africa is nothing new. But following an attack on Somalia's president yesterday, readers of American newspapers -- in... More

As Times-Tribune Co. Standoff Grows, Bloggers Take Sides

The standoff between the suits at the Tribune Co. and Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet is reaching the level of epic saga.

Last week, Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet publicly challenged the Tribune Company's latest demands to cut the size of... More

The Restaurant Review, Baghdad-Style

Not every story filed from Iraq’s capital is full of blood and carnage — but even the most innocuous piece of reportage is incredibly dangerous and difficult to get.

Critics of the reporting coming out of Iraq have long shown themselves unafraid of shouting from the highest rooftops when... More

A Reporting Error Frozen in Time?

Writing about issues such as global warming is complicated, and too few reporters brush up on their science when doing so.

Science writers often face the same technical difficulty as foreign correspondents -- their sources speak a different language. In the... More

How Reliable Is the Zogby-Journal Poll?

How much weight should journalists give to the interactive poll as midterm elections approach?

This past week, two polls (one from Zogby, one from Rasmussen) found that the governor's race in Texas was closer... More

Bloggers Give Expert Legal Opinions on AP Photog Case

The AP argues for the release from custody of one of its own in Iraq, and bloggers get to the bottom of it.

This morning, the Associated Press reported on one of its own, photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been held in detention... More

Tamara Jones on One Extraordinary 9/11 Mother

The Washington Post feature writer discusses Marilynn Rosenthal, a sociologist who set out on a quest to understand the hijacker who killed her son.

Tamara Jones' story "Sons of the Mothers," an account of one woman's quest to understand the 9/11 hijacker who killed... More

The Sun-Times, and the Lure of Beans

“CVS spices up the drugstore,” the Chicago newspaper declared today.

CVS really knows how to sell its talking points. The drugstore chain, now expanding in the Windy City, gave a... More

New City, New Boss, a Sharper Atlantic

Over half a year into the tenure of James Bennet at the relocated magazine, we take a look at where the Atlantic stands — and like what we see.

In his very first communication to his staff, back in March of this year, James Bennet, the new editor of... More

Bloggers on Barnes on Bush on bin Laden

This morning the Weekly Standard editor suggested that catching Osama bin Laden is “no longer a top priority” of President Bush’s war on terror. Disbelief and dismay ensued.

This morning, during an appearance on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes suggested that, based on his recent meeting... More

Can the Press Find a Narrative Before the November Elections?

Instead of a single, overarching theme around which political reporters can structure their coverage, things seem to be more complicated this year.

Back in February, we tried to sniff out the first whiffs of a larger election-year narrative we suspected the national... More

The Economist Wants to Put Greenbacks Behind Green Industry

In presenting the story of global warming, the convention of providing journalistic “balance” runs up against its logical limit.

"The Heat is On," says The Economist. The warning is emblazoned on the magazine's Sept. 9 cover, over a photograph... More

Americans, Too Busy to Do Errands, Read About Them Instead

Recently it dawned on the Most Post that there are plenty of people out there who like to read about gofers — human gofers.

(An occasional look at the most popular, most blogged, and most emailed stories on the Web.) Recently it dawned on... More

Bloggers Air Out Air America’s Financial Troubles

With the liberal radio network in reportedly dire straits, bloggers are alternatively lamenting and celebrating.

In recent days, rumors have circulated throughout the media that the liberal radio network Air America is suffering from a... More

Reporters Jump on Reports from Reporters

The speculation surrounding Ford Motor Co. this week has been special, to say the least.

On USA Today's homepage this morning, a leading headline was "Speculation swirls around Ford." Simultaneously, the digital front of the... More

Los Angeles Times Refuses to Identify Already Identified Source

Today the paper succeeded at steering the issue of protecting one’s sources safely back into the realm of the absurd.

What lengths should reporters go to in order to protect the identity of their sources? Recently, with the threat of... More

Fluff is on the March

The New York Times dips its toes into the world of gossip again — while trying to pretend that it isn’t.

This week's issue of the New Yorker has a compelling (and very long) profile of ex-President Bill Clinton, written by... More

The Dogma Behind the Pay Wall

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman and David Brooks cherry pick statistics while reducing a complicated economic issue to platitudes and politicking.

Columnists Paul Krugman and David Brooks went head to head last week on the New York Times op-ed page, presenting... More

Press Considers ‘2nd Run’ for Gore — Er, ‘3rd’

The AP brings us a breakthrough report from Australia concerning the political future of a certain former vice president.

In February of this year we deigned to call the Associated Press the "official home of the 2008 election-related non-story,"... More

Path to 9/11: A Belch in the Nation’s Slow Digestion of a Day

With the end of the second episode of ABC’s 9/11 movie, it’s time to let the fiction begin its march into oblivion.

After considerable gnashing of teeth and tugging at beards, the long national nightmare is finally over. Sadly, we don't mean... More

Journalist Inspires DHS Investigation, ‘Spheric Outrage

Greg Palast’s announcement that he and a colleague are being investigated for film work near New Orleans has brought near-unanimous indignation from bloggers.

Yesterday, liberal journalist Greg Palast announced on his blog that he and fellow producer Matt Pascarella have become subject to... More

Chicago Bids Adieu to Dept. Stores, Uncritical Coverage Ensues

Once the nostalgia is dispensed with, out comes the picture of a bright future. But what are the Chicago papers not asking as two landmark stores close?

Chicago's nostalgic sentimentalists mustered one last, energetic protest on Saturday, but they failed to halt the inevitable. The city's famed... More

Has Killer Right Hand. Will Interview.

MSNBC goes for the lowest common denominator by repeatedly airing footage of a reporter being pummeled by the enraged subject of his story.

Since the advent of blogging, hardly a nanosecond passes these days without one reporter or another being savagely attacked by... More

Bloggers Express Guilt, Anxiety, Disgust Over 9/11 Replay

Bloggers are not too happy about CNN Pipeline’s all-day, real-time re-broadcast of 9/11/01 coverage today.

On the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., CNN Pipeline, the network's relatively... More

How Well Has the Press Covered Torture?

A Q&A with the author of a new CJR piece which looks at how the press has covered allegations of the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.

In the latest edition of CJR, Eric Umansky tackles the thorny issue of how the press has covered the slow-brewing... More

So, Who Else Is At Gitmo?

What about the 400 or so other prisoners who have been held at Guantanamo Bay now for up to five years?

Thanks to President Bush's announcement on Wednesday, we now know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and thirteen other serious terror suspects... More

Chandler Burr Brings a Point de Repère to Perfume Criticism

The New York Times’ new perfume critic explains what “smelling fresh insecticide while locked in an aluminum cell” might be like.

Reading Chandler Burr on perfume is like being trapped in a complex weather system, like looking down into a well... More

ABC Loves Tennis Star, ‘Marketing Engine’

In a hyperbolic feature, the network uses an awful lot of superlatives to describe the 19-year-old Russian who sets men’s eyes a-twittering across the globe.

"The Highest Paid Female Athlete On The Planet; Why Sharapova Is So Hot" blared an ABC News/ESPN Sports headline yesterday,... More

New One-Stop Stat Explains Everything

Soon the 300 millionth American will come kicking and screaming into this world. In a special report, BusinessWeek, like an anxious midwife, yanks the babe out early.

Sometime in the next few weeks, the 300 millionth American will come kicking and screaming into this world. BusinessWeek, like... More

Bloggers Mull Over Intriguing Episode From Anchor’s Past

Radar reveals a shadowy episode from Anderson Cooper’s college days — but despite his assurances that it wasn’t news, bloggers couldn’t quite let it go.

On Wednesday morning, Radar's newly revamped Web site broke an "exclusive" story revealing that CNN's Anderson Cooper had briefly interned... More

The Forgotten Story of Abu Zubaydah

Today’s coverage of the president’s speech about the interrogation of terrorists leaves out some choice bits of information.

One of the highlights of the president's speech yesterday about sending fourteen al Qaeda operatives to Guantanamo Bay was his... More

All You Need to Know About Splogs

Wired takes a much-needed, critical look at the blogosphere and its nonsensical, computer-generated sites known as “splogs.”

When reporters are asked to file perfunctory stories explaining the rapid expansion of the blogosphere, they often slip into a... More

What’s in a Name?

It’s time to rethink how reporters handle dubious claims by politicians — as the recent use of the term “Islamofascist” shows.

The recent resurgence of the term "Islamofascism" raises a key question: What should journalists do when sources -- especially those... More

The President of Iran, Bloggers, and Higher Education

Why are liberal bloggers comparing the president of Iran to American conservatives?

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had issued a statement urging students in Iran to purge... More

CBS Sanitizes Reality for the “Family”

In the never-ending fight by cultural critics over profanity on television, it’s Groundhog Day.

For the second time in three years, a major network looks like it might cave in to puritan activists who... More

Bloggers, Sock Puppets, and The New Republic

The magazine suspends an editor and shuts down his blog. Bloggers quickly fill the void.

On Friday, The New Republic suspended one of its editors, Lee Siegel, for posting comments on his TNR culture blog... More

Carl Hartman On One Long Career

In a belated nod to Labor Day, an interview with the AP’s longest-serving newsman.

Carl Hartman, 89, retired this summer after a 62-year career at the Associated Press that made him the AP's longest-serving... More

Fewer Beacons of Light in Akron

What is it like when a newsroom suddenly loses a quarter of its staff?

Mary Ethridge grew up with Knight Ridder, and with the Akron Beacon Journal, where her father was editor. Her brother... 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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