Sunday, January 22, 2017. Last Update: Fri 2:51 PM EST

Monthly Archive

November 2007

CNN Needn’t Apologize

Kerr’s question was legitimate, not a partisan plant

The president of CNN could not have sounded more contrite. In today’s New York Times, Jon Klein lamented the small... More

Counterproductive Counterintuition

An ill-advised exercise in counterspin in the Times

The counterintuitive story is a staple of journalism, especially of the business press. When the news zigs, the counterintuitive story... More

Is Perry Bacon Serious?

Obama story has no place in the Washington Post

In The Washington Post this morning, reporter Perry Bacon Jr. wrote what may be the single worst campaign '08 piece... More

Where’s Education?

It’s always been a bridesmaid…last night, it got jilted

If presidential debates are glorified beauty pageants, education reform is their “world peace”—it’s something that everyone likes to talk about,... More

Obama’s NASA Plan Gets Little Play

Most reporters miss intersection of science, education in the campaign

With a few notable exceptions, journalists missed an opportunity to rip into a rare intersection of education and science on... More

Cowboys and Damsels

Susan Faludi oversimplifies post-9/11 America

Since September 12, 2001, the American media have churned out a remarkable body of work on our nation’s response to... More

The War that Keeps On Giving

On Fox News, at least

With the Thanksgiving Travel Delay Story come and gone - along with its sister story, the one that comes with... More

NYT Runs Out of Energy

Phones in an “issue” story

It looked promising, at first: a story on the front page of the The New York Times business section that... More

The Sun Explores Hillary’s Summer of Love

And by ‘love,’ they mean ‘communism’

It’s hard to know what accounts for the package of biographical analysis-meets-political play-booking the New York Sun published this week... More

Does the Press Get the Soldiers’ Story in Iraq?

A new PEJ survey (of reporters in Iraq) says yes

A new survey of twenty-nine Western news outlets with reporters working in Iraq found that over half of them have... More

Nightline Regresses

Replaces the war in Iraq with fluff

Great catch by MediaMatters' Eric Boehlert today. It seems that on Friday, the ABC news show's segment on the emergency... More

“Evangelicalese 101”

The green message is right, but what about the messengers?

Evangelicals are the swing voters to watch in 2008. At least, that's the impression one gets from the large number... More

Earnings: Eye of the Beholder?

Verizon coverage shows corporate earnings are still a trap for business reporters. The winner: IBD

After the tech crash earlier this decade, the business press took some well-justified lumps for accepting corporate spin instead of... More

Romney Talks Tough on Health Care

But what’s he really saying?

Mitt Romney is talking tough these days about health care and touts his Massachusetts plan as a national model. His... More

It’s Sunday, Do I Have to Meet the Press?

1995 called and it wants its Beltway bloviators back

"The race for the White House through the eyes of Carville, Matalin, Murphy and Shrum..." would have been more than... More

The New Health-Care Debate

1992 echoes loudly, but today’s story isn’t just back to the future

A 2005 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that twice as many people rely on the media for information... More

Halperin vs. Halperin’s political don pens a maddening mea culpa

Just when you thought it was safe to spread open The New York Times and eat a turkey and cranberry... More

The War Expert

Wrong, wrong, wrong again. But the media still want Ken Pollack

On July 30, as the debate over the Bush administration’s “surge” in Iraq was heating up, The New York Times... More

The Eichenwald Effect?

NYT strips away a bit more of the impartial-observer nonsense

An article in yesterday’s New York Times looked at the steady exodus of India’s villagers to the megalopolis of Mumbai.... More

Bored Reporters, Boring Coverage

WaPo merely stood out from the crowd on Sunday

Another weekend, another round of political horse-race coverage. The Washington Post, for one, had quite a weekend when it came... More

Debits and Credits

Business Week pushes parents’ anxiety buttons; Ruth Simon on subprime, etc.

In a special section called “The Cost of Kids,” tries to quantify the cost of bringing a baby to... More

Rudy’s Unhealthy Stats

Some good reporting holds Giuliani’s phony cancer numbers at bay

The coverage of Rudy Giuliani’s epidemiological error about his chances of surviving prostate cancer in England wasn't perfect, but it... More

Stilettos Are The Rage

For WSJ, L’Affaire Judith offers a glimpse of a creepy new home at News Corp.

Any Wall Street Journal reporter, editor—or reader—would do well to read the first 40 pages or so of Judith Regan’s... More

No Mo

Maureen Dowd is not necessary

Many reporters have already pondered the question: Is America ready for a female president? But let's not put the cart... More

Tower of Babble

A Times critic reviews the new Times Building for the Times. Cause for concern?

Nicolai Ouroussoff, The New York Times’s architecture critic, found himself in a tricky position recently: he had to review his... More

Hillary Plays the Game

There’s nothing wrong with her aggressive attitude towards the press

How’s this for an effective media strategy for a presidential candidate: “Aggressively stamp out any misstatement about HRC before it... More

Dateline Mogadishu

“The worse Mogadishu gets…the fewer journalists are willing to go.”

It's a conundrum for reporters and news consumers--the more dangerous a particular place gets, the fewer reporters are willing, or... More

FT Husked by ADM

Financial Times plays mouthpiece to corporate welfare queen

You may have noticed a lot of ethanol coverage in the press lately, much of it sparked by controversial biofuel-subsidy... More

Lewis and Snark

Lapham’s new journal: an embarrassment of riches…or just an embarrassment?

The first issue of Lapham’s Quarterly, Lewis Lapham’s new journal of history, features, on its back cover, a list of... More

Fusing Climate to the Campaign

First presidential forum on energy a sign of (slow) progress

Three presidential candidates gathered at a forum in Los Angeles on Saturday to talk specifically about global warming and energy... More

The Audacity

White House hopes, WaPo reports

Fewer than 365 days until the next presidential election. For candidates, it's go-time/ crunch-time/ choose-your-own-platitude-time. For a lame-duck president, lest... More

The Usual Suspects

Get this, Howard Wolfson thinks Hillary killed in the Vegas debate

On Saturday, The Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote a piece about the Democratic debate that took place in Las Vegas... More

Esquire vs. The Audit on Ground Zero Coverage

Raab, Longobardi trade shots on Silverstein, Rubenstein, the Port Authority and lack of progress

Editor's Note: In a recent two-part edition, The Audit roundly castigated the press for what we believe has been a... More

Sunday Round-up

It was horse-race coverage by a nose

Little has changed in the world of political reporting since Campaign Desk launched to cover the 2004 presidential election. From... More

Reading the Business Press

Wal-Mart, Health Insurance, Capitalistpig

We’re always happy to see the irrationality—and cruelty—of the U.S. insurance system placed before business press-readers and have argued for... More

Union Jack-knife

When it comes to ‘merit pay,’ candidates and reporters should cut to the chase

Joe Biden, in his role as self-appointed media critic for last night’s Democratic debate, apologized after answering a question about... More

Joe Biden, Media Critic

He skewered last night’s “debate.” Someone had to.

Wolf Blitzer said all the right things before last night’s presidential debate. ‘We're serious professional journalists and we have serious... More

Where is the Climate ‘Middle’?

Revkin’s new Dot Earth blog sparks healthy debate

In late October, The New York Times finally gave its climate reporter, Andrew Revkin, what he has wanted for some... More

Kos and Rove, Together at Last!

Newsweek couldn’t have been more predictable

As you've all probably heard by now, Newsweek has hired the liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas and former Bush adviser Karl... More

A Reality Check For FCC Debate

The sky won’t fall if the rules change, but to say it doesn’t matter is folly, too

Every time the FCC proposes new media ownership rules (as it did four years ago, and seven years before that)... More

MSM, Still Kicking

And it’s growing online

Boy, the New York Times' aborted TimesSelect experiment just keeps looking dumber and dumber. According to a post at,... More

Waterboarding is serious business…

Not a jokey metaphor

This week’s On The Media opened with an excellent segment on waterboarding. The debate over the term’s meaning became white-hot... More

Language Matters

Except, apparently, to some reporters

Both The New York Times and the Associated Press, in articles this morning that dealt with the war funding bill... More

Irony Watch

Why get paid when you can give it away for free?

This one is just too good to pass up. Last night, journalist Albert Kim posted a piece over at the... More

Zell If He Knows

Connie Bruck’s good piece on Zell doesn’t ask the key question: how to drive TribCo revenue?

Connie Bruck's excellent profile of Sam Zell in this week's New Yorker contains information that even close Zell-watchers did not... More

If You Build It…

The Journal-Constitution gambles on a digitally driven makeover

John C. Mellott, the affable publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is moving his forearm up and down like a lever.... More

Oh, (Big) Brother

China’s “fake reporters”: scourge or scapegoat?

If it looks like a reporter, and acts like a reporter…it might just be a criminal posing as a reporter... More

And They Call Fred Thompson Lazy?

Reporters don’t even raise their own eyebrows these days

Today, The New York Times’ Patrick Healy brings us a story about Something Bill Clinton Said and how it, like... More

ABC News, Vanity Fair in Afghanistan

Capturing a harrowing time and place

Lots of people--from citizens to soldiers to journalists to milbloggers--have been clamoring for months (or years), for reporters in Iraq... More

The Unvanquished

Marshall Frady and the dime-store rascals of southern politics

A few months before he died in a car accident, David Halberstam published a droll, melancholy homage to his colleague... More

CNN Plays Vegas

The Don King-ification of a Democratic Presidential Debate

A plea to campaign reporters: please resist the temptation to use Sin City-centric clich├ęs in your coverage of Thursday's Democratic... More

Vision Quest

KQED’s new science program offers a glimpse of the future

Josh Rosen, a producer with San Francisco public television’s Quest science program, likes to say that his job is to... More

Brain Drain

The NYT’s “political brain” graphics put mind over (gray) matter

Ever wondered how your inferior frontal cortex feels about Fred Thompson? Neither had I. Until yesterday, that is, when The... More

Failure to Report

Big news orgs are failing to cover the Iraqi tribal “awakening”

With American casualties continuing to fall in Iraq, and with Iraqi civilian deaths trending downward due in part to the... More

Martha Raddatz, Girl Reporter

A journo in a skirt, Kurtz exclaims!

C’mon Howie. Today, the Washington Post’s media columnist, Howard Kurtz, turns in 1000 words on Martha Raddatz, ABC’s laudable White... More

Reporting Iraq

A roundtable on the journalism of the war, featuring four professionals who covered it

Just after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, reporters could go almost anywhere and talk to almost anyone. Then, slowly,... More

The Tipping Point

Clinton, the media, and a mysterious $100 tip

Here’s a tip for politicians as they make their way through Iowa’s restaurants, diners, and coffee shops: leave one. On... More

Reading the Business Press

Sarkozy, Insurance, Weil on GM, etc.

If Nicolas Sarkozy speaks candidly to Congress about problems in the U.S. financial system, and the leading U.S. financial publication... More

To the Ramparts!

Study says stock prices rise and fall with protest coverage

Media coverage of protests against publicly traded corporations affects stock prices. The more coverage, the more the price declines. This... More

Pat Robertson Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Why does the press act like he does?

For at least the last ten years, Pat Robertson has been a confounding, mystifying, and troublesome public figure for journalists... More

Hell Hath No Fury

…like a political adviser scorned

In last week’s Democratic debate, Bill Richardson interrupted a bout of fighting among his fellow candidates: The important thing is... More

The Limits of Clear Language

Orwell worried about polluted language, but polluted information is more toxic

Can there be a political writer who has not fallen in love with George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the... More

Has The Mighty Fallen Yet?

Chris Matthews’ “Slick” Hillary Watch

Three Sundays ago, Chris Matthews, of NBC's The Chris Matthews Show, asked one of his journalist/panelists the following: When does... More

Climate Consensus: Bravery or Blunder?

WaPo raises possibility that anti-warming platforms might not win

In early October, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama unveiled their campaign platforms on energy and the environment. John Edwards hasn't... More

To Bomb or Not to Bomb?

A weak poll gets significant airing

A recent Zogby poll has lit up the blogosphere for several days now with its claim that a majority of... More

The Weed Ain’t the Half of It

Devil is in the details of WSJ’s James Cayne story

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal’s Kate Kelly last week produced an exceptional page-one story, known in... More

Bush Jr. Gives $2K To Mitt?

Political news you can use

In the pantheon of things that American news consumers probably shouldn't care about, the political donations of the Bush cousins,... More

The “Sanctuary City” Scam

Policing the immigration debate

In late August, Representative Tom Tancredo, a no-chance GOP presidential candidate, stood behind a podium on the steps of the... More

Being Michael Bloomberg

Newsweek knows the mayor better than he knows himself

Newsweek's Jon Meacham stretched New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg out on the couch for a lengthy profile for this... More

Citigroup Coverage: Too Clever by Half

The business press is too smart for our own good on a CEO’s exit

Um, the business-press is talking to itself again. Coverage of this morning’s forced resignation of Charles Prince, Citigroup’s chairman and... More

Musharraf’s Monster

In Pakistan, independent TV is young, powerful, and biting the hand that fed it

One evening last June, during an oppressively hot summer in Islamabad, I attended a protest organized by Pakistani television journalists.... More

Bloomberg Overshadows Edwards

Mayor’s proposal to tax carbon gets top coverage

John Edwards spun through New Orleans like a, well, not like a hurricane. On Saturday he blew in and out... More

Kurtz Goes to the Well

Plugs his book in his column, again

In his Washington Post media column this morning, Howard Kurtz tackles the great go-to topic for media critics with nothing... More

Where We Going?

The business press doesn’t know either

The Grand Old Duke of York. He had ten thousand men. He marched them up the hill. Then he marched... More

Happy Birthday, Atlantic

And many more…

First issued on November 1, 1857, The Atlantic Monthly is in the midst of its 150th birthday celebration. To mark... More

Those Complicated California Wildfires

Journalists, scientists analyze carbon emissions

It's almost inevitable these days: from hurricanes, to drought, to wildfires, people want to know (and journalists can't help asking)... More

The Rhetoric Beat

Why journalism needs one

There was a series of moments, during the first twenty-four hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when the... More

The Larry Silverstein Story, Continued….

Esquire joins the Financial Times in fantasyland

Second of two articles Coverage of Larry Silverstein is the object of much consternation here at The Audit. Why do... More

Hamas’s Musical Weapon

A one, and a two, and…

Journalists take note: sometimes it takes a sense of humor as dark as only the British can muster to break... More

Start Spreading the News…

Obama’s years in New York City? Fuggedaboutem

Among their many reputations, New Yorkers are known for being almost parentally protective of their city. If you’re lucky enough... More

‘Twas Ever Thus

A caveat: “Thusly” can be used in a humorous context, but if you do it, put up a sign. Otherwise,... 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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