Author Archive

Articles by Bryan Keefer | Email the Author


  1. Behind the News

    I’ll See Your 8.2, and Raise You 0.5

    March 29, 2005 04:53 PM

    Check your local newspaper today, and the lead story is likely the magnitude 8.7 earthquake that occurred yesterday off the coast of Indonesia. Or was that 8.2? Or 8.5, maybe? And what's the difference, anyway? ... Continue reading

  2. Behind the News

    Further Crimes Against Humanity

    March 9, 2005 05:28 PM

    Television isn't the medium we usually turn to for in-depth coverage, so when we flip on one of the cable networks, our expectations are appropriately low. On rare occasions, however, there is TV news so witheringly bad, so... Continue reading

  3. Behind the News

    When Eight Isn’t Enough

    March 4, 2005 12:52 PM

    In his online column today, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz analyzes why President Bush's Social Security plan hasn't steamrolled through Washington the way his tax cut proposals and his push for war in Iraq did. Kurtz gives... Continue reading

  4. Behind the News

    The Dog Days of Winter

    February 16, 2005 02:29 PM

    Normally, we'd leave coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to, well, the dogs. But given that the winning pooch, a German shorthaired pointer named Carlee, has become both "America's dog" (as television commentators reminded us repeatedly last... Continue reading

  5. Politics

    Someone’s Overreaching, but it’s Not the President

    January 24, 2005 01:42 PM

    It's still early in the first lap, but we think we've found the frontrunner in the race for the Most Unsupported Lede of 2005. Today Adam Nagourney and Richard Stevenson of the New York Times bring us this doozy:... Continue reading

  6. Behind the News

    CJR Daily Uncovers Massive Bias at New York Times!

    January 21, 2005 02:58 PM

    We don't usually rely on the New York Times for our sports news -- for that we just cast freebie glances at the back page of the New York Post on the subway. But this week it's been almost impossible... Continue reading

  7. Behind the News

    Inviting Outsiders to “Take Their Best Shot”

    January 17, 2005 03:46 PM

    On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times ran the first installment of what it labeled "[a]n experimental column in which [the paper] invites outside critics to take their best shot at Southern California's heaviest newspaper." What's notable isn't that a major... Continue reading

  8. Blog Report

    Whitewashes, Greywashes and Makeovers

    January 12, 2005 12:05 PM

    Everyone seems to be getting a makeover these days, from Laura Bush to the Apple Macintosh. Matthew Yglesias' blog has gotten a facelift; it now features a 1988 satellite photo of the National Mall (though we'll miss... Continue reading

  9. Behind the News

    Spectacle Yes; Entertainment, No

    January 11, 2005 05:09 PM

    Does the independent panel's investigation into journalistic sins at CBS belong alongside such fare as an article on "Desperate Housewives" in your local newspaper or Web site? Evidently some cynic at the Associated Press thinks so. In a bit of... Continue reading

  10. Behind the News

    All the News That’s Fit to Spin

    January 10, 2005 05:20 PM

    It's been little noted so far, but one of the most damning aspects of the Thornburgh/Boccardi Panel report about CBS's September 8, 2004 segment on President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service is its description of the way the... Continue reading

  11. Behind the News

    Time to Stop Playing Ball

    January 7, 2005 05:16 PM

    We spilled quite a bit of virtual ink last year over how news organizations promote their own political polls and call it journalism. There's another polling issue in the news lately that has fewer implications for federal policy, but still... Continue reading

  12. Politics

    In What Way Can We Screw Up the Social Security Story Today?

    January 5, 2005 05:22 PM

    Today's crop of Social Security stories features a couple of what are quickly becoming the Seven (or Eight, or Nine) Deadly Sins of Social Security Reporting. In an Associated Press story today headlined "Bush Eyes Plan Using Bulk of... Continue reading

  13. Behind the News

    To Link or Not to Link

    December 23, 2004 04:57 PM

    CJR Daily can count on one hand the number of times that we have seen a newspaper, in an online version of a story, provide an Internet link to a story in another outlet. So it was with some fascination... Continue reading

  14. Politics

    Christmas Greetings with a Bite

    December 16, 2004 02:54 PM

    Yesterday, with fanfare including a report on CBS's "The Early Show," the White House released its annual Christmas film (streaming Real Video) starring Barney, the president's Scottish terrier. This year, the plot revolves around a mystery: Barney is supposed... Continue reading

  15. Behind the News

    The Beast Must Be Fed

    December 13, 2004 04:36 PM

    With newsgathering budgets well below what they need to bring original content to viewers 24 hours a day, cable news networks have become media vampires, feeding on the work of others in order to keep blood pumping through their own... Continue reading

  16. Behind the News

    We Call It “Journalism”

    December 10, 2004 05:22 PM

    Was it "ethical" for Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Lee Pitts to coax a soldier in Iraq to ask Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why soldiers "had to dig through landfills to find scrap metal" to armor their vehicles before heading... Continue reading

  17. Behind the News

    “20/20” Gives the Michael Jackson Treatment to Real News

    December 6, 2004 05:40 PM

    The matter of steroids in sports may not strike some readers as the most pressing issue of the day. At first whiff, it seems something of a journalistic sideshow, a made-for-television scandal more in the mode of the Scott Peterson... Continue reading

  18. Behind the News

    Sometimes the Obvious Is in Front of Your Face

    December 5, 2004 01:48 PM

    Why is Dan Rather stepping down? Since Rather announced he would be retiring next March after 24 years at the head of CBS's evening newscast, the primary motivation ascribed to him by a scandal-happy press is that alert bloggers... Continue reading

  19. Politics

    Where’s the Beef?

    November 30, 2004 02:13 PM

    Perhaps the White House press corps is beginning to treat press briefings as the non-reality-based affairs that they are. Or perhaps they're just throwing in the towel on the prospect of bringing readers any more than the latest White House... Continue reading

  20. Politics

    100 Percent Off at Associated Press

    November 11, 2004 10:17 AM

    When is one percent not one percent? When it's one percentage point. In an article yesterday, the Associated Press' Leigh Strope makes an elementary -- but critical -- mistake. Writing about prospects for partially privatizing Social Security, which President... Continue reading

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