The MSM: Where Bad Reporting - and Cuteness! - Abound

In honor of our newest section, The Audit, we'll kick off today's Blog Report with a look at a couple of bloggers' beefs with business reporting.

In honor of our newest section, The Audit, we’ll kick off today’s Blog Report with a look at a couple of bloggers’ beefs with business reporting.

Multi-tasking, Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush uses an Associated Press report that new home sales reached an all-time high in October to simultaneously swipe at the “Donks” and the MSM. Calling the AP report “bad news… for our Democratic friends,” Noonan concludes that Democrats’ “badmouthing of the economy isn’t, well, working.” Of the AP piece itself Noonan writes: “Of course, it is an MSM report so they have to put something negative in it — in this case, an assertion that this is just the crest before the collapse … each new bit of good economic news is couched in a ‘but we’re all gonna die next month/quarter/year’ form of reporting.”

Also guilty of Chicken Little-type reporting today — according to The Corner’s Jonah Goldberg — is New York Times business reporter Vikas Bijaj. Goldberg’s synopsis of Bijaj’s piece? “The New York Times says the booming economy is cause for concern,” which Goldberg considers “classic.”

It’s the Timespolitical coverage today that has Susie Madrak up in arms. To Madrak’s mind, reporters John M. Broder and Carl Hulse are “protecting” Republicans by penning the following phrase in their piece today: “… charges of ethical and legal violations by members of Congress.” (Emphasis ours.) Scolds Madrak: “Oh, come on, New York Times. Why not call a spade a spade? This is a Republican corruption problem. The Democrats, after all, have no influence left to peddle.”

Josh Marshall picks on a different Broder and Hulse sentence, specifically: “Though some Republican officials said Democrats in Congress were equally guilty of questionable behavior… they acknowledged that Republicans, because they control the White House and Congress, are being held to a higher standard by many voters.” Muses Marshall: “[T]his isn’t a matter of holding anyone to a higher standard, something the Times must know. It’s simply that the vast majority of the public corruption in Washington is being done by Republicans. Full stop. End of story.” Or it would be the “end of story” if, Marshall contends, “Republican media types” weren’t “lean[ing] … on reporters to push the bipartisan corruption line, even though the simple facts of the case simply give no basis for it whatsoever … And lots of reporters, not wanting trouble, are doing their best to comply.” Marshall’s solution? To form a “Nice Try Brigade,” urging readers to “find us the best quotes you can of reporters, pundits, commentators and whoever else trying to minimize the undeniable partisan dimension to the multiple and overlapping scandals breaking out all over Washington, DC” and promising to post a top ten list.

And finally, for a little levity, let’s turn to The Anderson Cooper Corner, an Anderson Cooper fan blog (but only because iluvabbitatton hasn’t been updated in months). Of Cooper’s performance on CNN last night blogger Lisa reports: “We got to see all sides of Anderson tonight … Serious, funny, pissed off and mellow.” Moreover, Lisa is “very proud of Anderson and CNN for not letting the [Katrina] story die, for continuing to show what is happening there and for continuing to be outraged!” And while Cooper’s reporting on Darfur made Lisa “sick” and made her “wonder why this place isn’t important but Iraq is?” on the upside, “cuteness abounded tonight too!”

Which must leave the suits at CNN feeling vindicated. You think “cuteness” ever “abounded” on Aaron Brown’s watch?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.