Watchdog Blog

Archive for February, 2007

Barry Sussman: Any More Walter Reeds Out There?

On the Veterans Administration Web site there’s a locator page for VA hospitals and outpatient clinics. I clicked on a few states; each had both hospitals and clinics. In Idaho, for example, there’s a VA medical center in Boise with what are referred to as 46 “authorized beds” and “an adjacent” nursing home with “an [...]

Morton Mintz: Eliminating Nuclear Weapons Should Be More Than a Back Burner Issue for The Press

“The goal of the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons has been essentially forgotten,” Mikhail Gorbachev wrote recently. “We must put the goal…back on the agenda, not in a distant future but as soon as possible.” But over the past 15 years, he pointed out in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Jan. 31, the [...]

Saul Friedman: Journalism at its Best

Where are those critics now, the right-wing know-nothings and the bloviating Bill Bennett who wanted to arrest the Washington Post’s Dana Priest for treason when she outed the CIA in November 2005 for hiding captives in “black sites”? She was a shill for the Democrats, one wingnut cried. Why are they not congratulating Priest and [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Obama in Orangeburg. Imagine that.

As you drive past the bowling alley, off in a corner of a slightly forlorn shopping center in Orangeburg, S.C., it’s hard to imagine the scene in February 1968. Thirty-nine years ago, what started as a protest of segregation ended with state troopers shooting into a crowd of black students at S.C. State, killing three [...]

Rose Rappoport Moss: Cut funding? Yes, for the White House

I grew up in South Africa and saw how the apartheid government consolidated power in the executive. When I became an American, impressed with the skill of the Founding Fathers in devising a system that would resist dictatorship, I came to admire the division of powers as one of our Constitution’s most brilliant insights. But [...]

Bob Giles: The Press Has Missed Out on Important Iranian Overtures

The news that North Korea has agreed to a grand bargain of dismantling its nuclear weapons program in exchange for new international relationships and fuel can be seen in stark contrast to the U.S. handling of the prospect of diplomatic engagement with Iran. So, too, does the news coverage offer a similar contrast. The press [...]

Dan Froomkin: Holding Bush to His Benchmarks

It was a rare White House moment: A senior administration official actually inviting the press corps to hold the White House accountable on its Iraq policy. Can we please take him up on it? At a White House press briefing on January 10 on Bush’s plan to send more troops into Iraq, one of the [...]

Saul Friedman: Bush’s Budget Further Privatizes Medicare but Reporters Don’t Even Ask About It

Here is one reason reporters too often don’t ask the right provocative questions of the president or his briefers: They bog themselves down in details and make it easy for the briefer to slip away, as Tony Snow did the other day when he was asked about proposed budget cuts for Medicare and Medicaid, on [...]

Morton Mintz: Why Not Ask Bush Some of These Questions?

Was it surprising to see a headline like this one in the Washington Post recently?: “Bush Addresses Income Inequality on Wall Street Executive Pay / Economic Speech Touches on Executive Pay as Senators Move to Rein It In”? Yes. Was it surprising that Bush did not address the subject in response to a reporter’s question? [...]

Saul Friedman: A Lesson from Al Jazeera?

I came across this lead from a recent online issue of the English version of Al Jazeera, the Arab-based news service. And I wondered whether there was a lesson there for the U.S. press, which pussyfoots around such juxtaposition, for fear that it’s unfair or too pointed. The lead went as follows: “George Bush, the [...]