Watchdog Blog

Archive for March, 2007

Rose Rappoport Moss: The Press Needs to Keep Its Eye on the Ball

For the moment, the press seems to be doing a good job covering and maybe even enjoying the multiple troubles besetting the President – Libby, Walter Reed, Gonzales, one after another. This is fun I would not like to forego. But, I suspect, the President will not change course. Being gloated over may only make [...]

Mary C. Curtis: A Private Moment, Made Public

It was one of those extraordinary moments we’ve come to expect. Public figures play out private dramas in front of cameras and microphones. Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer has returned. The breast cancer she discovered in 2004 has recurred, this time in her bones. She faces a lifetime of treatment as she fights the disease. John Edwards [...]

Barry Sussman: Yes, The Pen Can Be Mightier

Individual words and phrases are determining public policy and life or death in America. This is both weird and terrifying and something for the press to take note of and deal with. I have in mind one word and one phrase. The word is “makaka” and the phrase is “the war on terror.” Saying “makaka” [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Congress Should Repeal the Iraq War Resolution

In 1964 Congress made the terrible mistake of approving the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing then-President Lyndon Johnson to take “all necessary steps” to prevent aggression in Southeast Asia. Given the green light by the resolution to escalate the war in Vietnam, Johnson did it with a vengeance. Tens of thousands of deaths later, in [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The New American Philosophy: Whatever It Takes

Growing up, my contemporaries and I had dinned into us the belief that ends do not justify the means. The principle seemed to us as ingrained and natural as breathing. Not so nowadays, where the precept seems to have been turned on its head. Does a law stand in the way of achieving an objective? [...]

Saul Friedman: Why Won’t Big Papers Follow Up on Someone Else’s Scoop?

Too many of us in journalism are still stuck in that stupid old rut: We won’t follow up on a good story broken by someone else, as if the reader cares who got it first. We are reluctant to acknowledge someone else’s scoop. And that’s especially true if the news was broken first in a [...]

Dan Froomkin: Fitzgerald on Forcing Reporters to Testify

Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has been widely reviled by a fair number of First-Amendment activists for dragging reporters into court to make his case against former vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby. Fitzgerald’s approach has been described by some of his critics as encouraging a full-bore government assault on reporters and their ability [...]

Saul Friedman: Is the Nuclear Option on the Table?

As far as I can tell, President Bush first pronounced it as American policy on August 12, 2005, when he replied to an Israeli television interviewer who asked what the president would do if diplomacy didn’t turn Iran away from its nuclear ambitions. “Well, all options are on the table,” Bush said. “Including the use [...]