Watchdog Blog

Archive for July, 2007

Cornelia Carrier: Measuring My Carbon Footprint

“Measure your impact on climate change” read the subject line of the e-mail sent to me by The Nature Conservancy on April 30th. It sat there in my inbox unopened until last week, because I dreaded thinking about my own contribution. It is so easy to be against global warming, but what sacrifices are you [...]

Saul Friedman: On Presidential Colonoscopies and Emergency Rooms

Despite the inevitable scatological humor and what some of the public might think, White House reporters and the rest of us wished President Bush well when he underwent an unpleasant but necessary colonoscopy at Camp David. And we’re glad it did turn out well. But I don’t think it would have been in bad taste [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Debating the God equation

The 2008 presidential election is a long way off, the primary season is barely in sight, yet the religious ritual has already taken hold. There’s been so much God talk lately, it’s become meaningless. God is not a candidate or a campaign manager. Yet, it’s expected and accepted for candidates to declare their faith views. [...]

Saul Friedman: Barbara Jordan’s Lesson on Impeachment

I was there that long, warm evening of July 25, 1974, in the packed hearing room of the House Judiciary Committee, when it considered articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon. I’m reminded of it often these days when I hear appeals for the impeachment of George W. Bush or Dick Cheney, or both. [...]

Morton Mintz: Warm to Frosty

I love “Oklahoma!” but have no ties to Oklahoma. I have no relatives there, no friends, no special interest. In 1986, yes, I did have what could be called a connection. I went to Oklahoma City, for the Washington Post, to cover a failed lawsuit brought by the mother of a man who had begun [...]

Mary C. Curtis: When Writing About Race and Obama

He stares out from Newsweek magazine. Yes, Barack Obama is everywhere. And the headline, “Black & White,” goes to the heart of what people try to avoid but can’t seem to escape when talking about him: race. That’s understandable in a country that’s been struggling to reconcile ideals with action for most of its existence. [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Majority Rule? Not in the Senate.

Americans like to believe that the majority rules in this country. They are mistaken. The truth is that nothing of substance can be enacted by Congress without a super-majority in the Senate. So routine is it for the minority to rule that the New York Times reported matter-of-factly, buried far down in a story the [...]

Bob Giles: Honoring the Best for Fairness in Reporting

Amid concern about the credibility of the press and the future of the printed newspaper, fairness continues to resonate as an important journalistic value. The Nieman Foundation recently recognized three newspapers for “exemplary examples of fairness.” Each of the entries presented stories that dealt with different dimensions of fairness. Together, they demonstrate the complexity of [...]

Saul Friedman: A Question of Ideology Versus the Health of Children

It’s a good bet that no one among the White House press will ask the press secretary or the president about such a mundane subject as children’s health. And, indeed, no one has. Presumably that’s because they’re busy asking searching questions about other issues, or perhaps it’s because their own children have no problems getting [...]

Cornelia Carrier: Coming Face to Face With the War

I have looked at the face of every service person killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. How? I watch PBS’s NewsHour every night and tape it when I am out. The NewsHour is the only TV news program that shows pictures of each of the service personnel killed in Iraq. I have learned to tell immediately [...]