Watchdog Blog

Archive for September, 2007

Mary C. Curtis: No-shows, No Surprise

Now, was that so bad? When six Republican candidates for president showed up last night for a forum at Morgan State University in Baltimore, my hometown, people in the audience all acted like they had some sense. The panel – Pulitzer Prize winner Cynthia Tucker, PBS’s Ray Suarez and Juan Williams, an NPR and Fox [...]

Bob Garfield: Imagine That—Another MacArthur Award for Me

Wow. You just never expect this. You never expect to pick up the phone to discover you’ve won a MacArthur Fellows program “genius” grant. But sure enough, this morning my cell rings and a voice informs me that my (admittedly esoteric) research in applying nanotechnology to Pez dispensers has been recognized to the tune of [...]

Saul Friedman: How The Truth May be Told by the MSM

Two of my Nieman classmates (1962-3), the late curmudgeon Pat Owens, and Dan Berger, who retired from the Baltimore Evening Sun, were editorial writers and they despaired at the use of the cop-out cliches of their business: “On the other hand…,” “It Remains to be seen…” and Dan’s favorite, “It bears watching.” The words may [...]

Herb Strentz: A Warning Label for Press Reports

If you’re into warning or product labels, what cautionary note should a newspaper or news broadcast provide to the reader or audience? Perhaps something like Caveat Lector or Caveat Celebratio, advising the reader or the audience to beware of what’s being reported. When I first considered this question several years ago, the result was a [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Defense Department? Hah!

The nation’s early leaders believed in calling a spade a spade, so when they needed to name the agency of government charged with fighting the new nation’s battles they called it simply the War Department. The name survived from 1789 to 1947 when “defense” entered the picture with a cabinet-level “Secretary of Defense.” Two years [...]

Herb Strentz: Iowa GOP Was the Real Straw Poll Winner

In the Iowa straw poll for Republican presidential candidates, critics routinely point out that votes are bought. The fundraiser for the state Republican party masquerades as an election, they say. But there’s another story to be told, another shoe to drop. This year, the campaign of Mitt Romney spent enough money – at $35 a [...]