Watchdog Blog

Archive for October, 2007

Mary C. Curtis: The Usual Suspects

So I’ve heard Al Sharpton answering Meredith Vieira’s questions on the “Today” show and Michael Eric Dyson sparring with Pat Buchanan on “Hardball.” They were all discussing whether Don Imus deserves another on-air chance after his insult of the Rutgers women’s basketball team. I have nothing against Sharpton, Vieira, Dyson or Buchanan. Well, maybe a [...]

Barry Sussman: The Dumbing-Down of a Presidential Candidate Debate

Fox News and the Republican Party of Florida were the sponsors of a 90-minute Republican presidential candidate debate in Orlando last Sunday. The Fox interviewers, Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, Wendell Goler and Carl Cameron, asked more than 40 questions. I missed the debate on TV but looked over the transcript. I was hoping to see [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques for Questioning Bush

After the Bush administration denied that it manhandles prisoners, it was revealed that it does. Since turnabout is fair play, it would be appropriate for the White House press corps to try its hand at enhanced interrogation techniques to pry information out of its high-value source, George W. Bush. No rough stuff, of course, no [...]

Herb Strentz: Pearls of Wisdom from the Comics and The New York Times

If you’re concerned about the state of journalism these days – and thereby also concerned about the state of the nation – you have to visit, or revisit, two recent delightful commentaries on press performance. “Commentaries on press performance” may reflect more my perceptions than what the authors intended, but judge for yourself. The material [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Greenspan’s ‘War About Oil’ Comment Deserves a Longer Look

Alan Greenspan surprised a lot of people when he wrote in his recently-published book that “the Iraq war is largely about oil.” A surprise because candor in high places on that subject usually is in short supply. Weapons of mass destruction? Of course. Regime change? Sure. Spread democracy? Ditto. Oil? Never or almost never by [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: When Circulation Drops, Do Some Owners Say, “Heh-Heh?”

Talk about stale news! The substance of the story on the Oct.1 front page of the New York Times business section about shunning unwanted readers, “Why Big Newspapers Applaud Some Declines in Circulation,” has been kicking around, in one form or another, for years. Taking Stock: Journalism and the Publicly Traded Newspaper Company, the book [...]

Saul Friedman: On Social Security–Just the Facts Please

Reporters and editors who are about to cover the 2008 presidential and congressional campaigns will almost certainly have to deal with the issue of Social Security, which won’t go away. But they’ll do it badly, unless they get a few facts straight. Here is an example of what I mean. On, which is supposed [...]