Watchdog Blog

Archive for February, 2008

Carolyn Lewis: Your Money or Your Sanity: CNN’s Answer to Hard Times

Since the economy is the number one issue on everybody’s mind, I thought I’d take a look at an hour-long program called “Your Money” that CNN runs on Saturdays and repeats on Sundays. I was wondering how helpful the program might be to viewers plagued by mundane financial troubles like the threat of mortgage foreclosures, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Why Didn’t McCain Talk to the Times?

The New York Times has taken a lot of guff for its Feb. 21 story about Senator John McCain and a female lobbyist, Vicki Iseman; even the paper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt, chided it: “…if a paper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair…it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to [...]

Myra MacPherson: Lobby Hottie — What if Vicky had been Victor?

Just suppose the lobbyist who buddied up to John McCain eight years ago and bragged about having an inside track with the senator happened to be a fat, balding, cigar-chomping dispenser of money and seats on the corporate jet—name of Victor, not Vicki. Would The New York Times have focused so strongly on what two [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Illiterate Journalism at the Grassroots

If you want to take an accurate temperature of the state of journalism, it might be helpful to focus not on the major national publications, but rather on some smaller papers that serve local communities. Here you can find bald examples of what generally ails the news business. First, illiteracy. “The Delaware Wave” is one [...]

Myra MacPherson: Molly Ivins, Elvis and Obama

In December 2006, the ever-prescient columnist and best-selling author Molly Ivins was asked whether or not Barack Obama should run for president. Her answer: “Yes, he should run. He’s the only Democrat with any ‘Elvis’ to him.” The month before, I was sitting with Molly in the Texas State Capitol listening to Obama address an [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: First the News, then the Message

News organizations are so busy giving their own take on the presidential nominating contests they apparently can’t be bothered to let readers in on the facts they need to draw their own conclusions. Take the recent voting in Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Washington state. Reading the accounts online in the Washington Post and both online [...]

Myra MacPherson: Reefer Madness and Hypocrisy

Google Obama and drugs and you will find more than half a million references — and now comes the New York Times on Saturday with what will certainly not be the last mention of Barrack Obama’s admitted teenage dabbling with marijuana and. although more nebulous, possible cocaine use. A Clinton aide has made much out [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Unsticking the Labels

Carolyn Lewis joins the Watchdog Bloggers today. I love it when conventional wisdom flies out the window, don’t you? I love it when the experts are confounded, especially when it’s ordinary folks like voters who are doing the confounding. What I have been searching for in the wake of Super Tuesday is a sign that [...]

Myra MacPherson: A Lot of Sound and Hurry, Signifying What?

Veteran political reporter Myra MacPherson joins the Watchdog Bloggers, and shares her impressions of election coverage in the electronic age. The absurdity that accompanies the lightning speed of today’s instant election results reached a crescendo in the cable TV theatrics of Super Tuesday. Pie charts, whirling circles and statistics whisked on and off the screen [...]

Saul Friedman: Any Pundit Jobs Available?

For this election season, I would like to be a television pundit, commentator, consultant or whatever title seems appropriate (and pays well). I have the credentials: I do not have a steady day job. I have not covered or been involved in politics in a generation. I am white, generally liberal, and Jewish. I can [...]