Watchdog Blog

Archive for April, 2008

Morton Mintz: Elizabeth Edwards Berates the Press; Barack Obama Goes on Fox News

On the same Sunday morning that a former Democratic presidential candidate’s spouse ripped into the press for failing the democracy that depends on it, a Democratic presidential candidate blew the opportunity to rip into a prime example of that failure. “For the last month, news media attention was focused on Pennsylvania and its Democratic primary,” [...]

Mary C. Curtis: The Measure of a Patriot

In the much-criticized Pennsylvania debate, a voter challenged Barack Obama in a videotaped comment: “I want to know if you believe in the American flag.” He doesn’t wear a flag pin, you know. His former minister takes America to task for its racist past. His wife says she’s never been so proud of America. They [...]

Carolyn Lewis: At ABC, No Remorse: Only More of the Same

Considering that he was widely lambasted for his performance as a moderator at the most recent Democratic candidates debate, George Stephanopoulos might have expected to be taken to task at his Sunday talk show. Instead his three colleagues—George Will, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts—closed the circle around him and let him off the hook. As [...]

Saul Friedman: Partisan Politics and TV Pundits

Where is Larry Spivak now that we need him? Alas, Lawrence E. Spivak, creator and founder of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and its best panelist, died in 1994 at the age of 93. As The New York Times said, Spivak was one of the first broadcasters to use panels of reporters (imagine!) to interview national [...]

Carolyn Lewis: What Manner of Man is Barack Obama?

Watching the candidates for the Democratic nomination at their debate the other night, I caught myself lapsing into the old adversarial journalistic habit of mind. When the ABC interlocutors jabbed at Obama and Senator Clinton then unsheathed her shiv, I wanted Obama to return the favor. He mentioned Clinton’s much-criticized 1992 remark that she preferred [...]

Saul Friedman: Anyone Remember Glass-Steagall?

Here is one difference between the generations of reporters. The older generation was (and is) skeptical of big business and trusted government more to provide protection from the cold blasts of laissez faire. The younger, Dow generation, while cynical of government and almost everything else, believed that stocks and property values will always go up. [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner–Recognizing Excellence

This first appeared in the Spring 2008 edition of Nieman Reports. Investigative reporting has always been central to the Nieman experience. Journalists specializing in investigative work continue to populate Nieman classes. Speakers address the topic at seminars and workshops. The Nieman Watchdog project offers a platform to reinforce an essential element of watchdog reporting: asking [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Woman to Woman: an Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Senator Clinton, I guess it’s natural for you to expect that women will support you out of loyalty to our gender and because we have long harbored the dream of seeing a woman president. If so, I assure you that you’re mistaken. Like other voters, we are inclined to choose a candidate we perceive [...]

Myra MacPherson: The Campaign on a Monday in the Paper of Record

While a rather ordinary day for campaign coverage, yesterday was a good one in which to examine the New York Times. Once one got over the whopper of a front page headline typo in some editions—“When Foreigners by (should be “buy”) the Factory”—there was an arresting lead story that shouted: “Top Clinton Aide Leaving His [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Bill Richardson and the Limits of Loyalty

Bill Clinton and some others seem to think that because he gave Bill Richardson a couple of jobs in his administration, the New Mexico governor now owes lifetime fealty to the Clintons. Clinton supporter James Carville labeled Richardson “Judas” when the governor announced his endorsement of Barack Obama. It’s as though, once attached in some [...]