Watchdog Blog

Archive for June, 2008

Herb Strentz: Chris Matthews and CBS Made Me Run, Screaming

Here are four lunacies the news media tried to foist off on me recently, four of many, I fear. 1. A local television station was bursting with pride because one of its employees had donated 77 gallons of blood last year to the Blood Center of Iowa. In addition to the breathless on-air report, the [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Truth, Lies and Politics

The election may depend upon it: How to instruct the average American voter to discern the difference between a poisonous lie and a truth based on evidence. A fine June 30 Washington Post story written by Eli Saslow vividly and painfully illustrates the point. The writer tells the tale of Jim Peterman, a 74-year-old retiree [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Answering for War Crimes

If you go to Page 17 of the national edition of the June 25 New York Times, stop at a story headed “Bipartisan Group to Speak Out on Detainees,” then scroll down to the ninth paragraph, you will find the following statement by retired Major General Antonio Taguba: “There is no longer any doubt as [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Too Much Tim

Out of a decent respect for the memory of Tim Russert, I have held back from commenting on how most of the leading television organizations – CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC – handled the news of his untimely death. Certainly it was appropriate to announce his passing and to add brief encomiums about a fellow [...]

Myra MacPherson: It’s Not Too Late to Enlist, William Kristol

While he may possibly have flat feet and at 55 is probably a bit long in the tooth for battle, gung ho neocon William Kristol still could join the “all volunteer” army if he wanted to serve in some capacity. After all, this is a war that he and other neocons have championed– for someone [...]

Saul Friedman: Stories That Go Nowhere Because They’re Ignored

I know, it’s a rule of the mainstream press. If the issue is not going anywhere, it’s not worth much of a story. Of course, if it’s not given much of a story, it’s not going anywhere. It’s like that old conundrum about the tree falling in the forest. Here are a couple of trees. [...]

George Lardner Jr.: Why Don’t We Know More About What Killed Tim Russert?

Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve got some plaque in my arteries, too, but Tim Russert’s tragic and untimely death at age 58 raises some unsettling questions that it seems to me the media should be exploring. The first is: Why should we have any confidence in our health care system? Isn’t it time [...]

Bob Garfield: What Listeners Should Be Wary Of

This week, like most weeks, “On the Media” got letters accusing us of bias against the Bush Administration. And, as also often enough takes place, the accusation triggered some heated exchanges on our Web site’s comments section. Usually, I don’t intervene, but this time I weighed in, too – responding most especially to the charge [...]

Dan Froomkin: Three Questions About Torture, Asked and Answered

At Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing — entitled “Coercive Interrogation Techniques: Do They Work, Are They Reliable, and What Did the FBI Know About Them?” — former FBI interrogator John E. Cloonan raised some important questions — questions the press should be asking, as well as the senators. From his opening comments: There are 3 [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Sam Zell’s goofy plan for his papers

When a couple of colleagues and I wrote a book several years ago about the mistake newspaper companies made when they sold stock to the public and listed it on stock exchanges (Taking Stock: Journalism and the Publicly Traded Newspaper Company; Iowa State University Press), we pointedly did not recommend that the companies rectify the [...]