Watchdog Blog

Archive for January, 2009

Barry Sussman: Will the New GOP Chairman Come Down Hard on Voter Fraud?

Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee Jan. 30. He won on the sixth ballot in voting that a Washington Post writer said “displayed a level of drama rarely seen in national politics.” A question reporters might ask Steele is how he feels about a plank in [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: When the Press Averted Its Eyes from Torture

Where was the outrage over the brutalizing of Mohammed al Qahtani? Time reported the abusive treatment of the reputed “twentieth hijacker” in its June 12, 2005 issue. The magazine somehow had obtained the classified logs of the Guantanamo detainee’s 50-day interrogation ordeal, and it described the log’s contents in detail — the protracted questioning of [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Times-Post Neocon Ping Pong

Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post editorial page, is making a big mistake. He’s hiring Willliam Kristol, who has just “by mutual agreement” parted from The New York Times, to write for the Post. The goal, according to Hiatt, is for the page to deliver “a diverse range of opinions,” a perfectly proper intention. [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Fear Mongers on the Editorial Page

Barely two days after Barack Obama is sworn in as President, the naysayers are turning out in force. Two of the angriest have landed on the Op-Ed page of The Washington Post. Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich is deeply disturbed by Obama’s suggestion that “The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” [...]

Herb Strentz: I’ll Take the $4 Coat, and I’ll Wait and See about FOIA

Joan went shopping today; picked up what is called a “beach coverup,” something to toss on over a swimsuit. The “COMPARE AT” information on the price tag lists the garment’s value at $168. “OUR PRICE,” says Stein Mart, is $59.99. Joan paid $3.96! I look at the price tag, on my desk as I write [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Starting to Make His Own History

They walked along Pennsylvania Avenue and the crowd roared. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama looked relaxed and not the least bit cold and – just like that – it was real. Men jumped on other men’s shoulders to get a better look, parents held children high in the air and throngs of [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Washington Is in a Partying Mood

Each night leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama brings more celebrations, more of that particular mix of celebrities, politicians and media folk. Sunday night, the Root inaugural ball also added history. At the party at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, you could see film director John Singleton ducking into a [...]

Mary C. Curtis: A Whistle Stop in Charm City

What a homecoming! The Obamas and the Bidens — on their whistle-stop train trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. — made a stop in Baltimore, where I was born and raised. It’s where I was once refused entrance to an amusement park on the Baltimore County line because of the color of my skin. Did [...]

Mary C. Curtis: A Chilly Washington Gets Ready

Washington is holding its breath — and it’s not just because of 14-degree weather. The city is getting ready for Tuesday’s inauguration of a new president and it wants everything to be perfect. On Friday bleachers set-up outside the White House stood empty. That will change. A few bundled-up pilgrims made their way to peek [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The White House Press as Patsies to the End

President Bush’s final press conference, Jan. 12, 2009: Q. Mr. President, in recent days, there’s been a fair amount of discussion in legal circles about whether you might give preemptive pardons, pardons in advance, to officials of your administration who engaged in anything from harsh interrogation tactics to perhaps dismissing U.S. attorneys. I’d like to [...]