Watchdog Blog

Archive for September, 2009

Morton Mintz: Add a Little Snip to the Catnip

During President Obama’s five back-to-back Sunday television interviews, “No one…asked an unexpected question,” Alessandra Stanley wrote in the New York Times. That was a powerful and warranted indictment of the ascendant non-journalism masquerading as journalism. The interviews, on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and Univision, were “as tightly choreographed – and eerily similar – as the [...]

Dan Froomkin: ‘A Failure of Editors’

What is it about the culture of our elite newsrooms that led the nation’s major newspapers and television networks to fall so short in the run-up to the war in Iraq? Why were the spurious claims from the Bush administration greeted with credulousness rather than the appropriate skepticism? Michael Getler – who was Washington Post [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: A Guide to Covering a Pandemic

This column first appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Nieman Reports. Three years ago, the Nieman Foundation convened a first-of-its-kind conference for journalists, experts in infectious diseases and world, national and local public health officials to explore how to cover a potential pandemic. Then the concern was avian flu, and the gathering’s purpose was [...]

Dan Froomkin: Where’s the Peace Movement?

A health majority of the American public now opposes the war in Afghanistan. More and more Democrats, some leading Republicans, and even members of the military are calling for, if not outright withdrawal, at least an exit strategy. So where’s the peace movement? Where are, if not the massive peace marches, at least the quiet [...]

Barry Sussman: National Security and Afghanistan

The press could do better at putting Obama administration actions and assertions on Afghanistan in context. I write this simply as an old newspaper editor, not an expert. The lead story in the New York Times on Sept. 4 is an example. The first paragraph said Obama’s senior advisers are trying “to determine the proper [...]