Watchdog Blog

Archive for January, 2010

Barry Sussman: A Simple Solution for Corporate ‘Free Speech’

A friend and contributor to Nieman Watchdog, Martin Lobel, sent this emaiI with the suggestion that people pass it along. Looks worth passing along to me. Here’s Marty: “I don’t know whether you’re as upset with the Supreme Court’s legislating in Citizens United v. FEC as I am, but there is a simple solution that [...]

George Lardner Jr.: No 60 Votes Needed Here

Item: The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that “two more Democratic senators” said they would vote against a second term for Fed Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. From there, the Times said this made it unclear “whether there were the 60 votes necessary to confirm Mr. Bernanke.” Excuse me? Sixty votes are not necessary to [...]

Dan Froomkin: Disqualified From Public Service

(This item originally appeared in The Huffington Post, where Froomkin is Washington Bureau Chief.) Senator Chris Dodd announced on Jan. 16 that he is relinquishing his office. He didn’t really have much choice — the voters of Connecticut were prepared to take it away from him in November even if he had tried to keep [...]

Morton Mintz: Bring the Sunday Talk Shows Back to Life

“Change comes slowly to the venerable [talk] shows that grip the attention of a small but committed segment of TV watchers every Sunday morning,” Michael Calderone wrote for Politico on Jan. 10. “And taking risks almost never happens.” He went on to quote an email to Politico from New York Times columnist Frank Rich, a [...]

Dan Froomkin: Fool Me Over and Over and Over Again

Our elite media has been repeatedly suckered into trumpeting glaringly unsupported assertions about the number of Guantanamo detainees that have “returned” to the battlefield. This was quite a week for it. The most blatant and distressing previous object lesson came early last summer, when New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt appropriately spanked reporter Elisabeth [...]

Herb Strentz: It’s Iowa Caucus Time, Where is Everybody?

Hey! Where is everyone? The Iowa caucuses are only a few weeks away — Jan. 23. Remember the 2008 caucuses when U.S. Sen. Barrack Obama (D-Ill) began his road to the White House? So where are all the pollsters, network TV news types and print pundits this time around? Doesn’t anyone care who gets elected [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: An X-Rated Security Threat

Richard Reid, the Briton who attempted in 2001 to blow up an American airliner with explosives packed in his shoes was quickly dubbed the “shoe bomber” by the press. No one to my knowledge has referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as the “crotch bomber” for his attempt to destroy a plane with explosives concealed in [...]

Morton Mintz: The Astounding, Ridiculous Pay Gap

“Over the last 50 years, the ratio of top pay to average pay at public companies has multiplied roughly 11 times (24:1 to 275:1),” Steven Brill wrote in the Jan. 3 New York Times Magazine. “That’s more pay in one workday for the chief executive than his average employee makes in a year.” Moreover, as [...]