Watchdog Blog

Archive for March, 2010

Myra MacPherson: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, on Stage

A bit of magic happened at the Philadelphia Theater the other night that has a lot to do with American journalism. The whiskey voice of Molly Ivins – the satirist of all things worth assaulting in Texas and most of America – came alive again in the whiskey voice of actress Kathleen Turner. Molly’s voice [...]

Herb Strentz: Blessed Are Those Who Possess Colt Peacemakers

What would you think of a U.S. political leader who said, “I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount?” In today’s environment, one might think such a person was courting votes from [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: For Someone Who Can’t Lead, Obama Sure Has Been Tenacious

Can’t Barack Obama do anything right? When he’s not being rebuked for being too much in the limelight (the New Yorker, Jan. 25), he’s being zapped by Frank Rich in the March 7 New York Times. Or was it Rich? The high-profile, hard-hitting lift-out quote in his column – “One year on, everyone is puzzling [...]

Barry Sussman: An Open Letter to Rep. Henry Waxman on Broadband Fraud and the FCC

Dear Chairman Waxman, I see where you commended the FCC for its new broadband plan. Maybe you should take another look? As chairman of the Commiteee on Energy and Commerce, and as a highly regarded investigator, you may find deep corruption and fraud in what you now refer to as “a comprehensive and forward-looking report.” [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: In Global Health Reporting, Expertise Matters

Diminished resources in newspaper and broadcast newsrooms are weakening the ability of journalists to report on the spread of disease as well as the dire consequences of poorly funded public health systems and corporate malfeasance. Also diminished is the capacity of news organizations to hold accountable those charged with delivering public and foundation money to [...]

Herb Strentz: Why Don’t Iowans Turn to Their Own Problems Instead of Picking Presidential Candidates for Everybody Else?

The Iowa caucuses haunt political news and reporting in the Hawkeye state. News stories pop up all the time about whether Iowa will retain its “first-in-the-nation” status in screening presidential candidates and whether the parties in Iowa will agree on the date for the 2012 caucus carnival. Meantime, likely candidates are weekly visitors at fund-raisers [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The American Press, Guilty of Shameful Neglect

Ask an American audience what it knows about Britain’s’ “Chilcott Inquiry” and chances are you will draw blank looks. That’s too bad. Americans ought to be intently interested in the Chilcott inquiry, named for its chairman, senior civil servant Sir John Chilcott, because it’s likely to provide the only authoritative account they will have into [...]

Herb Strentz: Orwell Still Wins the Gold

When the world simply does not make sense — or maybe even worse, when it does — who you gonna turn to? One of my better refuges is George Orwell, and here is why: Orwell’s “passion for liberty and intellectual honesty” is at least an opener. Geoffrey Wheatcroft offered that epitaph for Orwell in a [...]

Mary C. Curtis: A Letter from Charlotte on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If national security is your No. 1 concern, shouldn’t you want to repeal the policy that prevents gay Americans from openly serving in the military? A Charlotte, N.C., gay rights group asked that question of Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) last Friday, a day after her town hall here on the danger the [...]