Watchdog Blog

Archive for March, 2011

Barry Sussman: A Polonius Buffoon Award for Gingrich

Used to be, partisanship in foreign policy was kept moderate, civil. The expression was, “Politics stops at the water’s edge.” Republicans and Democrats in Washington were happy to use the phrase; it implied they cared more about what’s good for America than politics. Those days are gone. For the Republican leadership the goal since Jan. [...]

POGO: Open Government Advocates Meet with POTUS: A Firsthand Account

By Danielle Brian Cross-posted on POGO’s blog. Yesterday afternoon, POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian—along with OMB Watch Executive Director Gary Bass, Director Patrice McDermott, National Security Archive Executive Director Tom Blanton, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy Dalglish—met with President Obama about open government issues. The meeting was originally [...]

Bob Giles: Linking Journalists in the U.S. and South Africa

This column first appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Nieman Reports. Fifty years ago, two journalists from South Africa were in the final weeks of their Nieman fellowship year. The two—Aubrey Sussens, the white editor of The Rand Daily Mail, and Lewis Nkosi, from a young generation of black writers giving voice to the [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Windmill Journalism

Frank Rich’s column in the March 12 New York Times explaining why it is his last Sunday piece for the paper confirms my conviction that regular columnists have among the toughest assignments in journalism. Rich cited William Safire who compared column writing to standing under a windmill: “No sooner did you feel relief that you’d [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Blockbuster Journalism

Jane Mayer’s piece in the Aug. 30 New Yorker, “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama,” has continued to generate an unusual amount of buzz. It turned the under-the radar bothers, Charles and David Koch, and their privately held conglomerate, Koch Industries, into familiar names synonymous with how super-rich ideologues [...]

Herb Strentz: Headlines Made for an Activist Court

Forget about judicial activism in the courts; consider instead its place in newspaper headlines and broadcast commentary. Too often, according to the headlines, judges are picking sides in a dispute, rather than interpreting the constitution or reviewing legislation Those thoughts came to mind as I took in news coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court decision [...]

POGO: Are House GOP Freshmen Serious about Cutting the Defense Budget?

By Nick Schwellenbach, crossposted with POGO There is no shortage of headlines with a variation on a theme such as: “Tea Party Declares War on Military Spending,” “Tea Partiers Say Defense In Mix For Budget Cuts,” and “Veteran Republicans Fear Tea Party, Liberals Will Unite To Cut Defense.” Much of the media has fostered the [...]