Watchdog Blog

Archive for April, 2012

Gilbert Cranberg: Why No Correction from The Today Show?

Thank you, David Carr, of The New York Times, for clarifying for me how I got the idea that race had figured in the fatal encounter between George Zimmerman and his victim, Trayvon Martin. I must have gotten the idea through the process of osmosis that comes into play when a major news organization broadcasts [...]

Herb Strentz: Is It Me, or Is the Gray Lady Getting Younger?

Apparently, the New York Times has not heard that newspapers today are dead or dying. Or maybe the Times benefits from comparison because so many newspapers are in decline today — not a surprising outcome when loyalty to readers is outweighed by fealty to share holders and bondage to Wall Street analysts and predictions on [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: No Pulitzer for Editorials? I’m Used to That.

The Pulitzer judges who decided that no work of fiction was worthy of a prize this year generated a torrent of comment about the snub. The judges also deemed that no entry for editorial writing met its standard, but the lack of an award in that category drew no comparable reaction, perhaps because editorial writers, [...]

Herb Strentz: The Iowa GOP, Stuck on Its Caucuses

How appropriate! The Iowa Republican Party is among those finding a way to celebrate the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic. Yes, the Grand Old Party is hard at work — re-arranging the deck chairs of the Iowa caucus. A committee and three sub-committees want to fashion a guarantee — not that the caucus [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Put Zimmerman in NRA Custody

Every person awaiting trial is presumed innocent. Courts usually require that they post bail to assure their appearance at trial. If the accused is penniless, as Zimmerman is reported to be, the presumption of innocence doesn’t prevent him and the many others in the same boat from being jailed to await trial. Jails in this [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The Press Missed the Story on Santorum’s Dropping Out

In the midst of campaigning in the presidential primary in his home state of Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum on April 10 suddenly dropped out of the contest. My initial reaction: poor poll numbers must have done it. After all, Santorum was counting heavily on Pennsylvania to propel him back into the race against Mitt Romney. As [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: May 24th for an Obamacare Ruling?

May 24 will mark the 75th anniversary of Helvering, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, et al, vs. Davis, the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding Social Security. It would be fitting, if the high court rules in favor of the Affordable Care Act, that it announce the decision on the date Social Security was affirmed. The health [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: A Way to Curb Gun Massacres

Another day, another mass killing, this time in Oakland, CA. The gunman took seven lives in the rampage. He wounded at least three others. My local paper described the killings on Page 3 in a 25-inch story. The Times ran its similar length story on Page 10 plus a generous photo. Not exactly massive coverage. [...]

Dan Froomkin: Barack Obama, Press Critic

President Obama had a message to journalists in his talk at the ASNE convention on Tuesday. (Here’s the transcript.) That message in a nutshell: The center is not the midpoint between me and the Republicans. It’s where I am. “This bears on your reporting,” he said. And he explained: I think that there is oftentimes [...]

Herb Strentz: ‘Goodbye, Dumb Jock?’ Not so Fast, NCAA

To hear the NCAA tell it, the organization must resent the fact that Phi Beta Kappa pre-empted it by 130 years in creating an academic honor society in 1776. For the NCAA – the National Collegiate Athletic Association, founded in 1906 – is loudly proclaiming the intellectual mantle for itself. Its insistent, mess-up-your-head assertion of [...]