Watchdog Blog

Archive for July, 2012

Dan Froomkin: You Know What the ‘Voter ID’ Push Is All About, So Say So

Does any journalist who is not an overt shill for the right actually believe that Republicans are pushing voter ID laws because they’re concerned about  voter fraud? No, of course not. And for good reason. Voter fraud simply isn’t a problem in this country. Studies have definitively debunked the voter fraud myth time and again. In Pennsyvlania, [...]

Dan Froomkin: Big Questions — Not Just Leaks — About National Security

Two recent books about national security have incited an overwrought kerfuffle about leaks. But what they should have done is provoke a vigorous debate about the startling policies they describe, and the many things that remain unknown. I reviewed the two books — “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power“, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: A Criminal Justice Problem in 1958, and in 2012 Also

The New York Times reminded its readers recently of the enormous part played by guilty pleas in the criminal justice system – 97 percent of federal cases and 94 percent of state cases are decided by pleas rather than trials. The Times called the statistics “stunning.” The Times and its readers might be even more [...]

Herb Strentz: The Hypocrisy of Division 1 Sports

Like Captain Renault in the movie Casablanca, sportswriters and the NCAA are “shocked, shocked” by the revelations that continue to tumble out of the child-molestation scandal at Penn State. How could such a travesty unfold in the billion dollar business of NCAA Inc.? Judging from coverage and commentary it’s as though no one who is [...]

Herb Strentz: Be Sure Your Emails Will Find You Out

DES MOINES–An ongoing sex-riddled saga and scandal in Central Iowa and its attendant news coverage call to mind the tagline for the 1963 Billy Wilder comedy “Irma La Douce” – “ A story of passion, bloodshed, desire and death…everything, in fact, that makes life worth living.” Only in the Des Moines area, it might be: [...]