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Morton Mintz: What Would Truman Say About Today’s Commentators?

If Harry S. Truman were with us today, would his opinions of commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh be printable? I was led to wonder about that on reading a letter he sent to his good friend Dean Acheson, the former Secretary of State, after leaving the White House. “Well, I have the [...]

Morton Mintz: Corporate CEO’s Compensation, and a Little Perspective

News often needs context and/or perspective, and a recent Wall Street Journal report provides a memorable example. The article identified the 20 corporate CEOs who “had the most total direct compensation in their most recent fiscal year.” Leading the list, with a mind-boggling $87,095,882, was Liberty Media’s Gregory B. Maffei. Five others head media or [...]

Morton Mintz: A Rubber Room, Not a Green Room, for Gingrich

In an email to Meet the Press on Oct. 26 and in a snail-mail letter the next day, I wrote: “For an article I am doing for, I want to ask: “Why has Newt Gingrich been the most-booked guest on Meet the Press during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency? “Why has Speaker [...]

Morton Mintz: It’s Ridiculous Letter Time at Newsweek

“The president is a socialist ideologue trying to change America into something it will never be: a socialist state,” William Parker, of Selma, Cal., wrote in a letter published on the Feb. 15 Newsweek’s “Feedback” page. Let’s take a quick look at the validity of the accusation and then at a broader question: Why publish [...]

Morton Mintz: What Would You Do with 12 Investigative Reporters?

What would I do if I were in charge of a dozen highly skilled investigative reporters? Where would I sic them? What marching orders would I give them? (Dan Froomkin, deputy editor of Nieman Watchdog, put those questions to me recently.) The number of registered Washington lobbyists increased nearly 45 percent between 1998 and 2008, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Morton Mintz: Taking Aim at Insurance Execs’ Pay

“Democratic senators are taking aim at insurance executives’ pay as they jockey for advantage in a rare weekend session to debate President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul,” the Associated Press reported Dec. 5. The AP article provided no specific examples, so suppose I mention a few likely candidates: One is Ronald A. Williams, chief executive [...]

Morton Mintz: Calling Universal Health Insurance un-American Started a Long Time Ago

The Progressive magazine’s 100th-anniversary issue, published in April, consists mainly of excerpts from issues in each year since 1909. The entry for January 1917 – nearly 93 years ago – expands the much-disputed definition of “American Exceptionalism.” It begins: “At present the United States has the unenviable distinction of being the only great industrial nation [...]

Morton Mintz: Add a Little Snip to the Catnip

During President Obama’s five back-to-back Sunday television interviews, “No one…asked an unexpected question,” Alessandra Stanley wrote in the New York Times. That was a powerful and warranted indictment of the ascendant non-journalism masquerading as journalism. The interviews, on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and Univision, were “as tightly choreographed – and eerily similar – as the [...]