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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 [...]

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, [...]

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. [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Peeling the Polish from the High Court

The idealistic view of the Supreme Court as a disinterested institution above politics took a hit during the recent oral argument over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Paul Krugman expressed the disquiet many Americans who idealize the court must have felt when he wrote, “The second day of hearings suggested that the justices [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Here’s What an Apology Looks Like, Rush

Ira Glass, host of the public radio show “This American Life,” recently devoted an hour to correcting and apologizing for a program in January featuring monologist Mike Daisy in which he supposedly exposed brutal working conditions by Apple suppliers in China. Daisy’s claims about the suppliers subsequently were convincingly debunked. Daisy participated in the correction, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Pining for a Smoke-Filled Room

To paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, the Republican presidential nominating contest is nasty, brutish and long. Not to mention costly. The contenders are exhausting themselves, their bank accounts and the public’s patience. Low voter turnouts are evidence of how fed up the public is with the endless campaigning and tasteless attacking. And that’s just from one party. [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Are People Confused, or Just Not Very Bright?

Paul Krugman in a February 17 column noted that many Americans make use of government programs but are oblivious that they are beneficiaries. He quoted a Cornell University professor who found that 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 43 percent of those receiving jobless benefits, and 40 percent of those on Medicare say they “have [...]