Category Archives: Media Criticism

Rewriting History

The folks at ABC News apparently need to go back and read their history books. They seem to fantasize that it was Republicans who blocked the Civil Rights Act. In a piece on the current filibuster debate, they write the following, titled “Historical Perspective”:

The filibuster has been used historically by the minority party, which can’t win with a vote count. Democrats have opposed the filibuster before

Short Memories

Ann Coulter reminds us of some Michael Isikoff stories from the past that Newsweek was in no hurry to run:

…apparently it’s possible for Michael Isikoff to have a story that actually is true, but for his editors not to run it.

Why no pause for reflection when Isikoff had a story about American interrogators at Guantanamo flushing the Quran down the toilet? Why not sit on this story for, say, even half as long as NBC News sat on Lisa Meyers’ highly credible account of Bill Clinton raping Juanita Broaddrick?

Newsweek seems to have very different responses to the same reporter’s scoops. Who’s deciding which of Isikoff’s stories to run and which to hold? I note that the ones that Matt Drudge runs have turned out to be more accurate

News Bulletin

Listen to this when it gets posted tomorrow.

In the early morning the bodies of 14 men were discovered in a shallow mass grave in a rubbish dump in northeastern Baghdad. Some of the victims were blindfolded and appear to have been executed with a shot to the head. Now this news bulletin…

BBC radio 15:00 GMT, Friday, May 6, 2005

This gives a new meaning to murderous competition for news delivery.

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Howell Raines’ replacement at the Gray Lady, Bill Keller, apparently impervious to irony, had some strange things to say at Johns Hopkins last week.

With blogs that “just throw opinions out there” and shows like CNN’s debate program “Crossfire,” newspapers are “no longer society’s usual news,” said Keller.

“…blogs that ‘just throw opinions out there…'” You know, kinda like Paul Krugman. Or Jayson Blair.

He added that with media sources like these, and with a readership that is “seeking the journalism of affirmation…it’s possible for the public to feel well-informed without interacting with opinions that contradict theirs.”

How rich is this? This, from the land of Pauline “How could Nixon have won, I don’t know anyone who voted for him?” Kael. This, in fact, would seem to be a perfect projection of the political cocooning of the left, and the Times Executive Editor remains clueless.

He picks an amusing example of how badly he and the media are being put upon:

As an example of the criticism and distrust news organizations are facing, Keller cited a story the Times ran eight days prior to the 2004 presidential election reporting that missing weapons in Iraq had been stolen by insurgents after the American invasion.

He said the article had quotes from soldiers who admitted to witnessing the theft of weapons and that the reporting was “well-backed.”

However, once it was printed, Keller said a “firestorm of hostility” came down on the Times as critics attacked the paper, claiming sources were fabricated.

“Evidence in support was dismissed,” he added.

Not only was the Times’ credibility questioned, but its motives came under fire as well. Because the story came out close to the election, critics claimed its purpose was to undermine President George W. Bush’s candidacy as part of its liberal agenda, Keller said.

According to Keller, this incident “has lived on as critical lore.”

Gee, maybe because the political agenda was, and remains, transparently obvious?

This was my favorite part, though, in a feeble pretense at apology and contrition:

When examining why it was so easy to discredit such a story, Keller admitted that the “crisis of trust is self-inflicted” by recent scandals in the newspaper industry.

However, he added, “The press has never pretended to be perfect. My own paper pretty much decided to overlook the Holocaust.”

Strange that he should mention that, when a much more obvious case would be the Times aiding Walter Duranty in covering up for “Uncle Joe” Stalin’s earlier holocaust against the Ukrainians and others, an act for which to this day they’ve not returned the corresponding Pulitzer. That killing-of-Jews-and-Communists-by-Nazis thing we really should have covered, but when communists do it, well, you know what they say about omelettes and eggs. I mean, they were creating a greater and more just Soviet society, after all, can’t watch the sausage being made and all that.

Could this be an explanation for his seeming insouciance about Soviet atrocities?

From 1986 to 1991 he was in Moscow as a correspondent, then bureau chief, and he won a Pulitzer Price in 1989 for his coverage of the Soviet Union.

Maybe he wouldn’t want to see any ugly precedents set about handing back Pulitzers resulting from Soviet Union coverage.

Anyway, just asking.

And he wonders why his paper continues to lose credibility.

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Howell Raines’ replacement at the Gray Lady, Bill Keller, apparently impervious to irony, had some strange things to say at Johns Hopkins last week.

With blogs that “just throw opinions out there” and shows like CNN’s debate program “Crossfire,” newspapers are “no longer society’s usual news,” said Keller.

“…blogs that ‘just throw opinions out there…'” You know, kinda like Paul Krugman. Or Jayson Blair.

He added that with media sources like these, and with a readership that is “seeking the journalism of affirmation…it’s possible for the public to feel well-informed without interacting with opinions that contradict theirs.”

How rich is this? This, from the land of Pauline “How could Nixon have won, I don’t know anyone who voted for him?” Kael. This, in fact, would seem to be a perfect projection of the political cocooning of the left, and the Times Executive Editor remains clueless.

He picks an amusing example of how badly he and the media are being put upon:

As an example of the criticism and distrust news organizations are facing, Keller cited a story the Times ran eight days prior to the 2004 presidential election reporting that missing weapons in Iraq had been stolen by insurgents after the American invasion.

He said the article had quotes from soldiers who admitted to witnessing the theft of weapons and that the reporting was “well-backed.”

However, once it was printed, Keller said a “firestorm of hostility” came down on the Times as critics attacked the paper, claiming sources were fabricated.

“Evidence in support was dismissed,” he added.

Not only was the Times’ credibility questioned, but its motives came under fire as well. Because the story came out close to the election, critics claimed its purpose was to undermine President George W. Bush’s candidacy as part of its liberal agenda, Keller said.

According to Keller, this incident “has lived on as critical lore.”

Gee, maybe because the political agenda was, and remains, transparently obvious?

This was my favorite part, though, in a feeble pretense at apology and contrition:

When examining why it was so easy to discredit such a story, Keller admitted that the “crisis of trust is self-inflicted” by recent scandals in the newspaper industry.

However, he added, “The press has never pretended to be perfect. My own paper pretty much decided to overlook the Holocaust.”

Strange that he should mention that, when a much more obvious case would be the Times aiding Walter Duranty in covering up for “Uncle Joe” Stalin’s earlier holocaust against the Ukrainians and others, an act for which to this day they’ve not returned the corresponding Pulitzer. That killing-of-Jews-and-Communists-by-Nazis thing we really should have covered, but when communists do it, well, you know what they say about omelettes and eggs. I mean, they were creating a greater and more just Soviet society, after all, can’t watch the sausage being made and all that.

Could this be an explanation for his seeming insouciance about Soviet atrocities?

From 1986 to 1991 he was in Moscow as a correspondent, then bureau chief, and he won a Pulitzer Price in 1989 for his coverage of the Soviet Union.

Maybe he wouldn’t want to see any ugly precedents set about handing back Pulitzers resulting from Soviet Union coverage.

Anyway, just asking.

And he wonders why his paper continues to lose credibility.

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Howell Raines’ replacement at the Gray Lady, Bill Keller, apparently impervious to irony, had some strange things to say at Johns Hopkins last week.

With blogs that “just throw opinions out there” and shows like CNN’s debate program “Crossfire,” newspapers are “no longer society’s usual news,” said Keller.

“…blogs that ‘just throw opinions out there…'” You know, kinda like Paul Krugman. Or Jayson Blair.

He added that with media sources like these, and with a readership that is “seeking the journalism of affirmation…it’s possible for the public to feel well-informed without interacting with opinions that contradict theirs.”

How rich is this? This, from the land of Pauline “How could Nixon have won, I don’t know anyone who voted for him?” Kael. This, in fact, would seem to be a perfect projection of the political cocooning of the left, and the Times Executive Editor remains clueless.

He picks an amusing example of how badly he and the media are being put upon:

As an example of the criticism and distrust news organizations are facing, Keller cited a story the Times ran eight days prior to the 2004 presidential election reporting that missing weapons in Iraq had been stolen by insurgents after the American invasion.

He said the article had quotes from soldiers who admitted to witnessing the theft of weapons and that the reporting was “well-backed.”

However, once it was printed, Keller said a “firestorm of hostility” came down on the Times as critics attacked the paper, claiming sources were fabricated.

“Evidence in support was dismissed,” he added.

Not only was the Times’ credibility questioned, but its motives came under fire as well. Because the story came out close to the election, critics claimed its purpose was to undermine President George W. Bush’s candidacy as part of its liberal agenda, Keller said.

According to Keller, this incident “has lived on as critical lore.”

Gee, maybe because the political agenda was, and remains, transparently obvious?

This was my favorite part, though, in a feeble pretense at apology and contrition:

When examining why it was so easy to discredit such a story, Keller admitted that the “crisis of trust is self-inflicted” by recent scandals in the newspaper industry.

However, he added, “The press has never pretended to be perfect. My own paper pretty much decided to overlook the Holocaust.”

Strange that he should mention that, when a much more obvious case would be the Times aiding Walter Duranty in covering up for “Uncle Joe” Stalin’s earlier holocaust against the Ukrainians and others, an act for which to this day they’ve not returned the corresponding Pulitzer. That killing-of-Jews-and-Communists-by-Nazis thing we really should have covered, but when communists do it, well, you know what they say about omelettes and eggs. I mean, they were creating a greater and more just Soviet society, after all, can’t watch the sausage being made and all that.

Could this be an explanation for his seeming insouciance about Soviet atrocities?

From 1986 to 1991 he was in Moscow as a correspondent, then bureau chief, and he won a Pulitzer Price in 1989 for his coverage of the Soviet Union.

Maybe he wouldn’t want to see any ugly precedents set about handing back Pulitzers resulting from Soviet Union coverage.

Anyway, just asking.

And he wonders why his paper continues to lose credibility.

Poor Word Choice

On NPR this morning I heard the following gem:

A member of Iraq’s new parliament has been shot and killed outside her home in Baghdad. It was the first assassination of a member of the National Assembly since the body was elected in January.

I would want to be elected and remembered for my mind.

Huh?

In an interesting piece about blogging in Business Week, I come across this oddity:

A Google official says the company has lots of bloggers and just expects them to use common sense. For example, if it’s something you wouldn’t e-mail to a long list of strangers, don’t blog it.

That might be common something, but it doesn’t look like common sense to me. If I used that criterion, I can’t think of anything that I’d ever blog, since I would never email anything to a long list of strangers. On my planet, that’s called spamming.

If Google officials don’t understand the difference between a hyperlink that someone comes across, and decides to go investigate it, and having that same person’s mailbox filled with someone’s uninvited ravings, they’re frighteningly clueless about the internet. I wonder if this quote was taken out of context?

End Of Newspapers?

I actually think that newspapers are more likely to be done in by things like Craig’s List (when they start losing their classified ad revenue) than bloggers, Sam. I’d like to know more about that poll.

Young people may be reading blogs, but it’s not obvious from it that that’s where they’re getting their news. There are a lot of blogs that talk about a lot of subjects, but that’s more of a social activity, I suspect, than information gathering.