Jul
24
2009

Walter Cronkite's Other War

The Media Bloodhound blog's Brad Jacobson has a post (7/22/09) adding some depth to the Walter Cronkite as belated-Vietnam-War-critic story: Following his death last week, various network news tributes replayed footage of Cronkite's influential '68 on-air editorial. Yet scrubbed from the memorializing were similar instances of Cronkite's journalistic candor regarding Iraq, such as his 2006 call for withdrawal from a war he went on to describe as "illegal from the start," initiated on "false pretenses" and a "terrible disaster" serving "no purpose" that has "probably made us less safe." But the most revealing omission from these tributes–especially in context to […]

Jul
13
2009

NYT's 'Egregious and Absurd' Editorial Priorities

Brad Jacobson is resurrecting the "NYT Front|Back" feature of his Media Bloodhound blog (7/10/09)–spotlighting the New York Times' "penchant for placing a supremely unnewsworthy story on its cover while burying a vital one in its back pages"–only for "the most egregious and absurd examples." The current example being their July 7 front-page headliner, "In Sex Film Industry, Some Long for a Real Plot": No, this isn't satire. It's a cover story on our nation's paper of record…. The article opens: The actress known as Savanna Samson once relished preparing for a role. "I couldnâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t wait to get my next script," […]

Jun
27
2009

CNN Covering for U.S. Coup That Even Obama Acknowledges

Proving his memory better (or at least less selective) than that of the institution of corporate journalism, Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson (6/24/09) is proposing that "It might be more difficult for Republicans to bash President Obama for being 'timid' in his comments about the Iranian government's violence against protesters if the U.S. media didn't consistently censor U.S./Iranian history": Take CNN's recent Iran timeline, titled "A Brief Look at Iran's History." According to the timeline, which begins in 1979, Iran has "been at odds with the West and some of its neighbors" since the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, […]

Jun
19
2009

Downsized Reporters Turn to 'Deceptive' PR

Writing for CJR.org (6/16/09), Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson finds that "former CNN correspondent-turned-PR consultant Gene Randall's video 'report' for oil giant Chevron might be unprecedented for how it blurred the line between public relations and journalism," but is still more worried that "the Randall/Chevron production raises not only ethical questions, but also the question of whether a surge of newly pink-slipped reporters might go, as one media critic put it, 'over to the dark side,' and how that might further muddy the line between news and corporate advocacy": As detailed in a recent New York Times article, when Chevron, […]

May
05
2009

Greg Mitchell on Fox's 'Grassrootsy' Astroturf

Just one highlight in Brad Jacobson's wide-ranging interview of Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell (Media Bloodhound, 5/5/09) is Mitchell's scorn for "media coverage of the anti-tax tea parties": Greg Mitchell: Most amazing was that they tended to treat it like protests in the past. There have been national abortion rights protests and immigration rights protests and of course anti-war protests and everything spread out around the country. But never, that I'm aware of, has there ever been protests like this that were essentially promoted by a major news organization, that is Fox, who were actually promoting it, not just saying […]

Apr
29
2009

'Modifying Adjectives' Replace Torture Facts at NYT

Brad Jacobson has an incisive take (Media Bloodhound, 4/29/09) on the consequences of mealy-mouthed torture language at the New York Times, where public editor Clark Hoyt provides he said/she said examples to show how the public has reacted. But in doing so, in this context, he turns the very idea of news reporting–that it should be based on fact rather than opinion–on its head and, in effect, concedes that Times editors, on news stories as serious as torture, are allowing public sentiment to color their reports. Robert Ofsevit of Oakland, Calif., asked, "Why canâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t the New York Times call torture […]

Apr
22
2009

The Exception That Proves the Rule

Brad Jacobson has a new Media Bloodhound post (4/21/09) lauding CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for his "refreshing" refusal of "a generic phony Devil's advocate stance" when scholar Mark Danner "torpedoed" CNN analyst David Gergen's claim that the number of people who were interrogated [by U.S. personnel] with these harsh and, I think, torturous techniques was fairly limited. It was, of the thousands of people who were captured, it was about some 30 or 35 whom these techniques were used. Instead, Cooper "actually set up Danner's response to Gergen's allegations with…facts and context": Cooper: Do we know how many people died […]