May
12
2009

PBS's 'Washington Bubble' Invisible to Inhabitants

Noticing how PBS's Gwen Ifill has a penchant for "filling her Washington Week program with journalists who almost invariably agree with each other instead of actually debating the issues of the week," critic Charles Kaiser decided to contact her (CJR.org, 5/8/09) about a recent "discussion of torture in which the only issue the panelists identified was how the Obama administration should deal with the political fallout from the demands for a full-scale investigation and/or prosecution of the officials responsible for American torture." Kaiser's question of whether it would "ruin the discussion to have one person who believes that a full […]

May
01
2009

Pentagon Pundits Still Thriving at MSNBC

During coverage of the Obama administration's 100-day mark, MSNBC had war reporter Richard Engel and anchor Tamron Hall interview MSNBC analyst Barry McCaffrey, who CJR.org's Clint Hendler (4/29/09) calls "the retired army general whose many conflicts of interest have been analyzed by David Barstow's now-Pulitzer Prize winning reporting for the New York Times." When asked by Engel about attempts to "draw away the Taliban's source of funding by cutting down the opium crop or burning it or whatever," McCaffrey was emphatic: "I think we've got to take it on. But, you know, the lead agent can't be U.S. combat troops. […]

Mar
17
2009

NYT, WaPo 'Reticent' on NIC Uproar

As "the American foreign policy community worked itself into something resembling a frenzy over the appointment of Charles W. 'Chas' Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council"–because "at stake was, if not a direct policy battle of huge consequence, a real struggle over the range of viewpoints that will be permitted in an official government position"–Greg Marx says (CJR.org, 3/13/09) that "if you get your news from the New York Times, you were totally oblivious to this story as it unfolded": To recap: On February 19, Laura Rozen reported on Foreign Policy's website that Freeman, who is known for his […]

Mar
10
2009

NYT Steadfastly Lowers the Political Discourse

Jane Kim of CJR.org (3/9/09) quotes some of the reactions to a New York Times reporter asking Barack Obama if he is "a socialist as some people have suggested": Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post cracks that "the New York Times was THAT CLOSE to a journalistic coup!" and American Prospect's Ezra Klein wants to know, "Did they really think he would slip and admit that his stimulus plan was cadged from a footnote in Das Kapital?" NYT reporter Peter Baker defended the question to Greg Sargent: "We were interested in exploring how a new president defines his political philosophy, […]