Mainstream reporters are speaking openly about the chilling effect of the Obama White House's investigations into leaks of classified material. But this willingness to talk about how the White House operates can lead some journalists to make some rather strange arguments.
There's no doubt that the sex scandal that prompted CIA director David Petraeus's sudden resignation late last week is a big story. New details–verified or not–seem to arrive almost by the hour. But the reason it seems to have shaken so many media figures is because Petraeus was uniquely beloved by many in the corporate media, who considered him both an accessible source and a war hero. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams called him (11/9/12) a "a man of such sterling reputation," and confided on the air to one guest that "it is impossible to be a member of […]
The results are in: Nate Silver won the election. The New York Times' polling/stats wonk was projecting an Obama victory, and it looks like he basically nailed it. Of course, this outcome thrills Silver's many fans, and has shown pretty clearly that the people the corporate media rely on to make election predictions aren't really good at the thing they're supposed to be good at doing. This is revealing, and should raise the usual questions about why some of these people continue to appear on television as election experts. But since it's very hard to lose your Pundit License, it's […]
There are some pretty intense factchecking fights over what is true and not true about the Obama campaign's claims about Romney's record at Bain Capital. Media outlets are struggling with how to render a verdict; most seem to think Obama has exaggerated. But one outlet has found a voice willing to deliver a judgment. CNN has published a column (7/16/12) by veteran pundit David Gergen headlined: Facts don't support Obama's charges against Romney This is, for Gergen, pretty strong stuff; he's a talking head whose head mostly talks about campaign strategy and the like. He's not one usually to call […]
The ubiquitous CNN pundit on Larry King last night: KING: Could the pundits be wrong? DAVID GERGEN: Absolutely. Absolutely. It was a wonderful piece in the Wall Street Journal this lastweek by Josh Lerner. He was a really interesting young man who went back to a lot of political science and said more often than not, pundits are wrong. You know, we have a worse record than if you just did it randomly in terms of predicting the–you just flip a coin and you would come out with better predictions. Take his advice, please. But seriously: Dean Baker from CEPR […]
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 […]