Jul
07
2009

The 'Endemic Practices' of 'Revenue-Hungry News Orgs'

Furthering the story of "Washington Post executives–reeling…over a flier promoting a 'salon' for lobbyists to mingle with prominent newsmakers," Politico reporters Michael Calderone and Andy Barr (7/4/09) think the suits at the Post might reasonably ask "Why us?": The fact is the Post's clumsy effort to make money on its brand name and market its access to the powerful was a belated effort to follow in the steps of at least two other prominent news organizations: The Wall Street Journal and the Economist magazine. The Journal, for instance, is charging a $7,500 for its two-day CEO Council in November, an […]

Jul
02
2009

Too Much Truth in Advertising at the WaPo?

The business department at the Washington Post has gotten into trouble in what may be a case of too much truth in advertising. As reported by Politico (7/2/09), the Post circulated a flyer offering–for the low, low cost of $25,000–an "intimate and exclusive Washington Post salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and publisher Katharine Weymouth." The circular promised the participation of "key Obama administration and congressional leaders" as well as "healthcare reporting and editorial staff members of the Washington Post." Lest anyone be confused as to why dinner at the Post's publisher's house would be […]

Jun
04
2009

Rule of Law vs. 'Blind Support' for Israel in Media

Responding to "both Likud Party members in Israel as well as their Americans supporters" who "complain that the Obama administration is unduly 'interfering' in Israeli politics"–as exemplified by Ben Smith of Politico reporting that "the administration's escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel's numerous allies"–Salon's Glenn Greenwald (6/3/09, ad-viewing required) likens the situation to "teenagers who tell their parents that they are not compelled to comply with parental dictates" and are told that "as long as they seek financial support, then the parents have the right […]

May
28
2009

Supreme Court Fights: Left-Wing Media Bias Is Seldom More Imaginary

Politico's Mike Allen writes (5/27/09) The media's left-of-center bias is rarely more apparent than during court fights. The coverage running up to the pick was slanted heavily toward the notion of how "pragmatic" Obama's legal views are and how unlikely he was to pick a liberal. So coverage of Supreme Court fights is one of the best illustrations of corporate media's supposed lean to the left? Only three of the current justices had what could be described as a "fight" over their confirmation: Clarence Thomas (confirmed by a vote of 52-48), John Roberts (78-22) and Samuel Alito (58-42); all the […]

May
04
2009

Politico Hews to Corporate Line on Healthcare

Blogging at SinglePayerAction.org today (5/4/09), Corporate Crime Reporter's Russell Mokhiber describes the contents of a "much-hyped special section on healthcare" from Politico that features below the headline a Matt Wuerker cartoon of "the U.S. healthcare system" as a patient–"and you can't touch patient or you'll get zapped. As in: 'Bzzt! Don't even go near proposing single payer. You'll be called a socialist!'": The issue is jam-packed with $10,000 full-page ads from the usual suspects: United Health Group, the drug industry (the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association), the high-tech medical equipment industry (Advanced Medical Technology Association) and corporate liberal groups like AARP. All […]

Apr
22
2009

Glimpsing Journalism's 'Devouring Black Hole of Corruption'

A Tiny Revolution blogger Jonathan Schwarz (4/18/09) samples the response to Mike Allen of Politico's quote of "a former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush" calling the publishing of U.S. torture memos "damaging because these are techniques that work": This, from Andrew Sullivan, is a representative example of the reaction: Allen is allowing a member of the administration that broke the Geneva Conventions and committed war crimes to attack the current president and claim, without any substantiation, that the torture worked. He then allows that "top official" to proclaim things that are at the very least […]

Apr
01
2009

The 'Serious Journalistic Conflicts' of Fox's Van Susteren

Blogging on "Greta Van Susteren's defensive response" to reports "saying that one of the reasons that Sarah Palin has been caught up in a 'series of public relations gaffes' is because she is 'taking advice from Greta and her husband,'" major GOP booster John Coale, the Huffington Post's Geoffrey Dunn (3/29/09) thinks the Fox News host "Doth Protest Too Much": Let me give Van Susteren her due. This is a serious charge of direct professional misconduct, and there should have been more than a throwaway line from an unnamed source to back it up. The allegation begs further questioning. But […]

Feb
17
2009

Support Wanes for Caricature of Fairness Doctrine

Politico reported (2/16/09) that a new poll shows that support for the Fairness Doctrine has dropped. Unfortunately, the policy described in the poll question bears no relationship to the Fairness Doctrine as it actually existed. The Rasmussen polling firm asked respondents whether "the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary." But the Fairness Doctrine never called for equal time for any points of view; it actually required, as codified in a 1959 amendment to the Communications Act of 1934, that "a broadcast licensee shall afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of conflicting […]