Apr
19
2013

Bill O'Reilly Gets Angry Because He Proved David Sirota's Point

oreilly-sirota

O'Reilly was outraged by Sirota's point that the government's response would be very different–more costly, potentially more violent–if the perpetrators fit a certain profile. This is ironic, because O'Reilly had, the night of the attacks, basically made Sirota's point.

Mar
27
2013

How 'Unlikely' Is Mark Sanford's Comeback Really?

Mark Sanford

The journalists amazed by Mark Sanford's comeback make the mistake of assuming that since the GOP spends so much time preaching "family values" and "social conservatism," Republican pols who violate these preachments must pay a greater price than less moralistic Democrats.

Jan
04
2012

Iowans Frustrate Reporters With Their Multiple Opinions

The usual criticisms of the Iowa caucuses–that the votes of a small, demographically unrepresentative slice of America gobble up too much airtime–are basically correct. As David Sirota noted in Salon (1/3/12): The same journalism industry that pleads poverty to justify cutting big city newspapers' editorial staffs, gutting coverage of state legislatures and city councils, and eliminating every other critical topic not related to Washington's red-versus-blue fetish from news content–as writer Joe Romero recounts, this same industry has for months devoted a massive army to cover Iowa's small contest. Just one example of the absurdity: At least one of Rick Santorum's […]

Sep
15
2009

Intersex Athlete Boggles 'Ill-Informed. . .Predatory Press'

Thomas Rogers of Salon's Broadsheet (9/10/09, ad-viewing required) reports that world champion South African runner Caster Semenya recently "was tested (possibly without her consent) by the International Association of Athletics Federations" and "now the results of her gender testing have leaked, and, if the reports are to be believed, they show that she is, in fact, biologically intersex." After an informative look at the real biological meaning of the test findings that "led some media outlets to call her a 'hermaphrodite' (and some even more inaccurately calling her 'a woman — and a man')," Rogers writes that, to him, Caster's […]

Sep
04
2009

Big Media Ponder Source of Right's 'Media Firestorms'

One of the items enumerated in Glenn Greenwald's round-up of "Various Matters" for Salon (9/4/09, ad-viewing required) addresses how NBC's "Chuck Todd this week noted the series of petty scandals the right has been manufacturing and remarked: 'The ability of some conservatives to create media firestorms is still much greater than liberals these days'"–which viewpoint Greenwald calls out as really reflective of one of the more irritating media syndromes: their tendency to talk about media coverage as though they have nothing to do with it and can't exert any influence over it; media coverage is just something that happens to […]

Aug
28
2009

'Meaningful Change' at the New Republic

Glenn Greenwald (8/27/09, ad-viewing required) of Salon's series of New Republic quotes morphing from condemning a perceived "anti-Lieberman jihad" to calling for "knocking off Democrats like Conrad and Joe Lieberman" charts the outlet's "rapid and total reversal–one effectuated without the slightest acknowledgment that it even occurred." Calling the change "just the accountability-free nature of Beltway punditry," Greenwald also spies "a more important point highlighted here": namely, it is a sign of how dysfunctional the Democratic Party is–and how meaningless is their glorious super-majority–that even the New Republic, which long prided itself on safeguarding the party from nefarious left-wing influences, is […]

Aug
19
2009

Healthcare Debate as Lobbyist's Own 'Business Interests'

According to Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald (8/18/09, ad-viewing required), pro-coup lobbyist and frequent news show guest Lanny Davis is merely "masquerading as a 'political analyst' and Democratic media pundit," when really he "is unmoored from any discernible political beliefs other than: 'I agree with whoever pays me.'" Greenwald's present example is a new Politico and the Hill commentary in which Davis warns of "The Dangerous Joining of the Far Right and Far Left" and declares it "time for the vast center-left and center-right of this country to speak up and call them out" because "silence is no longer acceptable by […]

Aug
09
2009

Left's Non-Smears Worse Than Right's Nazi Talk?

Glenn Greenwald has responded via his regular Salon feature (8/6/09, ad-viewing required) to Rush Limbaugh, "speaking to his audience of 15 million, compar[ing] Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler and Nancy Pelosi to Nazi leaders," by asking you to instead compare (a) the way that a single anonymous person's comparison of Bush and Hitler swamped our political discourse and forever altered the image of MoveOn with (b) what the (non)-reaction will be to the identical comparison coming from the leader of the Republican Party who spouts his hate-mongering to an audience of 15 million people. Within that comparison one finds many […]

Jul
23
2009

Venerating — but Not Emulating — Journos of Yore

In a piece about current media "Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did" by (belatedly) condemning the U.S. war on Vietnam, Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald (7/18/09, ad-viewing required) addresses another recently passed war reporter as well: When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam died, media stars everywhere commemorated his death as though he were one of them–as though they do what he did–even though he had nothing but bottomless, intense disdain for everything they do. As he put it in a 2005 speech to students at the Columbia School of Journalism: "The better you do your job, often going against conventional […]

Jul
17
2009

Big Media's 'Steadfastly Neutral' 'Partisan Ideologues'

Asking his readers to "remember" that, on NBC, Chuck Todd "is billed as a reporter covering the White House, not a pundit expressing opinions," Salon's Glenn Greenwald (7/15/09, ad-viewing required) examines a Todd appearance on the MSNBC show Morning Joe "discussing reports that [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder is likely to appoint a prosecutor to investigate Bush torture crimes. Needless to say, everyone agreed without question that investigations were a ridiculous distraction from what really matters and would be terribly unfair": In response to virtually every media criticism (at least the few they acknowledge), establishment journalists will insist that their […]

Jul
10
2009

NYT's 'Blatant Lie' Now 'Embedded Fact… as Intended'

Salon's Glenn Greenwald (7/9/09, ad-viewing required) is extolling "The Significance of McClatchy's Act of Journalism" when reporting that recently released six-year Guantanamo prisoner Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil–one of many who supposedly "returned to or are suspected of returning to terrorism after their release"–"far from being in hiding, operates openly among officials of Afghanistan's U.S.-allied government." Labeling Nancy Youssef's piece "a consummate example of excellent journalism," Greenwald also wants us to note the central role the New York Times played–yet again–in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them […]

Jul
06
2009

NPR Ombud Dodges 'Torture' Reporting Critic

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has an update (7/2/09, ad-viewing required) on "several noteworthy developments since I wrote on Tuesday about the refusal of NPR's ombudsman, Alicia Shepard, to be interviewed by me about NPR's ban on using the word 'torture' to describe the Bush administration's interrogation tactics": Given the utter vapidity of her rationale ("there are two sides to the issue. And I'm not sure, why is it so important to call something torture?"), I was momentarily amazed to learn that she actually teaches "Media Ethics" to graduate students at Georgetown University…. NPR's "torture" ban and its ombudsman's incoherent defense of […]

Jun
28
2009

On 'Trial Balloons' and MSM's 'Veil of Anonymity'

Salon's Greenwald (6/27/09, ad-viewing required) has taken a hard look at Washington Post and ProPublica journalists Peter Finn's and Dafna Linzer's report–"relying exclusively on three Obama officials speaking behind a veil of anonymity"–"that the White House is 'crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely.'" Finding it "revealing" that "the article quotes two Bush national security officials justifying the need for detention without charges," Greenwald writes of how "anonymous trial balloon articles like this one are difficult to comment on because it's obviously designed to announce that a certain policy is being […]