the american press

No wonder the echo boomers distrust news. Mr. Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a couple of posts on the issue of reporting. I’m less interested in the politics, more interested in the competence. What happened to the “watchdog,” regardless of who’s in office.

Regarding the Richard Clarke issue, CNN has been leading into airs with the quote of Clarke’s that the president has done “a terrible job” on terrorism. Why is this “the quote” to quote from the 60 Min interview? I keep coming back to the Record monograph I cited and described below. What Clarke is going to say, said differently, is not knew. It hasn’t, as far as I’ve seen, been “studied” on the news as a matter of serious strategy–forget the politics and who’s attacking whom. There are too many attacks, so many it seems that all the press has time for. Now the press is going to start chewing on its own tail, blaming itself for who screwed up on reporting about WMD, and maybe rethink how to cover the White House. Talk strategy, talk analysis, talk study, and the airwaves go dead. This is not good.

We have Clarke on 60 Minutes saying one thing. We have Condoleeza Rice saying another at the Washington Post. Isn’t it fair to ask that some team of reporters try and figure out who’s telling it straight, rather than airing the partisans on television? We already know what they’re going to say. What the communications director of the white house is going to say in response to Clarke “isn’t news.”

5 thoughts on “the american press

  1. Rina

    What happened to the watchdog?Looks like they were all gathered at Al Franken’s house brainstorming with JFKerry, according to Bill O’Reilly…here’s the list:

    Al Franken and his wife Franni;
    Rick Hertzberg, senior editor for the New Yorker;
    David Remnick, editor for the New Yorker;
    Jim Kelly, managing editor for Time Magazine;
    Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek;
    Jeff Greenfield, senior correspondent and analyst for CNN;
    Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times;
    Eric Alterman, author and columnist for MSNBC and the Nation;
    Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist/author of Maus;
    Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post;
    Fred Kaplan, columnist for Slate;
    Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate and author;
    Jonathan Alter, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek;
    Philip Gourevitch, columnist for the New Yorker;
    Calvin Trillin, freelance writer and author;
    Edward Jay Epstein, investigative reporter and author;
    Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who needs no introduction.

    Here’s the story as written by William Rivers Pitt:,eric+alterman,+howard+fineman,+jeff+greenfield&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

    Apparently Pitt was present and is oblivious to the meeting being at all unethical.

    What would these same people say if President Bush met with a bunch of Fox News correspondents at Rush Limbaugh’s house is what I want to know.

    The thing is, Mr. E, Record’s monograph and Marshall’s talking points…it’s ALL politics.

  2. Jason

    I think it goes back to around the time that ‘news’ started being marketed as a product. And who would want a boring product that wasn’t slanted to or fro and was mainly based on actual factual events? I’m so sick of the whole worthless lot of them…


  3. Maureen

    An echo boomer is the generation after the Baby Boomers….I think they are the children of the Boomers..a sizable population but not in great enough numbers to counter the power of the Baby Boomers…

    Most Graciously,


  4. Maureen

    The idea of the “watchdog” or adverserial press is a thing of the past..for the most part…

    The problem is..the press is too cozy with those they interview..Like Rina pointed out..Al Franken is inviting Kerry and Bigwigs along with reporters to his home..that is a cozy and incestuous relationship…

    Such is the same with Fox..Are they really going to go after Bush for his inconsistencies when Rupert Murdoch is a supporter of Bush and Republicans?….

    We had an adverserial press after Watergate…then some complained the press was “too” in the case of the Reagan and/or Clinton Years…Yet, who is going to hold our leaders accountable? Who is going to be the next Woodward or Bernstein? Does that kind of reporter exist anymore, or are too many of them thinking more about being a “star” [a la’ Diane Sawyer, Ashley Banfield, etc…] rather than getting the story..the “real” and “straight” story…

    Most Graciously,

    *A Mayd in her own little woode…

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