Journalistic Issues

By Kyle Drennen | June 19, 2015 | 11:00 AM EDT

In his first interview since being suspended and removed as anchor of NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams told Today co-host Matt Lauer on Friday that he “was not trying to mislead people” when he fabricated stories about news events he covered.

By Kyle Drennen | June 18, 2015 | 3:18 PM EDT

On Thursday, NBC News officially named Lester Holt as the new anchor of NBC Nightly News, permanently replacing suspended anchor Brian Williams. In a just-released statement, Williams apologized for his dishonest accounts of news events: “I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust.”

By Kyle Drennen | June 17, 2015 | 2:58 PM EDT

In a Tuesday article, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein slammed NBC for its series of exclusive interviews with ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal: “...the most absurd aspect of NBC News’ Dolezal Day was how straight-faced its interviewers sat as their subject grew loonier the more she spoke.”

By Seton Motley | June 15, 2015 | 10:29 AM EDT

As we’ve often discussed, the Tech Media is just as hopelessly Leftist and lost as the broader Jurassic Press.  They are both echo chambers - talking points and terrible ideas bounce with great rapidity around their tiny little worlds.  They are the Bubble Boys (and Girls) of news.

When a Tech Media story crosses over to the broader Jurassic Press - their ridiculous Leftist repetitiveness is truly comical.  And highly disquieting.

On Friday, President Barack Obama’s huge Internet Network Neutrality power grab officially went into effect.  A crossover story - with predictable, pathetic Press results.

By Tom Johnson | June 4, 2015 | 12:22 AM EDT

It seems improbable that the left might have too high an opinion of a Fox News personality, but it’s happened with Megyn Kelly, argued Jack Mirkinson in a Wednesday article.

Mirkinson noted that liberals have enjoyed several “extremely fun episodes in which [Kelly] made mincemeat out of (usually male) right-wing pundits,” but claimed that those instances have “helped obscure the fact that, far from being some objective oasis in a conservative desert, [The Kelly File] is usually just as right-wing and authoritarian as anything else on Fox News,” which in general he considers “a crude propaganda machine” peopled by “braindead hacks.”

By Tom Johnson | June 2, 2015 | 9:47 PM EDT

The mainstream media don’t like Hillary Clinton, contends Yglesias, nor does she “care to hide her disdain” for them. Conservatives don’t have to choose a side (talk about strange bedfellows either way) but Yglesias related in a Monday post that in this conflict, he’s partial to Hillary.

Yglesias claimed that “the press hates to admit…good news” about HRC, such as her edge in polls over her prospective Republican opponents. That said, anti-Hillary media bias may not hinder her candidacy, since “Clinton's disdain for the press is largely shared by the public, which does not think journalists are credible or contribute to society's well-being.”

All in all, concluded Yglesias, the forecast for Hillary's presidential hopes is sunny and warm: “Clinton's brand of cautious center-left politics and her genuine passion for trying to bring people together and make deals more-or-less reflects what the public wants from a politician.”

By Kyle Drennen | May 22, 2015 | 3:20 PM EDT

In a Thursday column, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler took NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff to task for failing to disclose a 2010 donation to the Clinton Foundation: “It is always a bad idea for a journalist to give money to a political campaign or anything even remotely connected to the activities of a politician or party, or an organization that they might cover. You just shouldn’t do it.”

By Tom Johnson | May 15, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT

In the uproar over George Stephanopoulos’s hefty, long-undisclosed contributions to the Clinton Foundation, New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait casts himself in a role similar to that of the child in the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who, after so many have admired their ruler’s supposedly magnificent outfit, points out that the monarch actually is wearing nothing at all.

“Everybody agrees this is terrible,” wrote Chait in a Thursday post. “But…why? [Rand] Paul accuses Stephanopoulos of harboring a ‘conflict of interest.’ But donating money to a charitable foundation is not an interest…It’s true that some donors have an incentive to use the Foundation to get close to the Clintons in a way that might benefit their business interests…But none of those problems reflects poorly on Stephanopoulos.”

The Clinton Foundation, Chait remarked, “is, after all, a charity. It used to have non-partisan overtones…Stephanopoulos’s defense — that he just wanted to donate to the Foundation’s work on AIDS prevention and deforestation — seems 100 percent persuasive. He is the victim of the ethical taint of the Clintons’ poorly handled business dealings, combined with an underlying right-wing suspicion of the liberal media, but what his critics have yet to produce is a coherent case against him.”

By Kyle Drennen | May 14, 2015 | 2:38 PM EDT

Talking to Bloomberg Politics correspondent Joshua Green on Wednesday, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer said he was "really quite stunned" by the revelation that ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos gave $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Schweizer called it a "massive breach of ethical standards" for the Bill Clinton operative turned journalist.

By Jorge Bonilla | April 22, 2015 | 5:24 PM EDT

There is something to be said for the warm cocoon of academia, and its ability to draw out the true thoughts of radicals. Univision News President and Fusion CEO Isaac Lee's recent presentation at the University of Texas at Austin was certainly no exception.

Lee’s eye-popping remarks should serve as a timely reality check for conservatives looking at how to factor in Univision as part of their Hispanic outreach/inclusion strategies.  During a Q&A with NYU professor Jay Rosen, Lee was asked about Univision’s “theory of trust” and truth-telling as related to impartiality and news coverage.  Here is the Univision News President’s answer in all its glory.

By Tim Graham | April 15, 2015 | 2:02 PM EDT

Bill Maher granted an interview with the Hollywood trade paper Variety, which mostly discussed his aversion to taping his HBO show Real Time instead of doing the show live – perhaps because that decision would mock the show’s title. But the jaw-dropping part came late in the article. Maher suggested the networks are “committing journalistic treason,” and Variety’s Brian Steinberg apparently failed to follow up.

By Tom Johnson | April 8, 2015 | 3:08 PM EDT

When it comes to false media narratives, the typical right-winger should be more concerned with the plank in his own eye than with the speck in the eye of a liberal. That, minus the allusion to the Sermon on the Mount, was the essential argument from Heather Digby Parton in a Wednesday column.

Parton sees Rolling Stone’s debunked, retracted University of Virginia rape story as one component of the right’s “new meme about liberal lies and false narratives.” This meme, she suggested, is wildly overblown (for example, even though “hands up, don’t shoot” was discredited, “young black males being unfairly targeted by police” still is a major problem) as well as hypocritical (e.g., Fox News has “peddle[d] false narratives” about matters such as the Benghazi attack and made a ton of money doing so).