Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi reported in Tuesday’s paper that former NBC and CNN journalist Campbell Brown found a new calling. “After years as a journalist, steeped in notions of fairness and balance, Brown has transformed into an advocate” – against tenure for teachers.
Since taking on the teachers’ unions apparently makes you a public enemy, the Post and Farhi then lined up Diane Ravitch, a former GOP education bureaucrat-turned-lefty, to trash Campbell Brown as a pretty bubblehead who knows nothing:
Theodore "Teddy" Schleifer is a reporting intern for The New York Times. But he already has a resume as a Democratic staffer going back to high school, including the last Obama-Biden campaign. Paul Farhi of The Washington Post captured the controversy after Schleifer tackled the Mississippi GOP Senate primary.
“The incestuous relationship between the mainstream media and Democratic Party has headed down to Mississippi,” Erick Erickson wrote on Redstate.com. “Schiefer [sic] . . . is also quite proud of [an earlier] hit piece on then Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels [written for his college newspaper]. He seems like he’ll be a good liberal reporter. Obama connections and the New York Times tend to go hand in hand these days.”
Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi reported on Jay Carney stepping down as White House spokesman and how exhausting the job is. It's "Washington's ultimate burnout job."
Farhi found some of that was just dodging: Yahoo News reported last June that Carney had responded to questions at the daily briefings with some variation of “I don’t know” nearly 2,000 times since his first briefing in 2011. It also reported that Carney had somehow dodged reporters’ questions approximately 9,486 times. Reporters were split in their evaluations of this former Time White House correspondent who switched sides:
A group of prominent journalists -- including former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie -- met yesterday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder but walked away from the meeting disappointed that the Obama administration's top cop won't amend vague Justice Department guidelines which, they argue, make it far too easy for the administration to hound a reporter with the threat of criminal prosecution for protecting his or her sources in a leak investigation.
Yet in covering the story, Post editors shoved Paul Farhi's reporting on the matter to the front page of Style, rather than the A-section, and slapped on a yawn-inducing headline guaranteed to entice only the wonkiest of readers: "Media group, Holder meet on leak cases." "U.S. rules on warrants and subpoenas targeting reporters are challenged," noted the subheader. According to Farhi, the group of journalists want to see DOJ policy amended so that the attorney general must personally get involved in a subpoena request for a journalist's records (emphasis mine):
NPR named a new CEO on Friday. His name is Jarl Mohn (pronounced “Yarl Moan”), who was a founder of the cable channel E and an executive at MTV and VH-1.
Leftists might worry with these corporate connections, but Mohn has been a major donor to Pasadena NPR station KPCC – as well as a major donor to Barack Obama and the DNC. For 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, he chaired the board of the ACLU of Southern California. His Mohn Family Foundation has continued to support the group.
Meet the Press host David Gregory has been the focus of turmoil since the Sunday morning NBC program suffered its lowest ratings since 1992 during the past year and was the subject of a meeting with network news president Deborah Turness in March. After that gathering, NBC “doubled down” on Gregoryas host of the series, along with giving him additional duties on the network's news website.
However, an article written by Paul Farhi in Sunday's edition of the Washington Post stated that during the first three months of 2012, the NBC program finished a distant third, far behind CBS's Face the Nation and This Week With George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Just four days later, Turness sent a memo to the show's staff declaring that coverage of Gregory's troubles has been “vindictive, personal and above all -- untrue.”
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi wrote a big Style section front-pager for Monday on how NBC's Meet the Press, "Sunday's most venerable news show has stumbled in the ratings."
The shocking paragraph that will get discussed around Washington today is that NBC commissioned a psychological consultant to figure how who MTP host David Gregory is, and what makes him tick. Or maybe, why people just don't like him very much:
Thursday’s Washington Post promoted the forthcoming HBO news-satire show starring “The Daily Show” correspondent John Oliver, run by a former head writer for “The Daily Show.” But reporter Paul Farhi passes along claims that it won’t be like “The Daily Show.” Right. By story's end, it's clear he doesn't believe that, either.
But in classic Comedy Central fashion Oliver’s team previewed their tilt by releasing two YouTube videos mocking the Republican National Committee’s “latest outreach ad to young voters.” It suggests that young Republicans wear stupid clothes (too-small leather jackets), ride tricycles, and engage in “non-vaginal intercourse with girls they met at Christian summer camp" (video below):
Just how big a jerk is former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller? Enough of a jerk that he’d write a column scolding a cancer patient that his father-in-law had more class when he died with dignity in Britain, as opposed to her fighting away, in real life and on Twitter, with “the frantic medical trench warfare that often makes an expensive misery of death in America.”
He pulled himself into this unseemly fight after his wife Emma Gilbey Keller attacked cancer patient Lisa Bonchek Adams in a column in the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian.
The Washington Post isn’t usually quick to publicize controversies about its own employees. But there’s an exception: when a Postie trips the left-wing race-gender-LGBT hate-thought alert. In that case, it didn’t take 24 hours for media reporter Paul Farhi to get the assignment on the "baying for Cohen's head."
Liberals were furious with Post columnist Richard Cohen for allegedly insulting the biracial family of new ultraliberal New York mayor Bill De Blasio. The amusing part is that Cohen was attempting to trash conservatives as the backward ones:
The latest and greatest Obama scandal is the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but it has something in common with all the others (besides Obama knew nothing). Some journalists are still brazenly trying to deny against all evidence that this scandal has any substance at all.
The same people who freaked out over President Bush's one sentence in one State of the Union speech that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa are now making excuses for Obama saying everywhere, endlessly, "If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you." To them, that's not lying -- blatantly, repeatedly, shamelessly. He simply "misspoke," claimed the New York Times editorial page.
Media outlets see themselves as brave souls reporting on racial discrimination inside greedy corporations. On June 12, The Washington Post made a front-page story out of a suit against BMW and Dollar General by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for “indirectly discriminating against African Americans by using criminal background checks to screen out workers.”
At FrontPage magazine, conservative freelancer Evan Gahr reports the Post is “quieter than deaf mutes about a lawsuit alleging race discrimination at their own paper.” This is just like NPR's on-air silence when it was sued by correspondent Sunni Khalid for racial and anti-Muslim discrimination in 1997. The blog Fishbowl DC covered the contrast, and then said that contrast is interesting, but tried to underline just how totally understandable the Post blackout on itself was:
Washington Post reporters Paul Farhi and Billy Kenber caused a morning cereal spew inside the Beltway. In a story about the revolving door between reporters and Team Obama, there was this unintentional laugh line from Jay Carney: “But I think any reading of my coverage as a reporter would show that I was not an ideologue. [Time columnist] Joe Klein said he thought I was a Republican” when Carney joined Biden’s staff.
See my dossier on how Carney found Hillary was “strangely mesmerizing" as “the polite but passionate American citizen,” or how Bill Clinton was “probably the best white politician out there speaking on race issues.” (That sounds exactly like Joe Klein.) The Posties quoted Rush Limbaugh decrying the obvious media-Obama mindmeld, then lamely tried to argue their way out of that reality:
CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday discussed Alec Baldwin supposedly getting his own show on MSNBC.
For some reason, guest host Brian Stelter of the New York Times as well as his panelists chose not to mention Baldwin's recent homophobic rant despite it occurring just six weeks ago (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post is a legend in the minds of the Washington elite, so its financial decline has caused quiet panic. As NPR media reporter David Folkenflik put it, “You think of stories like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, these are all stories where The Washington Post led the nation's understanding, the world's understanding of some major issues.”
Outside the liberal media, you wonder how long Post fans can wallow in their Nixon-crumbling polyester “glory days” in the early 1970s. But nostalgia ruled as the Graham family sold the Post to Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com. “Now he is being credited as a white knight with deep pockets helping to save one of this country's great newspapers,” oozed NBC reporter Tom Costello.
Politico media writer Dylan Byers sought to add context to Paul Farhi’s “glowing profile” of CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson in Wednesday’s Washington Post.
Byers suggested Farhi painted it as a David and Goliath story with Team Obama as Goliath. But there’s another Goliath, he wrote: CBS News executives who aren’t happy with Attkisson’s “Benghazi campaign” that’s “wading dangerously close” to advocacy:
The trial of notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell -- as close to a demonic presence as anything this country will ever see -- was almost a month old when the network blackout finally ended. CNN broke its silence, as did CBS. National newspapers sent reporters to the trial for the first time.
They started covering it only because of a national outrage that they would so deliberately withhold this horror story from the public -- for political reasons.
Monday’s Style section of the Washington Post was topped by a surprising story: “An abortion provider is on trial: Where’s the media coverage?” Sadly, what followed was a denial that there's any evidence of liberal bias, and a parade of utterly unconvincing evasions, excuses, and accusations against conservative media.
Post reporter Paul Farhi credited the “conservative Media Research Center” with asking if the blackout of the Kermit Gosnell trial could be caused by the “mainstream media’s supposed support for abortion rights.” This story utterly erodes the word “mainstream” for them. Start with the maddening list of official media responses to where they’ve been on Gosnell:
In a 19-paragraph story today, Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi took a look at how various newspapers around the country are backing away from their initial requests for public records of gun owners. "For the third time in as many months, a newspaper has faced an angry backlash, including threats of violence, after it sought government data on local gun permit holders," Farhi noted. "In the two most recent instances, the newspapers rescinded requests for the documents amid the outcry, with one issuing an abject apology to its readers and the local sheriff for daring to seek the information in the first place," he griped.
In a time when the print newspaper is an endangered species, you'd think Farhi might present the story with the angle being how liberal papers are shooting themselves in the feet with stunts that harm their advertising revenue and subscription base. But no, the thrust of Farhi's piece is how newspapers are cowering away from doing their job. To make this point, Farhi turned to journalism professor Geneva Overholser, who perhaps is most infamous for her call eight years ago for newspapers to identify alleged rape victims (emphasis mine):
Tuesday’s Washington Post honored lesbian comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for“A comic’s courage” to come out of the closet. So did the Kennedy Center people who selected her to win the Mark Twain Prize. She did not disappoint the liberals.
On the awards show (taped for PBS), she made a “sly nod toward Mitt Romney’s sentiments” with the joke, “Thank you, PBS. I’m so glad to be part of your final season.” She also told Politico Romney made her “very, very scared” for women for many reasons (on which she apparently didn't have the "courage" to elaborate):
The Washington Post really knows how to bury the lede. In a Tuesday story on how suspended CNN-Time journalist Fareed Zakaria is now under fire for stealing quotes without attribution in his book The Post-American World, media reporter Paul Farhi waited until the 13th and final paragraph to acknowledge that that the Post has joined CNN and Time in punishing Zakaria for his plagiarism.
“Zakaria also writes a separate column for The Washington Post. The newspaper said on Monday that his column will not appear this month,” he concluded. Zakaria lamented: "People are piling on with every grudge or vendetta" now that NewsBusters exposed him.
Washington Post columnist Paul Farhi on Saturday offered an obnoxious comparison for the widespread American patriotism on display during the just-ended Olympics: He brought up Hitler. Regarding the quest for gold medals, Farhi connected, "Certainly, America's current Olympic chauvinism (USA! USA!) is mild compared with Adolf Hitler's grotesque perversion of the 1936 Berlin Games or the long arc of the Cold War era."
(Well, it's a good thing America's "chauvinism" isn't quite as bad as Hitler.) The Post journalist seemed to want to have it both ways, acknowledging the prestige and advertising money U.S. viewers bring to the Olympics and at the same time worrying about how Chinese athletes "don’t get many humanizing breaks." Farhi lamented, "Bob Costas hasn’t been having them over for many post-game chats, nor is Visa likely to feature them in its golden-tinged commercials anytime soon."
Observers on the right and left have, for different reasons, long lamented that Comedy Central has become the main source of news for young people. But one group thinks the phenomenon is just fine. The academic left considers comedian Stephen Colbert an object of serious and perhaps even obsessive study.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi wrote an excellent piece on July 9, examining the academic world’s “unsettling” obsession with comedian Stephen Colbert. Farhi describes Colbert-related studies as the “academic cult of Colbert,” writing: “Yet ever since Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” began airing on Comedy Central in 2005, these ivory tower eggheads have been devoting themselves to studying all things Colbertian.”
It's not often that Newt Gingrich looks like a winner in The Washington Post. But on Saturday, Post media reporter Paul Farhi lined up a set of liberal media veterans and journalism professors to attack CNN reporter John King for walking into a Gingrich buzzsaw by opening the debate with his second wife's "open marriage" assertion at Thursday night's CNN debate.
“Gingrich was clearly waiting for the question, clearly was prepared to pounce,” said W. Joseph Campbell, a communications professor and media historian at American University. “King seemed taken off guard. He looked a little sickened. And he did himself no favors by lamely pointing out that it wasn’t CNN but another network that dug out the Gingrich-infidelity story. That allowed Gingrich to pounce again.”
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi is finding a lot of unusual circumstances -- and unusual no-comments -- around Michelle Obama's razzle-dazzle distraction outing to Target after her latest controversy over wearing $42,000 diamond bracelets. He found "there might have been something to the notion of White House orchestration." Farhi's story did not note how the Post's own gossip columnists were eagerly orchestrated to coo over the photo (including on NBC).
Is the AP granting the First Lady a publicity favor to curb the Michelle Antoinette echoes that will give them increased access later in return? If the official White House photographer had taken these shots, Farhi noted, the rest of the press would have seen them as promotional. Somehow they weren't if AP put their prestige on the credit line instead. Farhi lined up all the improbabilities:
Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.
Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi profiled MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on the front of Friday’s Style section. The headlines were vaguely promotional. Above a large picture it reads "Lawrence O’Donnell is hitting his marks at the center of MSNBC’s prime time lineup." The actual headline below is "A starring role as the cable guy."
But read deeply into Farhi’s portrait, and it becomes clear that O’Donnell prides himself on being detached – some might say insincere. Late in the piece, Farhi quotes me on how Larry’s done "some very weird shouting and tantrums." In response, O’Donnell says he’s not really outraged on TV, he’s...acting! He's the Master Thespian of Cable News. He’s sort of playing a character for theatrical effect:
The Washington Post on Friday took on Seymour Hersh's outlandish conspiracy theory that "neo-conservative" members of Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta inside the military "overthrew the American government" and are waging a "crusade" against Muslims. The newspaper reported that, contrary to Hersh's claims, General Stanley McChrystal was not a member of either organization, and that there was "little evidence of a broad fundamentalist conspiracy within the military."
Writer Paul Farhi began his article, "Hersh rebuked on 'crusaders,'" by stating that the journalist for The New Yorker's "latest revelation is drawing some puzzled reactions and angry denunciations." After recounting Hersh's accusations from his recent speech, that he "advanced the notion that U.S. military forces are directed and dominated by Christian fundamentalist 'crusaders' bent on changing 'mosques into cathedrals'" and his accusations against McChrystal and other members of the special operations community, Farhi continued that there "seem to be a few problems with Hersh's assertions," and quoted from the former general's spokesman:
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi was complete enough in his reporting on the internal NPR review of the Juan Williams firing on Saturday that he included financial numbers that NPR released on the bonuses of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. The decision to cancel her bonus over that Fox-loathing fiasco was a six-figure decision:
According to tax records released by NPR on Friday, Schiller received a bonus of $112,500 in May 2010, about 17 months after she was hired by the Washington-based organization. This was in addition to a base salary of $450,000. The bonus was included in her hiring package, NPR said.
The preceding year, before Schiller's arrival, NPR paid out $1.22 million in salary, bonuses and deferred compensation to Schiller's predecessor, Kevin Klose, who retired that year. It paid another $1.22 million to Ken Stern, its president, who was forced out. Stern's compensation was swelled by a early buyout of his contract, according to NPR.