Yearly Archives: 2021

Arsonist heroically agrees not to light deadly fire? Let me rewrite that for you!

Mitch McConnell is getting exactly the kind of coverage he had hoped for -- and had every reason to expect -- from a press corps that is incapable of holding the Republican Party accountable for anything.

A bizarre oversight in Facebook coverage (called interoperability)

Its premise is simple: Individuals should be able to choose their own rules about what they see, rather than letting Facebook’s algorithms do it.

Let me rewrite that for you!

In which I rewrite the top of news stories that really bugged me this week. Today: The New York Times gets overwrought about a delayed vote; two news organizations struggle with denominators, and more.

New York Times reporters humiliate themselves again

An overwrought and smarmy lead Times story by Jonathan Weisman and Emily Cochrane described what may end up as a blip as a sky-is-falling scenario for Democrats undermined by a “liberal revolt” that amounted to a “humiliating blow” for Biden.

Andrew Taylor exit interview: Dysfunctional Congress and “scoop culture” lead reporters to over-hype faux drama

Reporters rush madly after deceptive talking points and hype conflict, rather than focusing on the big story, which is how little Congress actually does.

Press Watch mission statement: Political journalism needs a reset

No one can possibly argue that modern political journalism has fulfilled its essential mission of creating an informed electorate. Here's how it needs to change.

At the New York Times, a new revelation about Trump’s attempted coup isn’t worth mentioning

Now we know exactly what Trump wanted Pence to do. But the New York Times is apparently bored with this story.

Political journalists are both-siding a “crisis” caused entirely by the GOP

Republican congressional leaders are flagrantly ginning up a major political and financial crisis -- safe in the knowledge that the Washington press corps will blame both sides.

The ‘why’ behind the lie

Calling a lie a lie is better than using a euphemism. But it’s still a disservice to the public if you don’t explain its purpose.

20 years after 9/11, political journalists decry extreme polarization but blame no one, certainly not themselves

The same elite journalists who contemporaneously failed to hold the responsible parties accountable are now telling us self-servingly that there is really no one to blame.

The journalistic crusade to save democracy starts with the First Amendment

Assaults on freedom of the press aren't inside baseball.  These are the front lines. This is a huge story.

“Dear Trolls”: A fill-in-the-blanks form letter news organizations can use next time a right-wing mob comes for a reporter

Every news organizations should have a “straightforward protocol” for responding to “targeted campaigns that seek to undermine the legitimacy of news organizations and obscure the facts around conflicts.” Just fill in the blanks.

The flailing Washington Post gets a new leader, with no time to lose

Sally Buzbee enters a newsroom in crisis. Her most urgent task is to establish clear, honest, and principled ways of covering a major political party that is increasingly devoted to subverting democracy.

New York Times says goodbye to ‘op-eds’ and hello to ‘guest essays’ — but will it invite in the rest of America?

The key for the Times opinion section going forward should be quality control, not opinion control. There should be a near-zero tolerance for bad-faith arguments. And if Republicans refuse, they haven't been canceled, they've opted out.

News organizations shouldn’t be making secret deals with Facebook

It's one thing for our top news organizations to accept payoffs from Facebook while leaving smaller newsrooms to die. It's another for them to hide it from their readers and viewers.