Recent Journalism Commentaries

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An Offer He Did Refuse
For years a parade of celebrities, politicians, CEOs and others have attempted to end The National Enquirer’s sleazy and wildly inaccurate “news” reporting with little success. Now this mainstay of Yellow Journalism has crossed swords with the world’s richest man, and The Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., along with its CEO David Pecker may be a little more troubled...
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February 11, 2019
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CNN v. Trump
In response to yet another controversial and unprecedented action taken by President Trump, cable news organization CNN has filed a lawsuit against the president, as well as some members of his administration, for revoking White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass to The White House. Updated: Friday, 11:23 a.m. The opening of the 18-page lawsuit reads: “…on November 7, 2018,...
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November 16, 2018
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The Ethical Take: Big Kahuna Edition
In the olden days (of 2017), I used to say, “every week”; ridiculous! Every DAY, Trump and/or his administration face some new potential legal or ethical issue. Here’s the latest rundown: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), “…Zinke has racked up 17 federal investigations into his behavior since becoming Secretary.” “…the...
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November 14, 2018
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Last Man Standing
“Tomorrow the migrants… are more than two months away — if any of them actually come here, but tomorrow is one week before the midterm election, which is what all of this is about.” – Shepard Smith, FOX News anchor, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 Shepard Smith, the informed, straightforward newsman at FOX News (Yes, you heard me correctly, FOX News),...
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November 2, 2018
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“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. It is as simple as that.” ~ Edward R. Murrow, 20th century journalist in testimony before a Congressional Committee, May 1963 Let’s face it, credibility is not that simple anymore. It has less to do with facts and more...
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October 22, 2018
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Standards, What Standards?
Fox News executives should issue the following statement: “Fox News is calling for a total and complete shutdown of inaccurate and false stories coming from Sean Hannity until Fox representatives can figure out what the HELL is going on!” P.S. – They have, sort of. Conspiracy theories have bounced around popular culture and politics since the birth of the nation....
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May 26, 2017
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60 Minutes Investigates “Fake News”
What stood out to me in watching last Sunday’s show, where 60 Minutes journalist Scott Pelley interviews an individual who traffics in “fake” news, is how perfectly plausible he could sound. The more I listened, however, the more I realized I was listening to “fake” plausibility. “ ‘What we are talking about are stories that are fabricated out of thin...
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March 29, 2017
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“…democracy versus a dictatorship.”
In an unprecedented move, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer last Friday, barred “journalists from the New York Times, CNN, Politico and BuzzFeed—which have been criticized by President Donald Trump and his administration for their reporting—from [an off-camera press briefing]. Reporters from the Associated Press and Time Magazine boycotted the event in protest,” The Wall Street Journal reported (Feb. 24)....
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February 27, 2017
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Fact-Checking a Reader – Rebuttal
Since last Friday (Jan. 27), when President Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven countries for at least the next 90 days, this website has received a higher than usual response rate, largely due to a commentary I wrote last year. (Comments to this post are now closed.) Fact-Checking a Reader (Jan. 20, 2016), was written in response...
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February 3, 2017
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Last week, President-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference since being elected. While the meeting was supposed to allow Mr. Trump to lay out his proposal on how he will unravel himself from his many conflict of interest issues, the conversation quickly turned to an intelligence briefing for Mr. Trump – specifically a 2-page synopsis of a 35-page report...
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January 16, 2017