Recent Journalism Commentaries

Featured image for “Dear Mr. Baker”
Dear Mr. Baker
Gerard Baker is The Wall Street Journal’s editor in chief. You have a strangely nuanced view of what is or is not a lie when it comes to the utterances and tweets of President-elect Trump. Here’s what you said (Trump, ‘Lies’ and Honest Journalism): “[A] ‘Lie’ implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent...
Read More
January 6, 2017
Featured image for “Correction”
Correction
“Journalists should accept moral responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of actions and inactions, including the example set for others and when in error, they should make full, fair, prominent and prompt corrections.”   – Michael Josephson, Ethical Principles of Journalism The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other news organizations offer readers the opportunity to “correct the record” regarding errors...
Read More
December 30, 2016
Featured image for “If The Election Were Held Today, For Whom Would You Vote?”
If The Election Were Held Today, For Whom Would You Vote?
John Zogby is a pollster and author who has the ability to write analysis in a way most of us can understand. Recently, John sent me the following political conundrum: In the election of 2016, the candidates for President are: Republican, The Emperor Nero of Rome, narcissistic, extravagant, and tyrannical. He felt the burn almost 2000 years ago. Democrat, Catherine...
Read More
October 7, 2016
Featured image for “The First Priority”
The First Priority
“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”  — William F. Buckley, Jr. In Junior High, my mother announced that every day I would start reading at least two articles from our daily newspaper. The first was a news event of the day. Typically, I’d pick anything to do with the space program....
Read More
October 3, 2016
Featured image for “Ethics and the Powell E-Mails”
Ethics and the Powell E-Mails
The publication of Colin Powell’s private opinions of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – obtained from hacked e-mails from the former secretary of state’s private e-mail account – is only the latest example of the thorny ethical issues that journalists and media organizations must navigate. In this new universe, everything that’s been hacked appears to be fair game after...
Read More
September 19, 2016
Featured image for “Eat It!”
Eat It!
October 2, 2015: a date… which will live… in infamy; at least for one journalist. That look of utter defeat on Washington Post Columnist Dana Milbank’s face comes as a consequence of a promise he made last year. “I’m so certain Trump won’t win the nomination,” Milbank wrote, “that I’ll eat my words if he does. Literally: The day Trump...
Read More
May 16, 2016
Featured image for “Standing on Principle”
Standing on Principle
George Clooney’s compelling 2003 film, Good Night, and Good Luck, is about character assassination and the two men taking a principled stand against such tactics: CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, and producing partner, Fred Friendly. After publicaly exposing U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for destroying careers and lives through rumor and innuendo – usually claiming guilt by association – the...
Read More
April 29, 2016
Featured image for “<em>Et tu,</em>Wolf? <em>Et tu!?</em>”
Et tu,Wolf? Et tu!?
Here are the comments I sent to CNN earlier this week: Dear CNN News Producers: (I know you won’t pay attention to this, but I’ll say it anyway.) Please, please, PLEASE STOP all coverage of Donald Trump “controversies.” We know his M.O. We’ve seen enough of his supporters drunk on his Kool-Aid defend him… to the death.  » Read more about:...
Read More
March 30, 2016
Featured image for “That Interview”
That Interview
“Mission accomplished: We have him.” No sooner had Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted that message to Mexico’s citizens announcing the recapture of Joaquin Guzmán Loera, than the other shoe dropped… Rolling Stone magazine published an interview with “El Chapo,” The El Chapo, the notorious drug kingpin of the Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Getting an interview like this is akin...
Read More
January 13, 2016
Featured image for “Line Crossed”
Line Crossed
What if your neighbors were suspected of being involved in a mass shooting? And after the police and FBI had searched their home, the media were allowed to go through the residence, and among the items broadcast live were photos of you and your family; how would you react? In the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting rampage, the home...
Read More
December 11, 2015