The Demise of Newspapers and the Walter Reed Scandal

An exchange from the Chris Matthews Show (3/22/09)–featuring the host, columnist Kathleen Parker, NBC‘s Mark Whitaker and Time columnist Joe Klein–about the threat to investigative reporting in the wake of corporate media’s current financial woes:

MATTHEWS: The Washington Post did it with that…

WHITAKER: Right, the Washington Post.

MATTHEWS: You know when we found out about how they were treating our veterans coming back from Iraq over at Walter Reed?

PARKER: Right.

MATTHEWS: Because of Dana Priest.

PARKER: The–Priest.

KLEIN: Right.

WHITAKER: Right. (Unintelligible)

MATTHEWS: Because she had the backing to go do it.

Not to take anything away from Dana Priest at the Post–who won a Pulitzer, after all–but the first I’d heard about such issues was from the reporting of Mark Benjamin at Salon (and before that, UPI). Priest’s storiesgot major attention in official Washington, and were picked up by the rest of the corporate media. But that’s a sign that elites pay more attention to news in elite newspapers.

If big-time journalists paid more attention to theircolleagueswho aredoing important work at less prestigious outlets, they’d feel better about the state of their profession.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.