When Candidates Lie, REAL Journalists Say They ‘Finessed the Facts’

Rachel Maddow/photo by JD Lasica

On the subject of why politicians aren’t worried about corporate media factcheckers, a New York Times article from last week (8/31/12) by Alessandra Stanley is worth a second look. Under the headline, “How MSNBC Became Fox‘s Liberal Evil Twin,” Stanley wrote: “You can agree with everything that Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz say on MSNBC and still oppose their right to say it.” Stanley’s problem was that “all that attitude” on MSNBC “leaves fewer choices for viewers who like their election coverage with informed commentary without a twist of bias”: All that arch sarcasm and partisan brio may rev up […]


Assange’s ‘Nut Job’ Portrayal Says More About Portrayers

New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley–whose work has been regularly featured in the paper’s Corrections box–doesn’t think much of WikiLeaks‘ Julian Assange’s new TV show, which debuted on the Russian-backed RT cable channel. Stanley takes her shots–the channel has a “zesty anti-American slant,” she writes, then crudely notes: “A few correspondents can sound at times like Boris and Natasha of Rocky & Bullwinkle fame.” OK. Stanley runs down the various controversies swirling around Assange, then presents his response: “Mr. Assange tells reporters that he is being persecuted for political reasons, which, even if true, doesn’t exactly help his case.” I’m […]


NYT TV Critic: Sharpton’s Show Could Use More Misinformation

New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley has a piece (8/31/11) about Al Sharpton’s debut as an MSNBC host. It seems his show, like others on the channel, could use more of a debate: On Monday Mr. Sharpton followed the patented formula, bringing in two experts who agreed with him that recent efforts in North Carolina and other states to stiffen voter-identity requirements and restrict early voting would mostly affect the minorities and younger voters who turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama in 2008. Mr. Sharpton called it a “poll tax by another name.” It’s an interesting issue, […]


Error-Prone NYT Reporter Lectures Al Jazeera English on Accuracy

New York Times TV reporter Alessandra Stanley (2/2/11) had a piece discussing why you can’t watch Al Jazeera English on your television. After noting that “demand was pretty low” for the channel until recently (unlike, I don’t know, Fox Business Channel, which must have dozens of die-hard fans), Stanley warned that zeal sometimes outstrips the thirst for accuracy. The channel reported on Tuesday that 2 million protesters defied a curfew to gather in Tahrir Square; most Western news organizations put the number in the hundreds of thousands. Seriously–the New York Times is going to lecture other media outlets on the […]


If There’s One Thing They Can’t Stand, It’s Disarming Candor

The “media bias” against Sarah Palin is a key ingredient of the conservative victimology of 2008, even though when you see negative reports about Palin these days, they’re generally sourced to her erstwhile Republican colleagues–and corporate media sometimes go to absurd lengths to give the attacks a semi-positive spin, as in this Alessandra Stanley piece from the New York Times (10/11/08): Ms. Palin could be turning to television to restore her tarnished image, jumpstart a 2012 presidential bid, or both. But so far, viewers have mostly witnessed some of the very traits–disarming candor and staggering presumption–that drove some McCain campaign […]