PhRMA’s Money Affects Human Lives–and Journalism Too

Pharmaceuticals (cc photo: Erich Ferdinand)

Josh Marshall announces that Idea Lab: Impact will be “sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.” Yes, PhRMA, the lobbying group that has helped make the marketing of medicine one of the most profitable industries in America.


Edward Snowden and the State-Identified Journalist

Josh Marshall (Bill Moyers Journal)

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (6/11/13) wrote about Edward Snowden yesterday in a way that helped make it clear why so many in the press seem upset that the former NSA consultant revealed the extent of U.S. spying programs aimed at the American public. “I’m a journalist,” Marshall wrote. And back when I did national security reporting I tried to get leaks. So I don’t think leaks are always wrong…. In fact, leaks are an absolutely critical safety valve against government wrongdoing and/or excessive secrecy. But officials who leak classified information are “breaking an oath and committing a crime,” […]


The Case of the Disappearing NYT Piece

Mitt Romney

At Huffington Post (9/13/12), Ryan Grim and Michael Calderone are raising questions about the somewhat mysterious disappearance of a New York Times news article: On Wednesday, the New York Times published a provocative story bylined by David E. Sanger and Ashley Parker, leading with the news that Mitt Romney had personally approved the blistering Tuesday night statement on the attacks in Libya and Egypt that landed his campaign in trouble. But hours later, the newspaper wiped the story out and replaced it with a significantly rewritten piece bylined by Peter Baker and Ashley Parker…. The later version, which appeared on […]


ABC’s Drivel About ‘Partisan Rancor’

Some of the media commentary around the debt ceiling bemoans the state of the partisanship in Washington. Much of the chatter is about a supposed failure to compromise. As Josh Marshall argues, “this is simply false, even painfully so.” By any reasonable standard, the White House and the Democratic leadership have made an array of drastic compromises in order to win favor with Republicans–who are basically refusing to go along, since denying Obama any kind of “victory” is a key part of their electoral strategy for 2012. But in corporate media, “balance” is essential. So both “sides” must be held […]


NYT Public Editor ‘Circles the Wagons’ Against Public

Posting to the Columbia Journalism Review‘s Behind the News blog, Megan Garber (5/26/09) catches New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt espousing “a peculiar brand of institutional defensiveness” in his May 23 column: One that plays itself out via divisiveness–and via, in particular, a false dichotomy that aggrandizes Times reporters and dismisses those who are not. In particular, those nagging, nattering bloggers. (Outsiders! Pouncers! Rougher-uppers!) And he does so right in his lede: There are those “within” the Times, “trying to protect the paper’s integrity”â┚¬Ã‚¦and then there are those “outside” it, “ready to pounce on transgressions by Times journalists.” Garber […]