Jun
13
2014

Plagiarism: Why It Matters

Chris Hedges

One reaction I’ve seen to the accusations of plagiarism against Chris Hedges is, basically: Who cares? It’s true there are greater journalistic crimes than plagiarism. When a reporter fabricates stories, or passes along government lies as truth, people can get killed. Plagiarism has never started a war, as far as I can tell. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a serious matter, at least for the journalistic community. It’s a matter of workplace theft. Imagine that you wait tables in a restaurant, and one of your co-workers turns out to have a habit of picking up other people’s tips […]

Mar
25
2014

Pundits Never Have to Say They’re Sorry–but They Can Demand Others Apologize for Being Right

RichLowry

National Review editor Rich Lowry slams Putin’s invasion based on “lies and force of arms.” You see, he’s against that kind of thing–except when it was the invasion of Iraq.

Oct
31
2013

National Review Just Can’t Seem to Shake Its Racist Image

National Review editor Rich Lowry (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

From its 1950s founding, when it campaigned for the racist order in the American South and South Africa, to recent years with “scientific racists” who say black people are less intelligent than other groups, the National Review has always been significantly defined by racism.

Jul
02
2013

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of a White Male ‘Mainstream’

The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel

With the tagline “The Magazine for Men,” it is almost unsurprising that Port magazine, a British quarterly, celebrated “A New Golden Age: The Increasing Importance of Print Media” by putting six white men on its cover. Not surprising, but also not excusable.

Jul
11
2012

Fast & Furious Conspiracies: Not Just at CBS

The “Fast & Furious” scandal has been a staple of right-wing media, where it is either evidence of a White House dodging accountability (a  legitimate argument) or a plot to create chaos in order to pass more stringent gun laws (a bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theory). But a recent Fortune investigation (6/27/12) showed that the central claim at the heart of the scandal is flawed. Was there an ATF program to “walk” guns into Mexico in order to catch drug lords on the other side of the border? No. The problem, as the story documented, was that prosecutors were reluctant […]

Jun
01
2012

D.C. Press Corps Sits on Hands as Actual Reporter Is Silenced

For a dramatic presentation of what’s wrong with the D.C. press corps, watch as In These Times reporter Mike Elk is silenced by Honeywell goons as he tries to ask a question about a poison gas leak–and his colleagues sit quietly by, except for one who encourages the goons because Mike doesn’t have a credential from the Capitol Hill Press Club!

May
25
2012

It’s Not About Climate Change–It’s About Keeping Advertisers Happy

Scientific American has a dilemma (Extra!, 2/11): It takes advertising from oil companies whose profits depend on denying the most important scientific fact of our era, the reality of human-caused climate change. The magazine would lose its whole brand identity if it pretended global warming wasn’t happening, but there are things short of that that will make its fossil-fuel-selling advertisers a little happier. Such as running blog posts like “It’s Not About Tar Sands–It’s About Us” by Melissa C. Lott and Scott McNally (5/23/12). Lott and McNally–both of whom have worked for the energy industry when they aren’t science blogging–dispute […]

May
25
2012

Gawker’s New Media Model: Have Advertisers Edit Content

How’s this for a business model for new media? Have people talk about products, and let the corporations who make the products pay to control the conversation. That’s Gawker‘s new sure-fire money-making scheme, according to CJR (5/24/12), which quotes a memo from the media gossip site: “In two years, our primary offering to marketers will be our discussion platform.” CJR explains that people mainly read Gawker for the snarky comments, so site founder Nick Denton is planning on virtually doing away with posts: Expect Gawker‘s blog posts to get shorter, in future, and sometimes just be a headline, at least […]

Apr
11
2012

A Racist at National Review? Do Tell

Conservative Forbes columnist Josh Barro is happy that John Derbyshire was fired for writing a racist column: I’m pleased to see that National Review has fired John Derbyshire as a result of his racist screed in Taki’s Magazine last week. Derbyshire’s remarks were beyond the pale, and this severing of ties is important for the credibility of one of the pillar institutions in conservative publishing. Barro, a contributor to National Review (NR) and National Review Online (NRO), was one of the first conservatives to call for Derbyshire’s ouster, arguing that keeping company with a racist like Derbyshire presented a “problem […]

Feb
22
2012

James Traub Bids a Fond Farewell to an Era of Constant Warfare

James Traub seemed a little bummed in a Sunday New York Times op-ed (“The End of American Intervention?,” 2/18/10), that military cuts and changing priorities will mean fewer humanitarian interventions in America’s future. So we must accept, if uneasily, the future which now seems to lie before us: We will do less good in the world, but also less harm. A leading advocate of “humanitarian intervention,” Traub doesn’t waste many words on the “harm” produced the by two decades of them, but he seems pretty sure about the “good.” For instance, he writes that the post-Cold War period “raised the […]

Dec
22
2011

Ron Paul Has NOT Been Ignored by Media–Except, Well, Yes He Has

“Ron Paul Ignored by the Media? Not So Much” was the headline on a National Journal post yesterday (12/21/11). “The Texan’s campaign has raised millions of dollars to combat the alleged media conspiracy that, they claim, is out to destroy the candidate the media fears most,” the Journal‘s Sarah Mimms reported. “There is just one problem: The Ron Paul revolution is being televised.” By Mimms’ count, “since announcing his campaign on May 13, Paul has made 87 appearances on cable television and Sunday news programs. That’s more than any other candidate currently running for president.” She stresses that “he has […]

May
31
2011

The Things That Roger Ailes Fears…

According to Tim Dickinson’s new piece in Rolling Stone, Fox honcho Roger Ailes lives in fear of “those gays”: Murdoch installed Ailes in the corner office on Fox‘s second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing a demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself […]

Dec
01
2010

WikiLeaks Hasn’t ‘Leaked’ Anything

If a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail because of a leaked cable, this entire, anarchic exercise in “freedom” stands as a human disaster. Assange is a criminal. He’s the one who should be in jail. –Joe Klein, Swampland (12/1/10) Actually, Julian Assange didn’t leak anything–he can’t, because he didn’t have access to classified documents. Someone (or someones) who did have such access leaked those documents to Assange’s WikiLeaks, which, as a journalistic organization, made them available to the world, both directly and through other media partners. This distinction, which is widely ignored in commentary on […]