Oct 1 2005


It’s Not Easy Being Fox “It’s a bit unseemly to talk about cutting off aid to these people while the hurricane is still roaring through Mississippi. But let’s give it a try.” – Charles Krauthammer (Fox News‘ Special Report, 8/29/05) Protecting Sources–From the Editor When Salon reported (8/17/05) that “many staffers” at the New York Times were troubled by “unanswered questions about [Judith] Miller’s reporting and role in the Plame affair” (see Extra!, 9-10/05), Times executive editor Bill Keller retorted that many accounts of the newsroom reaction to the case of the jailed reporter “are either flat wrong or grossly […]

Oct 1 2005

Media Ghost Writers

Time magazine (9/19/05) led off a report on George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina with an anecdote about Bush in the White House Situation Room, listening to reports about refugees and relief supplies. Here’s how Time‘s Mike Allen described Bush: “Furious, he interrupted and glared at the camera transmitting his image back to Mississippi. ‘I know y’all are trying as hard as you can, but it ain’t cuttin’ it,’ the commander in chief barked. ‘I wanna know why. We gotta do better.’” There’s no indication that Allen was actually in the Situation Room–or, if not, who might have told […]

Oct 1 2005

Covering Katrina

Amid Newfound Honesty, Apologetics Continue

One of the most noted trends in the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina has been the aggressive and critical tone some journalists have adopted towards the White House and Bush administration officials. “How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?” Tim Russert asked on Meet the Press (9/4/05). Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation (9/04/05) declared that “government at every level failed the people it was created to serve,” calling the emergency plan “survival of the richest.” Even Shepherd Smith at Fox News (9/2/05) resisted Sean Hannity’s attempts to put the chaotic federal response in “perspective,” insisting, “This is […]

Oct 1 2005

ABC’s Antiwar ‘Reality Check’

World News Tonight minimizes support for withdrawal

With Cindy Sheehan’s protest outside George W. Bush’s Texas ranch finally bringing a bit of media attention to the antiwar movement, some mainstream media outlets seem determined to marginalize such activism. On August 25, ABC World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson asked, “People may tell pollsters they oppose the war, but are they part of any real antiwar movement? We asked ABC‘s Dan Harris to take a reality check on the depth of sentiment against the war.” Harris began his “reality check” with this: For months, Americans have been telling pollsters that going to war was a mistake. But that […]