Sep 14 2012

Brought to You by…Big Oil?

Washington Post hides industry sponsorship of energy debate

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The Washington Post had a two-page spread in its September 11 edition devoted to a “debate” on energy policy. But industry critics were missing from the picture. Why? Perhaps because the oil industry, undisclosed to Post readers, was sponsoring the discussion.

Mar 11 2011

Remembering David Broder

Despite non-ideological reputation, he pushed political culture to the right

Washington Post columnist and political reporter David Broder died on Wednesday, March 9. Broder was an enormously influential figure in Beltway media circles–“the best political reporter of his generations,” wrote his Post colleague Dan Balz (3/10/11). ABC‘s George Stephanopoulos declared (3/9/11) that “for generations of policy makers, journalists and political junkies, Broder was the gold standard.” Broder’s work was frequently criticized, something that the Washington Post actually noted in an editorial honoring him (3/10/11): Mr. Broder was often called “the Dean,” a position that is now likely to go unfilled in the Washington press corps. His detractors used the term […]

Jun 21 2010

NYT, WaPo Misremember Gaza War

Blaming Hamas rockets bolsters Israeli PR

In the aftermath of Israel’s May 31 raid on the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla that killed nine activists, the Washington Post and New York Times have propagated an inaccurate historical context that serves to bolster Israeli claims. The conventional rendition is that Israel invaded Gaza at the end of 2008 in order to stop a near-constant stream of rockets fired by Hamas. This history signals to readers that Israel was merely reacting to intolerable and persistent acts of violence. But that is wildly misleading. For much of the second half of that year, a truce between Hamas and Israel largely […]

Jan 06 2010

Washington Post Lets Lobbyists Write Its Stories

Anti-Social Security outfit does propaganda, not journalism

The Washington Post‘s publication of a “news” article written by an organization created to advance an ideological agenda is a troubling reminder of the declining ethical standards at one of the nation’s most influential newspapers. The article, headlined “Support Grows for Tackling Nation’s Debt” (12/31/09), was a product of the Fiscal Times, described in an accompanying note as “an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economics issues.” More accurately, it’s a propaganda outlet created and funded by Peter G. Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire and Nixon administration cabinet member who has long used his wealth […]

Nov 17 2009

On Healthcare, Don’t Follow the Money

WaPo's new rule of journalism?

The Washington Post‘s Shailagh Murray (11/17/09) wrote a profile of Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D.-Ark.) as one of the Democratic senators most likely to break with the rest of the party on healthcare reform. The article seemed to invert the advice Deep Throat once gave to the Post‘s Woodward and Bernstein into a new rule: Don’t follow the money. Headlined “A Centrist in Healthcare Debate, Lincoln Hears It From All Sides,” the piece presented Lincoln’s stance as something of a puzzle: “Hundreds of thousands of Lincoln’s constituents are low-income and lack insurance, the very kind of voters expected to benefit under […]

Mar 02 2009

More Hot Air from George Will

Columnist defends errors in climate change column

Syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will and the Post‘s ombud Andrew Alexander are still failing to address the majority of the inaccuracies in Will’s February 15 column on climate change. Facing down critics (including FAIR–Action Alert, 2/18/09), Will claimed in a new column (2/27/09) that his original “column contained many factual assertions but only one has been challenged.” Taking up that “one” challenge, Will continued to insist that his summary of research done by the University of Illinois’ Department of Atmospheric Sciences was correct–despite the researchers’ repudiation of Will’s argument. Of course, critics had pointed out two other inaccuracies: Will […]

Feb 24 2009

Post Responds on Will’s Inaccuracies

Paper's explanation makes matters worse

George Will’s February 22 column in the Washington Post began: “A simple apology would have sufficed.” Alas, this was not a reference to Will’s error-filled column on climate change the week before (FAIR Action Alert, 2/18/09). But the paper’s new ombud did email a response to some of Will’s critics, which managed to reveal how Will easily gets away with such falsehoods. Will’s original column included three significant problems: He misrepresented scientific research in the 1970s by claiming that cooling was the prevailing concern, he misrepresented University of Illinois research on sea ice, and he claimed that U.N. climate researchers […]

Feb 18 2009

Does the Post Fact-Check George Will?

Columnist's climate change denial distorts reality

Washington Post columnist George Will is among the most widely syndicated in the newspaper business–which means that his recent error-filled column about climate change will misinform the readers of hundreds of papers across the country. Will made several specious claims in his February 15 column in an attempt to argue that climate change is not a serious concern. (Will has a history of such denial–see Extra!, 5-6/07.) He started by citing newsmagazine stories from the 1970s that warned of global cooling. The prevailing scientific consensus at that time did not support such claims (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 9/08), […]