Category Archives: Journalism

WaPo offers lobbyists access to Obama administration..for a fee.

This is friggin outrageous. The Washington Post is fast becoming yellow journalism, plain and simple. From Politico via TruthOut:

Washington Post Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Katharine Weymouth said today she was cancelling plans for an exclusive “salon” at her home where, for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few”: Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

Is this what’s known as pay to play? It sure sounds like it. How can you separate your newspaper from the lobbyists when you do something like this?

Where in the blue hell is journalistic integrity in this mess? Seems that the communications director wasn’t too keen on this bullshit either:

In his e-mail to the newsroom, labeled “Newsroom Independence,” Brauchli wrote: “Colleagues, A flyer was distributed this week offering an ‘underwriting opportunity’ for a dinner on health care reform, in which the news department had been asked to participate. The language in the flyer and the description of the event preclude our participation.

“We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable. There is a long tradition of news organizations hosting conferences and events, and we believe The Post, including the newsroom, can do these things in ways that are consistent with our values.”

WaPo has been going downhill for quite a while now, with the exception of a very small cadre of investigative journalist’s..this just seals it for me. Dana Milbank is a tool and so is Katherine Weymouth. Journalist integrity my fucking ass…A free press? Not at the Washington Post evidently.

The Peabodys are announced for 2007

The best in electronic media/journalism for 2007, as chosen by the Peabody board. For the complete here. Some notables:

Bob Woodruff Reporting: Wounds of War – The Long Road Home of Our Nation`s Veterans ABC News-Severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Woodruff made wounded veterans and their struggle with recovery and red tape his special focus and served them well with his sensitive, dogged reporting.

Money for Nothing, The Buried and the Dead, Television Justice, Kinder Prison WFAA-TV-The Dallas station distinguished itself with not one but four investigative series in 2007, probing dubious practices by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the Texas Railroad Commission, a police department that got too cozy with a TV sexual-predator sting operation and a Homeland Security Prison holding immigrant families.

Just Words The Center for Emerging Media-Marc Steiner`s 55 weekly radio reports, four minutes each, gave voice to marginalized people – low-wage workers, recovering drug addicts, the homeless – who rarely get to speak for themselves in the mainstream media and, in doing so, made common social issues immediate and personal.

CBS News Sunday Morning: The Way Home CBS News-Two unflinchingly candid women who lost limbs while serving in the military in Iraq were the centerpiece of this powerful, thought-provoking report by correspondent Kimberly Dozier, a recovering war casualty herself.

Taxi to the Dark Side Jigsaw Pictures, Tall Woods, Wider Film, ZDF/ARTE-The brutal death of an Afghani cab driver while in U.S. military custody gave director Alex Gibney the central thread of his searing exploration of detainee interrogation techniques and who, ulimately, bears responsiblity.

FRONTLINE: Cheney`s Law FRONTLINE, Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd., WGBH-Boston-In a strongly researched and reported hour that sometimes played like a political thriller, “FRONTLINE” traced the Bush Administration`s expansion of Presidental wartime powers to a determined, secretive campaign by the Vice President, that stretches back three decades.

CBS News 60 Minutes: The Killings in Haditha CBS News, 60 Minutes-This thorough, open-minded investigation of the worst single killing of civilians by American troops since Vietnam put not just the incident into better perspective but the entire Iraq War and the terrible choices it presents both solidier and civilian.

And last but certainly not least:

The Colbert Report Hello Doggie Inc., Busboy Productions, and Spartina Productions-Let none dare call it “truthiness.” Colbert, in his weeknight Comedy Central send-up of politics and all that is bombastic and self-serving in cable-news bloviasion, has come into his own as one of electronic media`s sharpest satirists.