Wednesday, August 1, 2012


     If you consider yourself well informed, interested and a user of any form of news media link here to James Asher's piece on Washington journalism.
        Asher is the Bureau Chief of the McClatchy newspaper chain.  Their record of hard nosed and investigative reporting is impressive, despite being in smaller and mid sized markets. Asher deals with a dirty secret of Washington reporting.  
        In other postings you may have noted I find a lot that is wrong with contemporary reporting-print and broadcast.  Standards have declined. So much clap trap is packaged and presented as news when it is promotional hype, celebrity gossip, spin, opinion and shallow content.  
       I started in a large city news room where  the standard was at least two sources to confirm something before we went with it.  We were drilled, and edited, to keep opinion and speculation out of the copy.  We established ground rules with sources.  Later when I directed news teams I insisted that before we used an anonymous source, I knew and vetted the source and in some cases insisted they sign a statement to be used only if it came down to our reporter being jailed for contempt or the company being sued in an action where our counsel thought disclosure of the source would be a good defense tool, but only as a last resort in seeking a dismissal, summary judgement or negotiated settlement. It was a tool for a rare and last stop decision. One must operate  within codes of conduct and cannons of behavior.  The Dirty Secret that Asher writes of is offensive to how journalism should be practiced. One more instance of a slide toward the swamp.
       Many dispute the value of journalism and, sadly, it is hard to defend so much of what we have today, including the partisan FOX News, and MSNBC. However this nation is best served by a non partisan, non ideological journalism that asks hard questions of everyone, demands honesty of everyone, verifys information scrupulously, and does it in a transparent and honorable way, according to canons and codes of conduct.  Anything else is rotten.
    Asher nails the rot that is rampant in Washington journalism. Let me know what you think.
That is what they call these beautiful wild flowers
that just pop up this time of year.

You just never know where a naked lady may show up.
See you down the trail.


  1. And this is news to McClatchy? I didn't see the NY Times piece but I doubt this is a new practice. Seems the sleaziness about leaks has, er, leaked. But Tom hits the nail on the head. It's a blooming shouting match. Makes one want to crawl under a rock. I'm not a journalist but I'm a news junkie, having spent 34 years at a major metropolitan newspaper. I read LA Times, NY Times and WSJ almost daily, subscribe to various newsletters, listen to talk radio and watch many of the news shows, including Fox but I take exception to the claim that Fox is alone in its partisanship. Many of their shows are "news analysis" and more often than not, have representation from both sides, But their news shows (Shepard Smith comes to mind as one) lean left. The NYT, LAT, WP, ABC, NBC, etc lean left and slant their coverage in that direction. It's not just what they say but what they don't say, where they position the story, (buried in the gutter?) the misleading headlines, etc. I've given up saving the articles for such a debate. There's just too many. You asked, and I bared my soul. Just call me "naked lady"

  2. I will definitely check out this article on journalism, although I figure it will depress me and I'd rather spend the time enjoying your naked ladies. So pretty, and Mrs, C. can't get jealous!