YELLOW JOURNALISM: The Last Truth Teller


POLITICO: POLITICO learned today that the Washington Post has terminated its relationship with liberal columnist/blogger Dan Froomkin. Froomkin authored the “White House Watch” blog and was told today that the blog had essentially run its course. MORE

PAUL KRUGMAN: OK, I have no idea about the actual decision process. But I have a theory about the general mindset of the people who made this decision. Here’s how I see things: many people in the news media, especially at the managerial level, decided a long time ago that movement conservatism was The Future — and that the sensible thing, whether or not you yourself were a conservative, was to go with the wave. That meant treating right-wing politicians and media figures with great respect, while ridiculing the opposition as the Incredible Shrinking Democrats or the Incredibly Shrinking Democrats, or whatever.

And anyone who didn’t treat the right with great respect, who didn’t get with the program, was a flake, a moonbat. The way Iraq war skeptics were frozen out of the prewar discussion was only the most conspicuous example; pretty much the same thing happened in early 2005 to anyone questioning the push for Social Security privatization. Now, you might think that the way things turned out — the total failure of movement conservatism in government, and the abrupt, humiliating end to the Permanent Republican Majority — would lead to some soul-searching. But that’s not how human nature works. Instead, it became more urgent than ever to assert that those who didn’t get with the program were flakes and moonbats, not worthy of being listened to, while those who believed in the right to the bitter end were “serious”. MORE

GLENN GREENWALD: To be a real establishment journalist (objective), you’re not allowed to say when one side is lying — even when they are.  All you’re allowed to do is repeat what both sides say and leave it at that (Colbert:  “The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put ’em through a spell check and go home”).  Froomkin — unlike David Gregory — believes that reporters should actually point out when the Government is lying.  That’s what he did.  That’s why, to The Post, he wasn’t a real reporter but, rather, an “ideologue.”  That’s the sickness of American journalism in a nutshell. MORE

DAVE GREGORY: “I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say ‘this is bogus, and you’re a liar, and why are you doing this,’ that we didn’t do our job. I respectfully disagree.  It’s not our role.MORE

PHAWKER: Dave Gregory is everything that’s wrong with journalism.

ESCHATON: I think one mistake people, including me, have been making in discussing Froomkin was to assert that he’s a liberal and, as Glenn Greenwald said, is almost alone in the mainstream media in criticizing Obama from the Left. This is true, in some sense, but only because our political discourse has become so weird. I mean, a decade ago, whatever I thought of conservatism, I wouldn’t have considered “following the law” and “constitutional limits on executive power” and “skepticism about government secrecy” and “acknowledgment of the 4th amendment” and “accountability for government misdeeds other than blowjobs” and “lying our way into war is maybe wrong” and, perhaps, most of all, “torture is bad” to be just “liberal” positions. But since we just came off the age of Bush, where only liberals actually got upset about these things, and conservatives haven’t yet (for some reason) become all that concerned that Rahm Emanuel might be bugging their phones, these are now apparently “liberal” positions. So in our discourse Froomkin became an extreme leftist, even though I don’t remember him actually expressing opinions on the vast range of issues which, in non-crazy times, we associate with liberalism. MORE

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