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Posted inMagazine

TWM

To my mind, the big problem with American journalism is not so much that it is snarky, or that opinions have crept into news stories, or that it is more often about attitude and showing off than about facts – though all of that strikes me as plainly true. Rather, it is that journalism – […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

Two imperatives in contemporary journalism are at war with one another. One imperative says: Be smart! Be analytic! Be like The Washington Monthly or The New Republic or The Weekly Standard! The other imperative says: Don’t say anything that will make your readers – or, more important, your sources – mad! Don’t lose significant leaks […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

At the major outlets that shape public discussion – The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the big three network news shows, say – the interesting issue may not be “objectivity,” but the simple fact that picking which stories to lead with or put on page 1 is an exercise of enormous and unaccountable […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

Washington, December 7, 1941 – Ever since last week’s disclosure of wheelchair-bound President Roosevelt’s dalliance with social secretary Lucy Mercer, the President has been seeking to keep the country’s attention on the mounting threat to America’s overseas allies. Today was no exception to this public relations strategy, advisers say. Even though it was a Sunday, […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

The problem with the more subjective elements in journalism today, in my view, is not inventiveness per se but cynicism. During the ’80s it became extremely unfashionable to believe in anything or anyone who had anything to do with political life. It was as if the slightest taint of hope or admiration, or of in […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

All magazines aspire to be factually accurate. Beyond that, their goals vary. Some claim and even actually try to be totally “objective,” eschewing all opinion or, as Newsweek used to claim years ago, separating fact from opinion. This is a futile goal (are you going to be objective and avoid any opinion about child molesting?), […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

It is endearing of Charlie Peters to sponsor a symposium calling for more objective, less opinion-laden journalism. Can this be the same beloved, raccoon-eyed editor who used to hector his editors when they offered up an overly fact-laden piece: “Where’s the gospel?” The same man who infuriated dozens of America’s leading journalists by writing his […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

The problem the Monthly‘s getting at is not confined to news stories with loaded lead-ins. (“Dogged by criticism of his role in the Lewinsky case, President Clinton today raised a man from the dead with the slightest touch of his hand.”) It’s just as common, and has an even longer history, in the portentous-sounding but […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

is a senior editor of The New Republic, a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and author of Beside Still Waters: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt. In a bid to curry favor with powerful insiders, Gregg Easterbrook today sent Charles Peters an article telling him what he wanted to hear about trends […]

Posted inMagazine

TWM

One of the most enduring visual images of the news business is the “zipper” – the electronic display belt (most famously in Times Square) that relays breaking news to passersby. “Pearl Harbor attacked,” “FDR dead” “Space shuttle launched” – the zipper has always been concise, clear, and as “objective” as it is possible to be. […]