Friday, September 22, 2006

The truth, my friend, may not always set you free...

There is a story of journalistic courage that will hopefully re-spark the debate over the role of journalism and the protection of sources, a debate that is stained following the circus over the CIA leak investigation.

The two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who kicked in the door to slugger Barry Bond's skeleton closet are now facing 18 months in jail for mining exactly the same vein the San Francisco prosecutor later dug into.

- Murphy

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not quite Famous

Macy's is running commercials in St. Louis. They integrate Eero Saarinen's Arch in the commercials, but still have a "we're not based in St. Louis" feel.

- Murphy

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How are they doing...

Former Slate columnist Eric Umansky examines the ebb and flow of journalistic coverage of the Bush Administration's tactics in prosecuting its foreign policy.
Reporters and news organizations deserve enormous credit for exposing the abuse and torture of detainees during the U.S. war on terror, more than other institutions or individuals. Without Carlotta Gall, The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh, The Washington Post’s Dana Priest, and many other reporters, we might well never have learned of the abuse and torture that have occurred in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere.

What is true and what is significant are two different matters. Everybody agrees that journalists are supposed to ascertain the truth. As for deciding what is significant, reporters and editors make that judgment, too, all the time — what story leads on the front page, or gets played inside, what story gets followed up. And when it comes to very sensitive material, like torture, many journalists would prefer to rely on others to be the first to decide that something is significant. To do otherwise would mean sticking your neck out.
Umansky describes, with great detail, the various investigations and reports that have helped uncover methods and practices that seem to defy U.S. and international law. It also tells some compelling stories of how these issues finally see the light of day.

- Murphy

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"I'm Out!"

Iraqi leader Ayatollah al-Sistani has thrown up his hands and is on his way out of Iraqi politics. Up, until recently, Sistani has been widely viewed as a moderating force. The increasing sectarian violence combined with little trust in the "official" enforcement, police and army, has splintered the remaining middle ground.

- Murphy

Inside voices

Great piece in Newsweek by Fareed Zakaria.
One man who is greatly enjoying being the subject of this outsize portraiture is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has gone from being an obscure and not-so-powerful politician—Iran is a theocracy, remember, so the mullahs are ultimately in control—to a central player in the Middle East simply by goading the United States and watching Washington take the bait. By turning him into enemy No. 1, by reacting to every outlandish statement he makes, the Bush administration has given him far more attention than he deserves.
As Zakaria and others have pointed out, making international statements for the benefit of domestic approval is usually a recipe for disaster. President Bush and many of the leaders of antagonistic states exhibit a rhetorical similarity, a similarity that would be loudly denounced if it were ever brooked in the press.

- Murphy