The Journalism of 9/11

9/11. It has been seventeen years since 17 minutes changed the world. That was the amount of time that elapsed between American Airlines Flight 11 being flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, and United Airlines Flight 175 being flown into the South Tower. Seventeen. The other numbers are just as indelible. After the second plane struck, thirty-four more minutes elapsed before American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon. Then twenty-two more minutes. The South Tower collapsed. Four more minutes. United Airlines Flight 93 was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Twenty-five more minutes. One hundred and two minutes after the first plane struck, the North Tower collapsed. The World Trade Center towers were gone. A lot was gone. Those minutes, the heartbreaking days, all turned into weeks and months. Years. Children grew up. A new building grew up. Like any Continue reading "The Journalism of 9/11"

CNN’s Lanny Davis Problem

Six weeks ago, CNN broke a blockbuster story: According to several anonymous sources, President Trump had advance knowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting. It was a potential smoking gun, until one of those sources — Lanny Davis, attorney for Michael Cohen — recanted. Beyond that headache for CNN, there was another. The original article had claimed, "Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment." Depending on how you understand the word "comment," and depending your general disposition, that claim could be technically true or woefully, mendaciously disingenuous. Bob spoke with Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi about the implications — and dangers — of this latest media mishap. 

There is no Trump without Murdoch

In the video above you will see New York Mayor Bill de Blasio trying to school CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter in the most important and most undercovered story in media today, a story that’s right under his nose: the ruinous impact of Fox News and Rupert Murdoch on American democracy. You’ll then see Stelter dismiss the critique in a fit of misplaced journalistic both-sideism.

Without Murdoch — without Fox News nationally and the New York Post locally — “we would be a more unified country,” de Blasio tells Stelter. “There would be less overt hate. There would be less appeal to racial division…. They put race front and center and they try to stir the most negative impulses in this country. There is no Donald Trump without News Corp.”

Stelter: “You’d rather not have Fox News or the New York Post exist?”

de Blasio: “I’m saying because they exist

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Pete Hegseth Tells Fox & Friends He Had Off-The-Record Convo With VP Pence, Then Immediately Shares It

Fox News host and regular media critic Pete Hegseth appeared to break a cardinal rule of Journalism Wednesday morning, when he described an off-the-record conversation he had with Vice President Mike Pence. Hegseth, who flew to Hawaii with Pence to greet the remains of fallen soldiers from the Korean War, appeared on Fox & Friends and was asked by host Brian Kilmeade about the gesture from the North Koreans. He replied by dishing on his private conversation with the VP. “I had a chance to speak off-the-record with the vice president on the flight over,” Hegseth said. “He emphasized just that.” He didn’t stop with “emphasized”, going right into “he said”, directly attributing to Pence. “He said, don’t under underestimate what a powerful statement this is by Chairman Kim and the North Koreans. We didn’t give up anything other than the willingness to meet. They said they would deliver
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Thank You, Craig

I am proud that starting today, I am on the faculty of the newly rechristened Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. My friend Craig has given a generous gift to endow our J-school and we have named it in his honor. This represents an ideal alignment of missions — his and ours — in the service of trustworthy journalism in a public university.

I can’t remember exactly when I first met Craig. Like everyone I’ve ever witnessed meeting him, I was impressed to meet the Craig of craigslist. He is unique: a self-proclaimed nerd’s nerd, a model of humility, curiosity, goodwill, intelligence, humor, irony, and most of all generosity.

I love watching others puzzle over him. Many years ago at the rich and ritzy Foursquare business conference, I saw the CEO of a then-major media company throw up his arms in frustration at Craig’s refusal to clog his service with ads and

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Thank you, Secretary Clinton

Friday at Radcliffe — in a tent wonderfully filled with 80 or 90 percent women, from the class of ’41 on— I had the privilege of seeing Hillary Clinton receive the Radcliffe Medal. I left ever-more impressed with her wisdom, experience, and civility — with her leadership — and, of course, ever-more depressed that what should be is not what is.

As a journalist and journalism teacher, I was grateful for her defense of my field in the face of the right’s attacks on it and in spite of its certain role in her defeat. “Defend the press,” Clinton urged. “And believe me, that’s not easy for me to say all the time. But I know well that in the absence of a free and vigorous press our democracy is not going to survive.” While the press itself is busy tying itself in knots debating whether to call a lie a lie (isn’t that our

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Facebook is on its way to hiring 20,000 people to identify the hate and bile that we, the people, leave there because laws — Germany’s NetzDG, among others — and media demand it. Let me repeat that: 20,000 employees.

Now consider that the total number of daily newspaper journalists in America was 32,900 in 2015 and is probably below 30,000 today.

20,000 shit-pickers vs. 30,000 journalists.

What does that say about our priorities as a society? Yes, I know, I’m mixing a worldwide number (the 20,000 conversational janitors) with a U.S. number (journalists) but the scale is telling — not so much about Facebook or technology or business models but about us.

By these numbers, it is clear that we as a society are more concerned about policing playground twits who thereby get just what they want — attention — than about policing the truly powerful. How screwed up is that?

Now there are plenty of people

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