Stephen Glass, the writer who was fired five years ago for fabricating facts in his stories, has declined to speak publicly about the incident - until now. This Sunday, "60 Minutes" will feature an interview with Glass, who is promoting a novel about his frauds, titled The Fabulist. "Glass uses only one real name - his own - in a fictionalized treatment of how he bamboozled the world as a 25-year-old New Republic writer who always seemed to have the most colorful scenes and the most perfect quotes," writes Howard Kurtz.
"Aaron Brown of CNN, Walter Cronkite and other broadcast
journalists have been hired to appear in videos resembling
newscasts that are actually paid for by drug makers and
other health care companies, blurring the line between
Country radio station KKCS, part of the Clear Channel network, has suspended two disk jockeys for defying the station's ban on playing music by the Dixie Chicks. The Chicks were banned from many Clear Channel stations after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush.
In the last of its investigative series the Washington Post reports on how a multi-billion dollar environmental charity takes care of its own. For example, "on New York's Shelter Island, the Nature Conservancy three years ago bought an undeveloped, 10-acre tract overlooking its Mashomack Preserve ... just a stone's skip from the exclusive Hamptons. Cost to the charity: $2.1 million.
The second part of the Post's examination of a multi-billion dollar tax exempt corporation: "Eight years ago, Mobil Oil gave the Nature Conservancy what was one of the group's largest corporate donations, a patch of prairie that encompassed the last native breeding ground of a highly endangered bird. ... The Conservancy ... started acting like an oil company. The Conservancy sank a well under the bird's nesting ground. Drilling in sensitive areas is opposed as destructive by most environmentalists.
In the first of three articles the Washington Post takes a long look at the Nature Conservancy, "the world's richest environmental group, amassing $3 billion in assets by pledging to save precious places. ... Yet the Conservancy has logged forests, engineered a $64 million deal paving the way for opulent houses on fragile grasslands and drilled for natural gas under the last breeding ground of an endangered bird species. ...
"Other presidents have had problems with truth-telling," write Drake Bennett and Heidi Pauken. "But George W. Bush is in a class by himself when it comes to prevarication. It is no exaggeration to say that lying has become Bush's signature as president." They detail the gap between words and deeds in Bush's policies on education, health and the environment. (Unfortunately, the article is inaccurately titled. Bennett and Pauken caught a few of the president's lies, but certainly not "all" of them.)
MSNBC correspondent Ashleigh Banfield was reprimanded by her network following a speech she gave at Kansas State University about U.S. news coverage of the war in Iraq. Too bad, because it was a pretty good speech. Banfield criticized the "glorious, wonderful picture" that the media painted of the war, saying it "wasn't journalism." But she also provided valuable insights into the "two different languages" with which the combatants on opposing sides of conflicts see the world.
Three decades after their stories in the Washington Post led to President Nixon's resignation, Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have sold their notebooks and other materials from the Watergate years to the University of Texas at Austin for $5 million. "Woodward and Bernstein have found a new way to buckrake," comments Richard Blow. "While that may make them richer, it doesn't enrich the profession, or the regard in which the public holds it."
Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels observed that "the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it." The Big Lie technique has worked well in Bush's war on Iraq. The New York Times reports that "organizers of the antiwar movement lament how well the administration argued that there was a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, playing on Americans' residual anger and fear after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.