Reflecting on his 50 years of reporting Washington politics, Washington Post journalist, Walter Pincus, notes that media coverage has "become dominated by increasingly sophisticated public relations practitioners, primarily in the White House and other agencies of government." Writing in an edition of the Nieman Reports on the theme of "journalistic courage", Pincus argues that "journalistic courage should include the refusal to publish in a newspaper or carry on a TV or radio news show any state
"Next time you see an 'exclusive' tag on a story about state politics, stop and have a closer look. The chances are that the story, far from being a feat of journalistic endeavor, is what we call in the trade 'a drop,'" writes Anne Davies in the Sydney Morning Herald. "You'll be able to tell it's a drop because it's likely to quote one side of politics only. This is often a condition of the drop." Drops, especially those in Sunday papers, help politicians influence the week's media agenda.
The New York Times reports that Republicans are strongly embracing the Bush Administration's war in Iraq in "an effort to turn what some party leaders had feared could become the party's greatest liability into an advantage in the midterm elections." In a strategy meeting "White House officials including the national security adviser, Step
It's not surprising that big tobacco is funding attack ads around the primary election for California's State Board of Equalization, which regulates state cigarette sales and oversees $40 billion in tax collections.
It's been a busy week on Congresspedia. New additions to the site include:
- lots of contributions by members of the Congresspedia/SourceWatch community on bribery scandals, new legislation, heavyweight corporate campaign contributors, censuring the president and federal investigations into an "improper relationship" with a lobbyist (see full list)
- a new page on the Colbert Report with links to the videos of each of his "Better Know a District" member of Congress interviews
- and a fancy new tool for looking up your particular member of Congress by your home address.
Also well worth checking out is the muckraking action over at the Sunlight Foundation blogs. The new Congresspedia article contributions include: