No, The New York Times shouldn’t have published Tom Cotton’s ugly little screed

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. The New York Times may be rethinking its decision to publish Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s terrible, offensive op-ed piece endorsing the use of military force to crush the violent protests that have broken out around the country following the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Though Cotton’s essay was posted online …

Continue reading No, The New York Times shouldn’t have published Tom Cotton’s ugly little screed

With Biden pulling ahead, the media must avoid the poll-driven mistakes of 2016

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. From the moment that former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee, political observers have been proceeding on the assumption that this year’s presidential election will be close. But what if the dynamics are changing? What if President Donald Trump — behind in the polls even before the …

Continue reading With Biden pulling ahead, the media must avoid the poll-driven mistakes of 2016

Why Michelle Obama would not be a good choice as Joe Biden’s running mate

A Michelle Obama for vice president boomlet is now under way. This would be a very bad idea. Joe Biden is 77, and, if he’s elected, there’s a good chance that his running mate will become president before his first term is up. Obama has no relevant experience beyond being a former first lady. You …

Continue reading Why Michelle Obama would not be a good choice as Joe Biden’s running mate

Florida governor’s ban on reporter violates the First Amendment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to bar a reporter for the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times from a news conference that was otherwise open to the press was a flat-out violation of the First Amendment. Although the question of whether public officials can ban specific journalists from media events has never been taken …

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How Trump is weaponizing libel and threatening the First Amendment

So now President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is filing SLAPP suits against news organizations — that is, libel suits with no legal merit whose goal is to intimidate rather than to expose the truth. The lawsuits have targeted The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, all of which have the resources to defend …

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Pundits wonder if Warren’s good night may have come too late

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Elizabeth Warren rose above her dispute with Bernie Sanders over who said what and offered a powerful argument about gender and politics at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate. But it might be too late to matter. That, at least, appears to be the consensus in my quick scan of political punditry following …

Continue reading Pundits wonder if Warren’s good night may have come too late

The Times profiles right-wing media figure Dennis Prager. Here’s some background.

The New York Times today profiles Prager University, a right-wing meme factory founded by media figure Dennis Prager. In case you don’t know anything about Prager, I thought you’d be interested in some background. In 2017, I gave a WGBH News New England Muzzle Award to YouTube and its owner, Google, for restricting access to …

Continue reading The Times profiles right-wing media figure Dennis Prager. Here’s some background.

Cable pundits agree: Tuesday was a big night for Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Will it matter?

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Amy Klobuchar was having her moment. The Minnesota senator, an also-ran since entering the presidential race in the middle of a snowstorm last February, turned in her strongest debate performance Tuesday night. And now she was pressing her advantage, appearing on all three cable news outlets to repeat her message that …

Continue reading Cable pundits agree: Tuesday was a big night for Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Will it matter?

How the press is helping to turn the Ukraine scandal into just another partisan brawl

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. For the first time in Donald Trump’s 33-month presidency, his impeachment seems possible — maybe even probable. The dam that withstood the Mueller Report has broken in recent days over the news that Trump may have withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to strong-arm that country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into …

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Bernie Sanders proves you don’t have to like journalists in order to love journalism

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Bernie Sanders is an unlikely savior of journalism. The iconoclastic senator has long had a prickly relationship with the press in his home state. According to Paul Heintz, a staff writer with the alt-weekly Seven Days, Sanders hasn’t granted a full-fledged interview in more than four years to the paper, which …

Continue reading Bernie Sanders proves you don’t have to like journalists in order to love journalism