Journalistic Integrity

Thankfully there are a handful of jounalists who actually care about truth and journalistic integrity. Joan Walsh is one of them and she went on cable TV tonight to express outrage over the manner of this past weekend's coverage on Hillary Clinton's RFK reference. She emphasized how she found out about the story -- directly by email from the Obama campaign. Clinton's comments were first picked up and reported by the N.Y. Post, and this report was in turn picked up by Obama spokesman Bill Burton who then mass e-mailed reporters with a link to the Post report.

Here's a quote from Post article:

"She is still in the presidential race, she said today, because historically, it makes no sense to quit, and added that, 'Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June,' making an odd comparison between the dead candidate and Barack Obama."

HOWEVER (and it's a big 'however'):

Hillary Clinton did not make that comparison.  (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/ 05/24/on-the-road-clintons-very-bad-day/ )

So it was the Post who actually made the comparison, which is a bold-faced lie.  And a spokesman for Obama's campaign circulated this lie.  A few ethical journalists -- very few -- are pointing this out.  

Now back to Joan Walsh.  Here's some excerpts on this subject from her Salon.com post. (link below)

The world is divided between people who consider Bill and Hillary Clinton monsters, and people who don't. It used to be that the monster faction was limited to Republicans and certain mainstream media fixtures like Maureen Dowd and much of the MSNBC lineup. Now, increasingly, it involves too many Obama-supporting Democrats -- and the Clinton-hate is in danger of damaging the Democratic Party.

When Joan checked her email this past Friday, she learned aboutr Hillary Clinton's reference

to Robert F. Kennedy's assassination -- from an Obama campaign e-mail from spokesman Bill Burton. I took some time to look around at the coverage, and I followed a link to Clinton's actual interview with the Argus-Leader, and I had to say: Wow. I couldn't believe this became the weekend's hottest political issue. I couldn't believe Keith Olbermann did a special comment on it (which I really couldn't believe was also widely circulated via e-mail by the Obama campaign).

For several months I've found myself bothered by a double standard in both the behavior and the media coverage of the Obama campaign, as supposedly representing a new kind of clean, post-partisan politics, by contrast with the dirty old win-at-any-cost Clintons. Hardball Obama campaign tactics -- David Axelrod partly blaming Clinton for Benazir Bhutto's death; the intimidation of Clinton voters by a pro-Obama union in Nevada (to be fair, some Obama supporters claimed intimidation by Clinton forces, too); the campaign's infamous South Carolina race memo (prepared before Bill Clinton made his dumb Jesse Jackson remark); the multiple "Harry and Louise" mailers distorting Clinton's healthcare proposal; not to mention ties between Obama, Axelrod and the Exelon Corp., even as Obama is touting his lobbyist-free campaign. Nothing seems to stick to Obama; he's Teflon.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/ 

Tags: campaign, Election (all tags)

Comments

41 Comments

Re: Journalistic Integrity

Thank you, Joan Walsh!!

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Is this snark?  Serious question.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

As a foprmer journalist, I appreciate this diary. And Joan Walsh too. It is still hard for me to understand how the Obama campaign was able to spin an innocent remark the way they did. Anyone who cares at all about the integrity of our democracy would be scared and concerned.

by linfar 2008-05-27 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Oh delicious irony ;)

by kasjogren 2008-05-27 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

the most innocent of remarks about mid-july assassinations, I'm sure.

by mydoubleds 2008-05-27 05:54PM | 0 recs
mydoubleds,

how do you still have the ability to rate comments?  i have never seen a bigger abuser - hope the admins catch on soon.

by canadian gal 2008-05-27 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: mydoubleds,

sorry I down-rated some inane commentary about msnbc appearances that had nothing to do with the diary, then further comments pitching a fit about it.  And more of linfar's pining for the glory days chained to a typewriter banging out "cat stuck in tree" stories for a no-name wire.

"Let me tell you guys how about I feel about various appearances of talking heads tangential to this topic and my personal journalistic experiences in downplaying the importance of the idea of assassination in general discourse... and gosh darn you better not dislike!"

by mydoubleds 2008-05-27 06:11PM | 0 recs
admins?

by canadian gal 2008-05-27 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Integrity

and anyone with an iota of integrity would not be misusing HRs.  I uprated to offset.

I call on MyDD to take the misusing troll out.

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Integrity

and he gets an HR back for his truely offensive comment.

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

You've got to be kidding me.

Her reaction was so over the top; so divorced from reality; it was the farthest thing from journalistic integrity.

Howard Wolfson in a dress.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 06:26PM | 0 recs
bummer

Former journalist?

I was really upset when Weekly World News went belly up, but I'm sure it was tougher on you, losing your job and all.

I used to always grab a copy with my nightly purchase of a bottle of Night Train and a box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake roles.

Good luck on getting another job.  I'm sure your objective work here at MyDD has brought you some potential suitors.

by emptythreatsfarm 2008-05-27 06:30PM | 0 recs
TR for off-topic, commenter stalking

and personal attack with lies, general mean-spirited ness which is violation of site rules.

by catfish2 2008-05-27 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Innocent comment?  Given the number of times it's been repeated, that may or may not be true.  STUPID comment?  CERTAINLY.

by LtWorf 2008-05-27 06:47PM | 0 recs
love joan.

even though she continues to go on msnbc - i forgive her.

by canadian gal 2008-05-27 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: love joan.

Up rating. This did not deserve a HR.

by Lost Thought 2008-05-27 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: love joan.

I uprated you to try to offset someone misusing ratings.  

I also call on MyDD to take that troll out.

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 06:03PM | 0 recs
After the journalistic


   bullshit regarding Bittergate, and Hillary's feeding it to the media again and again, she has no place to complain for receiving tough coverage of a truly boneheaded reference.

  It was a stupid comment and she's being taken to task for it. She helped do that when Obama made his comments. She has no basis to complain when it's done to her.

by southernman 2008-05-27 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re:

I don't think a spokesperson from Hillary's campaign circulated Obama's bitter words.  To the contrary, when asked about it, Hillary and her campaign's response was for the most part to ask Obama about it.  (Granted when directly asked, Hillary did say those bitter remarks did sound elitist.)  Certainly, nobody circulated a false report of what he said.

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re:

 
    Hillary completely grandstanded on Obama's comments and interpreted them to be elitist and snobbish, which they were not.

   She also misrepresented to the media comments Obama made praising Reagan, claiming that he supported Reagan's agenda (which was an utter lie).

  She's got NO room for complaints here. NONE!!

by southernman 2008-05-27 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re:

Dont forget how she dumped on Kerry over the botched joke.

by realistdem 2008-05-27 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re:

She had Im not Bitter bumper stickers out the next day, thats a fact.   She exploited that for all it was worth.

by realistdem 2008-05-27 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re:

She had buttons made and mentioned it over and over. Even in a commercial I believe (though it could have just been speeches).

by heresjohnny 2008-05-27 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re:

She made and aired a commercial on the trumped up outrage over the "bitter" remarks.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re:

Classy.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-27 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Bitter anyone??

by hootie4170 2008-05-27 05:59PM | 0 recs
What happened to Clinton happened

because she no longer has any reasonable reason to stay in the race. It's clear she's looking for a lightning strike so her words are scrutinized closely and, if the are a gaffe, harshly.

She'd have been in a stronger position if she had suspended her campaign after IN. She'd have won the same states and not made any mistakes.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-27 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

It's a funny thing. I was already convinced I wouldn't support Obama after he swift-boated hillary by trying to set her up as a racist....

But this latest manuever on his part takes the cake.

I simply seals the deal for me to -in no way- support this guy.

by nikkid 2008-05-27 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Well apparently your issue is more important than war without end.  Speaking of end, might be the end of Roe v. Wade if he doesn't win in November, considering the conservatives are on the cusp of a majority strong enough to overturn it.

So your outrage is real cute.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Hm. Can't take the heat. Politics ain't beanbags. Those sentiments ring a bell?

by heresjohnny 2008-05-27 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

me too.  Early on, I thought I'd support whoever was the eventual nominee.  But when they started calling the Clintons racist, I knew I could not support this person.  and they just keep on with their dirty tactics, further convincing me.

by moevaughn 2008-05-28 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Joan Walsh looked completely unhinged tonight and showed how little journalistic integrity she truly has.

She was so upset, she answered that Hillary supporters will sit out in November if Obama and his campaign keep on "demonizing" the Clintons.

That's journalistic integrity?  Please.....she was off the hook crazy.

by Deadalus 2008-05-27 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

I appreciated Joan's appearance on Hardball, tonight, from that are-we-really-still-talking-about-this perspective.  

But, as with most things, the truth lies somewhere between the interpretations of the two sides.  No matter how it was intended, the statement was certainly a very poor choice and if the media did nothing but report exactly what was said, with no commentary, many people would still have taken it as worse than some would like.  Of course, there's no question that interpretations, like those of the guest counter to Walsh, who said his listeners were afraid of "code words" in HRC's statement, are outrageous.  But it should come as no surprise that, in a sentence that uses a word as electric as "assassination," some focus on THAT as the key point in the sentence.  It's much the same as using the word "rape" in a sentence.  Even if it's not the main point, some will, without a doubt, focus on "rape."  It's unfortunate, but some words have act like magnets.  "Assassinate" is one of them.    

by freedom78 2008-05-27 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Don't forget HRC was talking about herself and her campaign -- and using comparisons of other campaigns that went into June.  (She was NOT talking about Obama.)

by moevaughn 2008-05-27 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

She didn't mention him by name, no, but her examples were of frontrunners/likely nominees (Bill and RFK), and to extend that example to this election would make Obama represented by those figures.  A comparison of elections is just that and it remains so whether she mentions Obama by name or not.

by freedom78 2008-05-27 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

If you watched the Argus exchange, you will see she was clearly talking about herself and her campaign.

BHO is no RFK -- and no JFK either.

by moevaughn 2008-05-28 04:27AM | 0 recs
Walsh is a voice of reason, tempered

and calm, but finally speaking up as is appropriate.

That radio talk show host acted as if Obama has been the only candidate subject to threats or unfair treatment by the media.

And Hillary never mentioned Obama in her RFK remarks.

Should reward the good journalistic standards with a Salon.com subscription.

by catfish2 2008-05-27 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Walsh is a voice of reason, tempered

thanks again!  my reply is below. (hit wrong button)

by moevaughn 2008-05-28 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: never mentioned O

exactly.  N Y Post threw in that lie, and O's own campaign spokesman circulated that lie.  Where's the calls for this lie-mongerer's resignation?

good idea on Salon.  I'm going over now to sign up.

by moevaughn 2008-05-28 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

The media needs a good trashing for it's bizarre lack of objectivity during this primary. It is really freaky to watch. We should all be outraged by it.

by grlpatriot 2008-05-28 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Journalistic Integrity

Twilight zone is more like it.

by Denizen Kristine 2008-05-28 07:59AM | 0 recs

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