There’s been a lot of news about the news coverage of politics in the last few days. Here are several that I think we should be paying attention to:
- When journalists give money to the presidential campaign, they give it to Hillary, not Donald
Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone given Trump’s attitude towards journalists (“They’re scum. They’re horrible people. They are so illegitimate. … Some of the people in the press are honorable. But you’ve got 50% who are terrible people.’’) Several news organizations forbid (or come close to forbidding) their reporters and editors from making political contributions. According to the Center for Public Integrity, these include the New York Times, the Associated Press, CNN, The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, ProPublica, San Antonio Express-News, The Seattle Times, and Tampa Bay Times. Overall, not a lot of journalists make donations, and many of those who do are not involved with reporting on politics or public policy.
- When you think of the future of Fox News, it may be more Shep Smith and less Sean Hannity
While I don’t typically watch a lot of Fox News, I will admit to enjoying Shep Smith, overtime I’ve either watched him or seen clips of him online. His wonderful “This is the stupidest thing we’ve ever done” story about a falling satellite is priceless. The Huffington Post ran an excellent profile of Fox’s afternoon news anchor who is well respected even by people who are not fans of Fox. I think this quote really sums things up well:“When the opinion people say things and then later we get facts that are different, and I report those, everybody would love for there to be a war going on here,” he said. “But it’s not like that. Everybody’s got a job to do. [Sean] Hannity is trying to get conservatives elected. And he wants you to listen to him and believe what he believes. And I’m disseminating facts. It’s really apples and teaspoons. What we do is so different. He’s an entertaining guy who has an audience that he serves, and I deliver the news. His is probably easier ― he knows what he thinks and just sticks with it. This stuff changes all the time.”Shep Smith spoke out against the U.S.’s use of torture on an episode of Fox News’ “Freedom Watch” on April 22, 2009. (Beware – NSFW language)
- Charges Dropped Against Journalist Covering Dakota Access Pipeline
A North Dakota judged has dismissed the criminal charges raised against Democracy Now reporter Amy Goodman while covering the protests at the Dakota Access pipeline. Goodman had been charged initially with trespass and was later charged with participating in a riot. The state’s attorney who filed the charges against Goodman, told the Bismarck Tribune that her story was one-sided and that she shouldn’t be considered a reporter.“She’s a protester, basically. Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions,” said Erickson, adding that her coverage of the Sept. 3 protest did not mention that people trespassed during the incident or the alleged assaults on guards.“Is everybody that’s putting out a YouTube video from down there a journalist down there, too?” he asked.
- President of The Arizona Republic Responds to Death Threats Following Paper’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton
I noted last month that The Arizona Republic newspaper had for the first time ever endorsed a Democrat for the presidency of the United States. That endorsement has brought a wide range of threats, even death threats to reporters, editors, and even kids selling subscriptions to the paper. In a column yesterday, Republic president Mi-Ai Parrish responded to those who would silence the paper:“To those who said we should be shut down, burned down, who said they hoped we would cease to exist under a new presidential administration, I give you Nicole. She is our editor who directs the news staff, independent of our endorsements. After your threats, Nicole put on her press badge and walked with her reporters and photographers into the latest Donald Trump rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz. She stood as Trump encouraged his followers to heckle and boo and bully journalists. Then she came back to the newsroom to ensure our coverage was fair. Nicole knows free speech requires an open debate.”Here’s coverage of both the story of from this year and of the assassination of Arizona Republic legendary investigative reporter Don Bolles from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.