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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 25, 2012/ 6 Menachem-Av, 5772

Washington news, sanitized for officials' comfort

By Martin Schram




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sadly, the decline and fall of the Washington press corps continues in ways we never imagined could happen. A new form of news deception has gone viral. It has spread from the White House press corps to the campaign trail, Capitol Hill and your favorite news site.

There's something journalists you trust haven't told you: Those quotations you're reading from top officials may not have been said by those officials during their interviews.

In a shameful journalistic acquiescence that we who covered presidents and politicians once considered unthinkable, reporters and editors are now letting officials who were interviewed review, approve and even alter quotations before publication.

We know about this only because of a fine article by The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters. On July 15, Peters did what every self-respecting Washington journalist should have done. He reported what is really happening at the intersection of the news media, policy and politics. He wrote that most major news organizations -- including his own New York Times, plus The Washington Post, Reuters, Bloomberg and Vanity Fair -- are yielding to demands of Barack Obama's administration and the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns that allow officials to, in effect, censure and sanitize their own quotations.

"The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative," Peters wrote.

"They are sent by email from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: The press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name."

Whether you get your news via Facebook, Twitter, smartphones, cellphones, laptops, desktops, TV, radio or even that pre-techno conveyance called newsprint, you might as well get your newsfeeds on an Etch A Sketch.

Not all major news organizations have acquiesced. The Associated Press has steadfastly refused to make any quote-clearing concessions as ground rules for interviews with officials. "It has been our standard all along," said AP senior managing editor Michael Oreskes. "... We'd rather not use the quote at all if the price of the quote is that we have to doctor it."

Interestingly, Oreskes was once a top editor of The New York Times and was The Times' Washington bureau chief. If he still held that job, it is inconceivable that America's leading newspaper would be permitting interviewees to cleanse quotes.

For decades, journalists and officials have jousted about ground rules for interviews and briefings -- without yielding to quotation censorship. Back in the 1970s, some of us, including The Washington Post under executive editor Ben Bradlee, refused to attend briefings where prominent officials hid their identities by insisting they be identified only as a "senior official."

I remember a day this reached a new height of absurdity. Henry Kissinger convened a Vietnam War policy briefing for reporters near the Western White House in San Clemente, Calif., where President Richard Nixon and his staff were vacationing. When Kissinger insisted upon being anonymously identified as a "senior official," I (then Newsday's Washington bureau chief) objected, telling Kissinger that, after all, two Soviet journalists were attending, so surely the American public could know his identity since everyone in the Kremlin would. But Kissinger held firm. I was about to leave, rather than accept the ground rules, when I noticed something that led me to accept his rules and stay.

The next day, my Newsday article reported a "senior official" had announced a new Vietnam policy wrinkle. The next sentence explained the official briefed a roomful of journalists, including Soviet reporters from Tass and Izvestia, plus one nonjournalist (whom I identified as): David Kissinger, 17-year-old son of Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, national security adviser to the president.

Later that day, Kissinger walked up to me and, with a rueful smile, acknowledged he couldn't complain because I had complied with his ground rules. "Very funny," he said, although I'm still not certain he thought it was.

Fast-forward to the Internet Age. Now bloggers from anywhere and everywhere are dishing what they are calling journalism and never has it been as important for the public to have news sites they can trust for honesty and accuracy. Yet at this very moment, America's most trusted news organizations are so desperate to get interviews from designated news spinners that the media elites are printing things they know are not completely accurate. As when they report that Official X "said" words he never actually spoke in his interview.

It's time for America's most respected news media to quit polluting their own mainstreams. Or to at least slap warning labels on their quote-censored news reports.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


07/18/12: By withholding, Mitt Romney taxes campaign

06/20/12: Cruel consequences spring from an old leak

06/13/12: Gaffes, not facts, dominate presidential race

06/06/12: Command decisions mark new era of video-game warfare

04/25/12: Safeguarding us all in the nuclear age

04/18/12: The battle for the honor of enraging us more

03/28/12: Eavesdropping on diplomacy and politics

02/22/12: Drawing Romney's big picture

01/25/12: Candidates proving that time-tested Marxist theory

01/12/12: Even with primaries still to go, history's longest year starts now

01/05/12: Iowa caucuses reveal news media lapses

12/14/11: How Gingrich stole Mitt's Christmas

11/16/11: Supercommittee's super-sized surrender

11/16/11: Romney talks Texas-tough on Iran

11/03/11: The Silent Majority speaks at last

10/20/11: Outsourcing our democracy; hijacking our holidays

10/13/11: Decline and fall of presidential press conferences

09/28/11: Washington's Monument to broken government

08/17/11: Tax credits for job creation

07/06/11: Obama's on-the-job retraining from Clinton

06/29/11: Obama, Nixon suddenly joined in posterity



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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