No earth-shaking commentary this week, just a couple of items that took the Monitor by surprise. The first was an amusing exchange in the Nov. 6 issue of The New York Review of Books (NYR) between Forward editor J.J. Goldberg and journalist Elizabeth Drew. Here is Goldberg's letter to the editor complaining about Drew's mischaracterization of the Forward:
The influence of bloggers and their weblogs, already growing by leaps and bounds thanks to such polarizing controversies as the war in Iraq and such Internet-driven phenomena as the Howard Dean presidential campaign, reached new heights in October with the Gregg Easterbrook affair.
The New York Times last week confirmed - yet again - what a decidedly unreliable news source it's become, particularly for readers old-fashioned enough to put a premium on careful and accurate reporting.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, a man whose behavior was once described by Time magazine as that of "a drunken, overage frat-house boor," has decided that the war in Iraq was nothing more than one giant scam. Kennedy told the Associated Press last month that "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."
Freshly minted Democratic heartthrob Wesley Clark has stumbled badly during his first days as a declared presidential candidate.
The votes have been received and tabulated, and the winner in the Monitor's first-ever readers' Favorite Websites poll is ... Jewish World Review, the daily webzine that, hard to believe, is the fruit of one man's labor.
In its determined insistence that both the origin and solution to the war between the Arabs and Israel somehow revolve around settlements and 'occupied territory,' The New York Times echoes a line first popularized immediately after the Six Day War by a gaggle of liberal Christian clerics.
Sam Ehrenhalt, whose op-ed articles and letters to the editor always enhance The Jewish Press, has shared with the Monitor a thoughtful note he recently dispatched to New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller.
TimesWatch.org is a website every serious consumer of news should have on his or her 'favorites' list.
Not two hours after the lights went out in the Northeast last Thursday, Sen. Hillary Clintonwas in front of the microphones doing what she does best: carping, criticizing, dividing.
Recently, a weekly television program that focuses on Israel featured a debate between a young woman from an Arab-American organization and the show's host, who in real life is a prominent attorney and real estate developer.
Controversial pundit Ann Coulter's best-selling book Treason has raised the ire of liberals, and not a few conservatives, who feel she wields too broad a brush in painting Americans on the left side of the political divide as unpatriotic - even, as the title implies, treasonous.
How went the Bush-Abbas meeting at the White House last Friday? Depends on whom or what you read. Most newspapers highlighted Bush's criticism of Israel's security wall while relegating to secondary status the president's sharp words to Abbas about the necessity of halting Palestinian terror.
The Monitor really hadn't planned on writing once again about Harry Truman.
Harry Truman reached out from the grave last week and exposed the media's double standard when it comes to judging Democrats and Republicans. A librarian at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, discovered a 1947 diary of Truman's that had been sitting unopened on a shelf for some four decades.
The July 4th holiday having thrown the Monitor off schedule, this week's column is placed in the capable hands of HonestReporting.com.
Regular readers know by now of the Monitor's high regard for the Media Research Center (www.mrc.org).
On the campaign trail last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry accused President Bush of breaking his promise to put together an international coalition to wage war against Saddam Hussein.
Discriminating readers of The New York Times grew accustomed in the late 1990's to the error-prone (as well as transparently biased) reports filed with mind-numbing regularity by the paper's former Jerusalem bureau chief Deborah Sontag.
Dick Locher, a cartoonist for Tribune Media Services, touched off a mini-firestorm last week with a blatantly anti-Semitic editorial cartoon that ran in the May 30 edition of the Chicago Tribune.
Brian Ross of ABC News reported last week that the FBI was poised to capture Osama bin Laden back in 1998, but the plan was quashed by then-Attorney General Janet Reno.
In the grand tradition of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Mondale and Ferraro and others too numerous to mention, we now have the Pinch and Howell show at The New York Times, formerly the nation's paper of record but now mere comedic grist for Letterman, Leno and a few hundred struggling comics performing at dives from Trenton to Tacoma.
Joe McCarthy was in the news last week, and once again the Monitor took due note of the fact that the late senator from Wisconsin - certainly when compared with his more hystericalcritics - was a mere piker in the fine art of innuendo and allegation.
Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com) reported this week that Peter Jennings actively shaped news coverage in the 1980's so that a communist dictatorship could be portrayed in a more flattering light.
Due to pressing post-holiday obligations, the Monitor yields this week to the Media Research Center's Brent Baker and Rich Noyes, who prepared the following summary of MRC's assessment of war coverage by American television: