Archive for January, 2010

Cheney’s mouthpiece.

January 6, 2010

For a good part of  the last year, constitutional law and civil rights litigator and Contributing writer to Salon, Glenn Greenwald, has heavily criticised The Politco, the American political journalism organisation that distributes its content through television, the internet, newspaper, and radio,  for its handling Dick Cheney stories

His criticism is in summary: 

 Throughout the year, Politico has repeatedly published as “news articles” comments from Dick Cheney, which its “reporters”  faithfully write down and print with virtually no challenge, skepticism or contradiction .  So extreme has this behavior become that even Beltway TV personalities such as Chris Matthews are beginning to mock it. This afternoon, Greg Sargent asked Editor-in-Chief John Harris to defend his magazine’s conduct, and Harris replied by claiming, in essence, that Cheney’s comments are “newsworthy” and that it’s Politico‘s job to “get newsworthy people to say interesting things.”………

In a coda to today’s comments, he says:

I’m not a big fan of “we-are-doomed” symbolism.  But for those looking for end-of-the-decade signs of our impending collapse, it would be hard to do better than pointing to the appointment of the Executive Editor of Politico — of Politico — to the Pulitzer Committee.

We are doomed indeed.


New technologies & our politicians.

January 4, 2010

Now that electioneering appears to be up and running,  here’s a little piece advice from today’s edition The Guardian that politicians of every hue would do well to heed:

Following Barack Obama’s successful use of social networking, British parties have redoubled their rush on to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. A few engaged MPs use such sites not only to broadcast their views but also to listen to their constituents. However, too much political effort online simply mimics traditional marketing-driven campaigning – treating voters as little more than shoppers, and policies as slickly packaged products. The overlooked lesson of Obama’s campaign is that it treated voters as citizens with active roles in a democratic society rather than passive consumers swayed by party marketing.