To: Mainstream Media
From: A recovering news junkie/former newspaper reporter
Re: Christmas presents
With Christmas coming up I thought it was time to give out some presents for journalists and other media figures. I have been watching, and making a list, of who has been naughty and who has been nice. The gifts are virtual, which is my way of saying I'd buy the gifts if I wasn't a full-time student without income.
The recipient: Robert Novak, the hypocritical blowhard I and others have criticized.
The present: I give a copy of Outfoxed., the documentary about the Fox propaganda machine. Novak recently announced he was leaving CNN (hooray!) to go to Fox News. What a perfect marriage! One propagandist deserves another.
The recipient: Judith Miller, the infamous former reporter of The New York Times.
The present: A copy of Jayson Blair's Burning Down My Master's House since she, like him, has dishonored a generally respectable newspaper.
The recipient: Viveca Novak, the Time magazine reporter who knew that Karl Rove was a source for fellow reporter Matthew Cooper and mentioned it - oops! - over drinks with Rove's lawyer.
The present: A subscription to Time magazine because I think her days as a Time employee are numbered and if they are not... well, they should be. She is currently on leave.
The recipient: Howard Kurtz, media reporter for The Washington Post, host of CNN's Reliable Sources
The present: A copy of Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian to remind you that you might as well call yourself Howard "I'm a walking example of a conflict of interest and should be the least person to write about others media ethics problems" Kurtz.
The recipient: Bill Keller, editor of the New York Times, who has a hell of a year with his slow response to the Judith Miller problem
The present: A copy of Darknet and We the Media - two good books about the Internet's effect on society - to remind you of a point I tried to make in a prior column - that the TimesSelect wall requiring paid subscriptions for some content - is an inane idea.
The recipient: Kurt Eichenwald, The New York Times reporter who wrote a very thorough, impressive, well-sourced piece this week about teenagers who accept gifts in exchange for performing acts on the
Internet via the Web.
The present: Free airfare so he can travel to journalism conventions and ethics seminar to discuss difficult choices he had to make about whether to
become part of the story. He did get involved, getting the teenager who is the focus of the story to go to law enforcement.