December 12, 2005

Accountable Press, Credibility & Political Reporters

Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post has to defend himself against colleagues for holding the White House accountable. Political Reporters at the Post do not like Dan Froomkin ‘White House Briefing’ column.
Political reporters at The Post don't like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing," which is highly opinionated and liberal. They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter.

John Harris, national political editor at the print Post, said, "The title invites confusion. It dilutes our only asset -- our credibility" as objective news reporters. Froomkin writes the kind of column "that we would never allow a White House reporter to write. I wish it could be done with a different title and display."
Dan Froomkin responds:
Regular readers know that my column is first and foremost a daily anthology of works by other journalists and bloggers. When my voice emerges, it is often to provide context for those writings and spot emerging themes. Sometimes I do some original reporting, and sometimes I share my insights. The omnipresent links make it easy for readers to assess my credibility.

There is undeniably a certain irreverence to the column. But I do not advocate policy, liberal or otherwise. My agenda, such as it is, is accountability and transparency. I believe that the president of the United States, no matter what his party, should be subject to the most intense journalistic scrutiny imaginable. [..]

To that end, it calls attention to times when reasonable, important questions are ducked; when disingenuous talking points are substituted for honest explanations; and when the president won’t confront his critics -- or their criticisms -- head on.

The journalists who cover Washington and the White House should be holding the president accountable. When they do, I bear witness to their work. And the answer is for more of them to do so -- not for me to be dismissed as highly opinionated and liberal because I do.

Political Reporters cover all of politics, unlike Dan Froomkin column which is meant to cover only one subject, the White House. Political Reporters at the Post must know the White House is controlled by a Republican, right? If there is any absence of balance in Dan Froomkin ‘White House Briefing’ column it is due to the fact there is no Democrats in the White House. Questioning the President is not a liberal bias, no matter what Fox News or Conservatives tell you.

This display shows how sad the media really is.


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