Media Must Police Media

hen The Washington Post started drawing heat for its latest “Mouthpiece Theater” video, in which Post staffers Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza suggested it would be appropriate for Hillary Clinton to drink “Mad Bitch” beer, the paper made the problem go away—literally. There doesn’t appear to be any official record of the decision to remove the video anywhere on the site—not in the corrections column, not on the page that collects Milbank’s work, not on Cillizza’s blog “The Fix,” where the post promoting the video is still in place, but the player itself is unresponsive. And no mention of the decision has been appended to the transcript of Cillizza’s live chat from 11 a.m. Friday, and etc. etc.

But the Post’s decision to publish, and then quietly “unpublish,” the video raises questions, which CJR's (Columbia Journalism Review) Greg Marx asks today.

Meanwhile, two takes on the recent complaints about fair linking practices from Ian Shapira of The Washington Post.:

Megan Garber parses the lack conflicting impulses in the debate, and notes that it calls out for linking standards.

And Bill Grueskin points to another example, in which Gawker credited the St. Petersburg Times for a courageous and time-consuming investigation, but buried the links to the Times under a number of links to Gawker's own content.

Finally, CJR's Trudy Lieberman finds several bright spots in press coverage of the debate over health care reform. Coverage lately has centered on the legislative horse race, as we knew it would, and the press has went wild covering nearly every twist and turn in the chase to get bills passed by the full House and Senate before the August recess. This sort of coverage has two downsides: it misses what the special interests are up to, and it shortchanges the public—which most of all needs to know how health reform would affect them.

But here, Lieberman commends a trio of exceptional pieces that do try to address those questions.

We hope you enjoy these stories,

the editors




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