Monday, June 06, 2005

Round-up of the Navasky/CJR story

  • Here is my initial post exposing Victor Navasky as secretly calling the shots at Columbia Journalism Review: "Nation editor and publisher running CJR, but not on masthead." At the time Navasky had no immediate intentions to get on the masthead.

  • Power Line was the first high-traffic blog to pick up the story with a post entitled "CJR-gate?":
    CJR purports to be an unbiased media watchdog publication. Yet David M's reporting suggests that a major left-wing polemicist is calling the shots at CJR without any mention on the masthead. According to David M, the Journal's executive editor has admitted that he answers to Navasky. And Navasky himself, while downplaying his editorial rule, appears to have acknowledged that he provides some editorial direction.

  • Hugh Hewitt was at first skeptical: "This strikes me as very improbable." But as Hewitt became convinced of the story's accuracy he updated the entry accordingly. Hewitt also discussed the Navasky/CJR story on his radio show with columnist Mark Steyn.

  • Meanwhile, Editor & Publisher became the first traditional print media outlet to run the story (and gracefully acknowledge this blog). By this point, (about 19 hours after my initial post on the topic) CJR had decided it needed to put Navasky on the masthead, and the chosen title was "chairman," as reported by E&P

  • Media blogger Jim Romenesko ran links to both the E&P story and my original post. In the media world however, this story was vastly overshadowed by the unmasking of Deep Throat.

  • The next morning, The New York Sun became the first (and only, to my knowledge) daily paper to run the story. Citing both Power Line and this blog, the Sun's Jacob Gershman wrote an excellent overview of the story to date.

  • That night, Fox News became the first (and only, to my knowledge) television station to cover the story, on Brit Hume's "Political Grapevine."
Other blog commentary:
  • The Mediacrity blog, which has been unimpressed with the MSM's handling of the CJR story, had frequent updates in the posts from June 1-4.

  • Update: Notably, CJR's blog, CJR Daily ("Real-time media analysis from the Columbia Journalism Review") has still not mentioned the story at all (as of June 7, noon ET). Mediacrity called the omission shameless.

  • Mickey Kaus pondered Navasky's effect on CJR:
    Will the often-embarrassing media-crit magazine (and blog) now become an ideological clone of The Nation? That might require moving CJR slightly to the right.
    (Via Glenn Reynolds who pipes in with "heh.")

  • In February 2005, The Examiner quoted CJR:
    CJR asked about Fox News, in 1998, "Can a news network dominated by conservative hosts be genuinely 'fair and balanced,' particularly toward those on the left?"
    This prompted blogger Sisyphus's Tim Schmoyer to ask this week,
    Can a media-crit magazine dominated by liberals be genuinely non-partisan and fair, particularly toward those on the right? In light of Victor Navasky's recently disclosed role, doesn't that question take on even more substance?

  • Tim Graham, director of media analysis at Media Research Center, wrote at The Corner (in a post entitled "Der Kommissar's in Town, Uh-Oh") that he "had to giggle" at CJR's protestations that Navasky's politics would not affect CJR.

  • Ace of Spades compared ethics at CJR and the blogosphere:
    Gee, you'd almost think that they were trying to hide something.

    I'm so glad that establishment media outfits have such strict rules of ethics and disclosure that we in the Shadow Media don't.

  • Update: Pejman Yousefzadeh asks,
    Where was the full disclosure? For that matter, where was the partial disclosure? And is this not yet another example of the very "astroturfing" that we are all supposed to despise and that some in the past were hellbent on denouncing--thinking all along that the denunciations could never apply to their side of the ideological divide, of course?

  • The American Thinker posted an essay sarcastically titled "CJR picks a winner":
    But the real damage is not Navasky but the head-in-the-sand attitude of the Columbia media establishment that brought this guy on to solve their problems.
  • On David Horowitz's "Discover the Networks" website, Steven Plaut blogged on CJR in a post entitled, "Political Sleaze at the Columbia School of Journalism."

  • Slant Point sees this story as evidence of the potential of citizen journalism.

  • Pamela Geller Oshry, apparently former publisher of The New York Observer, finds Columbia's behavior in this case unbelievable. She adds that she knows Navasky to be "a lovely, erudite, well spoken raving moonbat."

  • A dental blogger asked, "why the subterfuge in the first place?"

  • From the right, asked:
    why is this news? I mean, what do you expect from the Columbia Journalism Review?
  • From the left, Norwegianity wrote,
    we'?re supposed to be outraged because a lefty is working at the Columbia Journalism Review?

    Start a phony war and get a medal, but if a registered Democrat litters, form a firing squad.
    Hard to argue with insight like that.

  • Update: PostWatch's Chrisopher Rake is "beginning to wonder if some allegedly objective institutions are shifting toward giving up on the pose."
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