By Christopher B. Daly
I’m still missing my friend and colleague David Carr, whose Media Equation column was usually my first citation in these blogposts. (I wonder what he’d be saying about Bill O’Reilly — and how much of that could get past the NYT copy desk.)
In my mind, one of the worst things O’Reilly has ever done was to say the following (which he has not disputed) to a NYTimes reporter who called him to get his side of the controversy, which is a fundamental principle of journalism:
‘I am coming after you with everything I have,’ Mr. O’Reilly said. ‘You can take it as a threat.’
Elsewhere in the NYTimes:
–Frank Bruni had a penetrating piece Sunday on the faults of the political press corps, especially the band of reporters who cover the presidential primaries. Having done a bit of that myself in 1987-88, 1992, and 1996, I can affirm that it’s not a pretty picture.
I agree with Bruni that the political press corps would do us all a favor if they would just stop covering Iowa and New Hampshire. That alone would elevate our national political life.
I would add this: most political reporters spend far too much time covering candidates and far too little time covering voters. Turn the lens around!
–Today’s Times brings news that the News Corp. is considering re-hiring Rebekah Brooks, the disgraced (but not convicted) former boss of Rupert Murdoch’s British empire. Raising the question (see O’Reilly above): If they like you, what does it take to get fired by the Murdoch/Ailes crew?
–On CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Brian Stelter continues to pull away from his predecessor by doing more reporting, by avoiding Washington-style bickering, and by providing a demonstration of good journalism in practice. To his credit, he has continued to report the O’Reilly story, not just milk it.
—The New Yorker is observing its 90th birthday, as only the brainchild of Harold Ross could. From the magazine’s troubled first year, here’s a piece titled “Why We Go to Cabarets: — an article that, according to a digressive story in the current issue by Sandy Frazier, saved the New Yorker‘s bacon by attracting the kind of young, fashionable readers that Ross was seeking. Fun fact: the 1925 Cabarets piece was written by Ellin Mackay, better known as Mrs. Irving Berlin.
Next up: I want to read the magazine’s story by A.J. Liebling about D-Day.