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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CJR is making journalism worse

The once prestigious Columbia Journalism Review showed just how awful it has become in its year-in-review by Pete Vernon. While recognizing good works -- and I will have to take Vernon's word on a few of the stories he praised -- Vernon failed to acknowledge that Fake News is real and growing.

Vernon did not say one word about the big investigative report on CNN on June 22 -- “Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials” -- that resulted in three people losing their jobs: the reporter, the editor, and their boss.

Instead of taking a serious look at the Fake News in the business, Vernon took a few potshots and called it a day.

From Vernon:
Worst roll-out of a non-scoop
When MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow teased her March 14 show with the promise “We’ve got Trump tax returns…(Seriously),” it seemed she had scored a coup that journalists had spent the past year searching for. That night, it took nearly 20 minutes, and a commercial break, for Maddow to bring out investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who revealed two rather uninteresting pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return.
Actually it was worse than that for the Marxists in the Media.

The MSNBC host wound up telling her anti-Trump and Never Trump viewers that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income -- a 25% tax rate.

Instead of exposing Fake News, Vernon and CJR mocked those who dare complain that the journalistic trade is one sided.

From Vernon:
A Trump bump to the bottom line
As Trump lambasted media outlets as purveyors of “fake news,” consumers lined up to support them. The “failing” New York Times and the “Amazon” Washington Post both reported subscriber surges under Trump, while Vanity Fair, whose editor, Graydon Carter, spent much of his career ridiculing Trump, also saw a rise in subscriptions.
Ha ha ha, you rubes. Fake News pays.

Vernon should have shoved his own politics aside and included in his review the CNN story, “Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

That was the story that CNN retracted under the threat of a libel suit by Anthony Scaramucci. This was a terrible one-source story from an anonymous source whose name CNN protected even after the story turned out to be Fake News.

If the people in the media do not punish Fake News, they will get more Fake News.

Look what happened to Brian Ross -- whose stock-crashing error on the Mueller investigation also was ignored by Vernon and CJR.

Instead of upbraiding CNN for its Fake News about Scaramucci, Vernon and CJR mocked the man when Ryan Lizza broke a story that Scaramucci had told him in confidence over the phone.

From Vernon:
Moochiest 11 days of the Trump administration
From the department of too-close-to-the-sun: Anthony Scaramucci burst onto the national scene as the smooth-talking, Reince-slaying White House Communications Director. His colorful run may have lasted less than a fortnight, but we’ll always have that phone call.
Vernon then ignored Lizza's own fall from grace when the New Yorker fired him and CNN suspended him indefinitely over improper sexual conduct. I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in fair play.

I also believe any conservative now is nuts if he talks to a reporter in confidence.

Indeed, Vernon made no mention of media stars such as Matt Lauer and Charlie losing their jobs due to claims of sexual harassment. Only Bill O'Reilly was mentioned because, hey, that is Fox News and not real media, right?

Vernon also did not mention that NBC spiked Ronan Farrow's expose on Harvey Weinstein.

But Vernon did tell us how many scoops of ice cream the president gets, and how many cans of Diet Coke the New York Times said he drinks, and how the word "covfefe" became a thing for half a day.

He also stood up for Facebook censoring people, writing, "This was the year Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg grudgingly admitted that his creation was more than a neutral platform, accepting the barest minimum level of responsibility for the influence his product had on the 2016 election, the sharing of fake news, and the sorry state of newspaper budgets."

Fake News on Facebook is not the problem.

Fake News in the media is.

Ignoring it won't make it go away.

I know what will, and believe me, Vernon and the rest will not like that solution should it ever come.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Excellent roundup of stories which should have been covered.
    The FaceBook thing puzzles me. Ask yourself: did anything on FB convince you to vote a certain way? Do you know a single person whose vote was swayed by content on FB?

    1. Deplorable Don readers may find this AP piece interesting and more balanced than one normally sees in the MSM.,-his-base's-faith-is-unshaken

  2. Introspection is not a strong point within the journalism community, that's for sure.

    But how surprising is that, since it is now dominated by narrative themes created by Marxist post-modern fools, for whom reality has never been especially important.

    A group of people who specialize in creating artificial reality ... good luck with that program. I'm trying to cut down.

  3. Follow the money.....

    Stats just came out that show the average Federal bureaucrat makes 47% more in salary then the average private sector worker. With benefits, the average bureaucrat makes a whopping 76% more then the average private sector worker (and the government doesn't lay off people during economic downturns).

    A commenter under a WSJ article a few weeks ago noted that working for the Journal - or most national publications - is no longer a journalists destination. S/He brought out the fact that so many former writers from national publications (such as Glenn Simpson of FusionGPS) moved onto much higher paying jobs in politics, the government, and television.

    The Political-Industrial Complex is the best paying place to work in America. The more you're willing to be partisan and smear those stupid American workers and taxpayers, the higher your career ceiling. Personal and/or professional integrity is a shortcoming.

  4. I don't care who tells me I should, I'm not gonna trust the NYT and WaPoo, nor the Alphabets.

  5. Seems to me the Columbia School of Journalism invented Fake News.

  6. Vernon can’t write the truth or his party invitations will dry up. Vernon doesn’t recognize the truth because all he know is the NYT CNN NBC ABC MSNBC CBS and Columbia.

  7. The surges in subscriptions for the papers mentioned was online, meaning that they are still losing money, i.e. failing.