BRAD BLOG Criticizes Columbia Journalism Review for Being Two Years Late and More Than Two Dollars Short...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2006, 6:00am PT  

With a rather mild slap on the wrist, Columbia Journalism Review suggests in its Sep/Oct issue, in an un-bylined editorial, that the national media failed to do their job in reporting on the disasterously irregular 2004 Ohio Presidential Election.

No kidding. Do ya think?!

The CJR piece is published this week, just a touch over a month before our next national election. The decline of democracy has grown exponentially worse across the entire nation, every single day since 2004's Presidential Election (as we have been tirelessly covering on these pages since 3am or so of November 3rd, 2004) and yet CJR has waited until now for it's gentle hand-wringing over the lack of coverage on these matters in the national media.

They go so far as to describe The New York Times as "typically strong on voting controversy" before softly suggesting they haven't done enough to cover these matters. Never mind that it was the Times who, perhaps single-handedly, instructed the nation that nothing at all went wrong in Ohio in 2004 when they characterized the efforts of those of us trying to investigate what happened on Election Day as little more than "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers" on Nov. 21, 2004.

We wrote at the time about that article:

The New York Times has been bravely leading the way in ignoring the story of America's failure to hold an honest, clean and transparent election. Even though they've had time to dismiss the whole affair as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers."

The following day we constructively offered them 15 hard news items concerning "irregularities" in the 2004 election that merited their investigation, rather than their condescension. To this date, we're aware of them having investigated none of them.

"Typically strong on voting controversy?" To what decade might CJR be referring?

In the meantime, nothing has been found to suggest that those of us "leftwing blogging conspiracy theorists" were anything but absolutely right in our concern, dilligence, and attention to the matter.

The "paper of record" sets the tone for America and for all of the other media. They failed this country abysmally.

CJR bills themselves as "America's Premier Media Monitor." In other words, their job is to be the watchdog of the watchdogs. And yet, they've taken two years to admonish the national media for having failed to cover the very dissolution of our democracy, in plain sight and before our very eyes, in a tepid little editorial this month.

Consider us the watchdog watchdog watchdog.

NEWS FLASH FOR CJR (feel free to face this criticism two years from now if you wish): While your spanking the national media for failing to do their job on this most crucial topic, you have utterly failed to do yours in the meantime. Glasses houses, much?

Finally, the ironically condescending little CJR editorial (which mentions some of the few outlets who have covered the issue sparsely, while leaving out those who have reported on it every single day since November 2nd, 2004 --- what, me bitter?) concludes thusly:

Guarding the democratic process is part of the journalistic mission, and with another election approaching, now is the time to think about that.

Uh, no. Sorry, guys. The "time to think about that" was years ago. Now, it's pretty much too late to do a damned thing to "guard the democratic process." At least for the 2006 election. You have failed as miserably as those whom you have finally decided to criticize (gently).

See you in September of 2008...when you all decide to give a damn about this issue the next time.

...CONTACT...
dartsandlaurels@cjr.org; Click">letters@cjr.org\">Click here to Email CJR