Media Mashup: June 22, 2015

Mourners gather at a memorial to the victims in Charleston, South Carolina.
Mourners gather at a memorial to the victims in Charleston, South Carolina.

As political pundits and leftist columnists tried to create racial divisions after the shooting in South Carolina, those who lost family members took a different tack.

As David Forsmark of put it, “[T]he families of the dead expressed the love of Jesus and a message of forgiveness to the racist monster who murdered their loved ones.”

But liberal apologist E. J. Dionne dismissed the approach: “Right off the top, anyone who wants to discuss the implications of this shooting is scolded for ‘politicizing a tragedy.’ We are told we must heal and mourn first, that it’s ‘disrespectful’ to the victims to ask what this slaughter means and what we must do as a nation. How manipulative: Mourning the deaths of good people — and honoring the astonishing spirit of forgiveness modeled by their families — is used as an excuse to delay reflection on why this happened until the moment of urgency passes. In a media culture with a short attention span, there is no surer way to contain and marginalize the hard questions.”

Charles Blow of The New York Times wrote one of his usual screeds, ignoring the grace and dignity of those who mourned. “[Gunman Dylann] Roof was a young man radicalized to race hatred who reportedly wanted to start a race war and who killed nine innocent people as his opening salvo. If that’s not terrorism, we need to redefine the term.”

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Major news organizations have praised NBC and social media for bringing shamed anchor Brian Williams to task for making up stories about his endeavors as a “journalist” in Iraq, New Orleans and elsewhere.

At least Paul Farhi of The Post got part of the story right. “It’s possible that some journalists are ‘too big to fire,’ in Politico columnist Jack Shafer’s memorable phrase, meaning their popularity, internal clout and wider connections make them bulletproof. But it’s also possible that what constitutes a journalistic sin has been defined to a disappearing point in an era of fragmented audiences and abundant digital competition,” Farhi wrote.

“In an earlier age, a well­-publicized ethical trespass brought swift justice to its perpetrators. In 1981, The Post fired Janet Cooke, the reporter who fabricated an article about an 8-year-old heroin addict, after her work was exposed as fraudulent; Cooke has not worked for a news organization since. Ditto fellow fabulists Stephen Glass at The New Republic, Jack Kelley at USA Today and Jayson Blair at The New York Times.”

We note that Williams still has a job when he should not.


The Federal Communications Commission, once a bastion of nonpartisanship, has become the center for divided politics and policies.

The Hill reported that disputes about Internet subsidies, robocalls and net neutrality regulations have taken on a bitter tone.

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