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August 07, 2005

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (It Looks Like Some Reporters Need to Be Fired Today Edition)

Peter Baker and Charles Babington of the Washington Post:

In complying with White House "ground rules" on ... [Media Matters for America]: Under a purported embargo, which the Post said prevented reporters from revealing the administration's decision until midnight -- "too late" to contact Democrats for a response -- staff writers Peter Baker and Charles Babington quoted anonymous White House officials spinning the decision regarding the documents.... The Post article, headlined "White House to Release Early Roberts Papers," reported that the White House will provide materials from Roberts's time in the White House counsel's office while withholding the Justice Department documents. Noting only that Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) had earlier "urged the representatives of the White House to be as cooperative as they possibly could" in providing documents, Baker and Babington justified excluding any Democratic response to the decision by noting that Bush administration officials "disclosed the new policy under ground rules requiring anonymity and an embargo until midnight, too late for Democratic reaction."...

And Lauren Whittington of Roll Call:

Suburban Guerrilla: Via Daily Kos, we discover that reporters get"exclusives" from the GOP - if they promise not to call any Democrats for comment:

Turns out Roll Call writer Lauren Whittington got the story from the GOP with the ground rule that she not call anyone else for the story. In a news media that has fallen mightily, this is just one more gross failure of established journalistic process (time for another blogger ethics conference?). Meanwhile, Lauren didn't just report a one-sided story at the demands of her Republican source, but then refused to ask any real questions...

If these stories are true, all three of these should have already been fired.

Posted by DeLong at August 7, 2005 06:59 PM