Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why Dan Froomkin Should Be Required Reading

Dan Froomkin writes a column at called "White House Briefing."

Recently, an article published by the Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell stated, "Political reporters at The Post don't like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing," which is highly opinionated and liberal. They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter."

In her piece, Howell made clear that WashPo national politics editor John Harris had a major issue with Froomkin. Harris apparently did not want anybody to think that Froomkin was one of the White House reporters and wanted the name of his media-watching column changed from "White House Briefing." According to Harris, a website blogger such as Chris Cillizza, is someone Harris is "happy to have."

Well, if one checks out the daily blog by Cillizza, I think there is pretty clearly a right-wing bias and, when one reads the comments to his political bloggings that complaint has often been uttered.

In Dan Froomkin's column yesterday, he astutely pointed out that no president had ever chosen not to attend the White House Conference on Aging. Froomkin also pointed out the most important piece of information, which was that no major media outlets were covering it either, or referring to Bush not showing up. Instead, Froomkin singled out NPR and regional papers which did cover the story.

What I am wondering is how the hell can outlets such as the Washington Post justify not referring to Bush skipping this conference, in fact not even report on the conference, but devote all their space on the subject to a staged Bush press conference?

How can one not conclude that all this paper, and other news outlets, are looking for is access to the administration? Access which they can only get by promoting the Bush agenda.

The lack of coverage in this particular case is demonstrable proof of the lack of responsibility and accountability by the White House press corps.

And THAT is why we need media-watchers like Dan Froomkin.

Who else are we gonna call on to tell us the truth?

Bob Woodward? John Harris? Chris Cillizza?

Yeah, right.

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