Friday, August 11, 2006

The Importance Of Watching The Media: Case in Point -- Mike Allen

One of the reasons I have such high regard for Media Matters for America is their commitment to the pursuit of truth through documentation of the media.

The news that gets made is only part of the equation. If the transmitters of that news send it out through an altered lens, we risk the revision of history. That is something we cannot allow to happen. At least, not without a fight.

A perfect example of the occasional disconnect between news and reporting is what happened this week in Connecticut.

First, and most importantly, news was made. Ned Lamont made a thunderous political statement with his defeat of incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary.

However, news was also distorted. Time magazine White House Correspondent Mike Allen in his web column, The Allen Report, issued what seemed like a summation of GOP talking points on the election result.

It is one thing for a Fox pundit to regurgitate GOP talking points; it is quite another for an allegedly impartial journalist to do so.

So what does one make of a web column that has the Time White House correspondent voluminously quoting GOP operatives while only choosing to give mainstream Democrats a solitary comment to counter it? And then editorializing that comment in a manner that plays into Republican spin.

Essentially, Allen's column reported on how the Lamont victory was somehow going to be to the detriment of Democrats and the GOP will spare nothing in capitalizing on that. If one follows the distorted logic, left-wing extremists have allegedly hi-jacked the party. Additionally, the implication is that taking an anti-war position is somehow akin to being against national security.

Somebody needs to remind Republican talking heads, and reporters like Allen, that the majority of Americans support a pullout from Iraq. It is hardly a fringe, or extremist issue.

For one of the most comprehensive refutations of the Mike Allen article, you can read the Media Matters post on it here.

The good news is that we are now alert enough to not necessarily rely on Media Matters alone to speak out on this abuse of the public's trust. Before I had read the MM piece, I had seen at least a half-dozen other blogs that commented on the same thing. The Huffington Post alone had a batch of blogposts on the subject.

Now it is up to us to contact the editors at Time and voice our displeasure.

Interestingly, the Allen column supposedly allows for comments. When one goes to post, the following message appears: "Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them."

Guess what? 2 days later and not a single comment has been posted.

To contact Time directly send e-mail to

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