Today in Journalism
December 18, 2015

On Thursday, The New York Times published a profile piece on President Obama's reactions to terrorism that included this sentence: "In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments."

The comment — apparently indicating that the president struggled to comprehend why Americans were fearful following these recent attacks — quickly drew attention. Then, just as quickly, it disappeared.

The Times updated its story four hours after publication without a correction notice. The deleted portion was replaced with two new paragraphs about Obama's war on terror strategy. Bonnie Kristian

October 24, 2014

Christophe de Margerie, the CEO of the French oil company Total, was killed on Monday when his private jet crashed into a snowplow at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport. The investigation is ongoing, but Russian officials are zeroing in on the airport's management for "criminal negligence."

One top Russian TV station, however, has another theory.

Reports Stephen Fidler at The Wall Street Journal:

Russian television viewers were treated to a different version. According to a top Russian television channel, a plot by the Central Intelligence Agency couldn't be ruled out. Mr. de Margerie was, after all, a prominent opponent of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Moscow, and Washington wanted him silenced. This story was relayed not by an outraged nationalist pundit but by a newscaster. [The Wall Street Journal]

No word on whether they think the CIA is also behind ISIS and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Oh wait...

July 30, 2014

Last week, anonymous Twitter users @crushingbort and @blippoblappo assembled damning evidence that BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson had repeatedly plagiarized Wikipedia and other sources, forcing editor Ben Smith to fire him. (Talking Points Memo had an excellent interview with the two.)

But this wasn't the first outbreak of serious journalism from the weird corners of Twitter. Some months ago tweeters @violentfanon, @swarthyvillain, @dankmtl, and @lindsberty started a podcast called the Emoprog Army Radio Hour. It's a shoestring operation, but on Tuesday (also with @samknight1) they landed an interview with Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept, regarding their latest scoop about the NSA's joint operation with the Saudi Arabia secret police.

They're a bit of an unpolished lot, but I found it quite interesting. Particularly of note was Hussain's account of living in Saudi Arabia years ago, and Greenwald's description of how Israel interacts with U.S. intelligence agencies (not to mention some of his many rescued dogs chiming in at a few points). At the very least, it was head and shoulders above Meet the Press both in depth and sophistication.

Check out the interview here. --Ryan Cooper

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