Jen Psaki assures us that she has nailed down the ethics of her impending departure as White House press secretary and move to MSNBC. “I took steps and have taken steps, as I’ve had any discussions with any future employer, that go over and above any requirements by government, recusing myself of any discussions as well, and I’m proud of that,” Psaki said on Sunday. Now, Psaki is a phenomenal talent, but not even she can wish away the unmistakable conflict of interest at play here. How to ensure fair treatment of media outlets when one of them is a prospective employer?
David Corn, Washington bureau chief at Mother Jones magazine, is aghast at the omissions in the recently released ABC News documentary on former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who authored the famous dossier on Russia and Donald Trump. “Steele and his dossier have always been a sideshow to the main event: the Kremlin’s clandestine assault that helped Trump win,” writes Corn.
Erik Wemple: “CNN flouted journalistic ethics in spring 2020 when it allowed Chris Cuomo to host his brother about a dozen times in flattering gab sessions — and then, when the governor’s covid-19 and sexual harassment scandals piled up in early 2021, the network somehow tracked down its internal guidelines and banned Chris Cuomo from covering his brother. That switcheroo is what is unprecedented.”
Erik Wemple journeys through the assorted missteps of newsrooms making bold, but often absurdly miscalculated, steps in the direction of innovation. His own Washington Post‘s move to separate its print staff from digital employees on either side of the Potomac, news app Circa’s blinding self-love for its own novelty and HuffPost Live’s attempt to out-cable news cable news are among the follies he explores.
Erik Wemple: “Even as he campaigned for president, Donald Trump has threatened legal action against the Associated Press and the New York Times. He has stiff-armed media organizations on credentials, vowed to loosen libel law to make it easier for guys like him to sue media outlets, ridiculed media outlets and individual reporters at rallies, and much more. Asked in a recent New York Times interview whether he’d make good on his threat on libel laws, Trump answered, “I think you’ll be happy.”