Comments: Welcome Back, Potter

1-202-225-0100 DEMAND SINGLE PAYER.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 19, 2009 03:56 PM

The indefatigable Amy Goodman had Potter on in July. At times he appeared to be in agony over his behavior for CIGNA. This is a man who is determined to fix what he can.

Posted by drip at September 19, 2009 04:19 PM

The was a study of the Washington Post about 20 years ago which found that about 50% of their articles were based on press releases.

Posted by Edward at September 19, 2009 05:27 PM

By the way, the Center for Media and Democracy, which is based in my hometown of Madison, WI, is a wonderful organization that does great work on a shoestring (like the video news release investigation that John linked to.) Well worth a donation.

I like to think of groups like CMD as the good side of the phenomenon John mentions where the short-staffed media offloads their reporting on to other organizations. CMD does the investigative reporting that reporters used to do. Another group that does this in my state is Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which has take over much of the investigative reporting on campaign finance. Maybe that's a way forward, to outsource reporting to non-profits?

Posted by SteveB at September 19, 2009 07:22 PM

That's a great post, and a great comments too.

Edward, in astutely noting that half of the Wash Post's stories were based on press releases, neglected to mention that the other half were lies told by the government, usually Langley.

Journalism has long sucked (even back when Mark Twain called newspapers a way to be misinformed) because it has always been about selling ads and so pleasing those who the newspaper wants to buy the ad space. That's why George Seldes got disgusted with newspapers for never standing up to the tobacco companies and why I.F. Stone had to scrape by with his own newsletter, and those were the good old days when there were journalists. Now, as JC notes, we have PR people instead.

Posted by N E at September 20, 2009 12:40 AM

I intended to mention that CMD was founded by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, and for anyone who's interested in reading more about how the PR industry washes our brains I highly recommend their excellent books Toxic Sludge Is Good For You and Trust Us, We're Experts.

Posted by John Caruso at September 20, 2009 07:44 PM