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Washington Monthly

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  • How anti-abortion groups are using Wash. Post to legitimize their attacks on Planned Parenthood 

    ››› ››› SHARON KANN & JULIE TULBERT

    On August 2, The Washington Post’s health care newsletter, The Health 202, featured an exclusive preview of an anti-Planned Parenthood report from the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) -- the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. After the full report’s publication, anti-abortion groups and outlets pointed to the Post’s exclusive to legitimize the misinformation the report included or promoted the report themselves. 

  • Pence Runs With Flawed AP Report To Smear The Clinton Foundation

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    During the 2016 vice presidential debate, Republican Gov. Mike Pence referenced a flawed Associated Press (AP) report to baselessly allege Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was involved in “pay-to-play politics.” The cited AP report falsely suggested that Clinton granted special State Department access to Clinton Foundation donors but included no evidence of wrongdoing. Pence also left out the fact that the AP was forced to take down its misleading tweet on the report, saying it did not meet its journalistic standards.

  • GOP Uses Flawed AP Report To Call For An Investigation Into The Clinton Foundation

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Republicans are using a flawed Associated Press report -- that baselessly alleged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton granted special State Department access to Clinton Foundation donors -- to justify calls for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Even though the report included no evidence of wrongdoing, numerous media figures hyped it as a scandal, claiming “the optics are disturbing” for Clinton.

  • Media Hype “Optics” In AP Report On Clinton Foundation, While Admitting There Is No Evidence Of Ethics Breaches

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ & JARED HOLT

    Media are attempting to scandalize a report from The Associated Press that revealed that “[m]ore than half the people outside the government who met with now-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money ... to the Clinton Foundation,” calling the report “breathtaking” and “disturbing,” because it “looks bad,” and the “optics” and “perceptions” are problematic, despite the fact that their programs also note that “it wasn’t illegal,” and there was no quid pro quo. The focus on the “optics” of the situation rather than the facts has led some in media to criticize the reporting, and explain that “consumers of the media [should] think twice about whether or not the narrative” media are pushing “fits ALL of the facts.”

  • Conservatives seek lessons in investigative journalism

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Washington Monthly's Laura McGann brings us the fascinating story of John Doughterty, an investigative journalist and New York Times contributor.

    After proving his investigative chops to the Nevada Policy Research Institute (a Las Vegas based libertarian think-tank), Dougherty was asked to jump on some conference calls organized by a new "right-of-center: nonprofit with "reporters from other similar free-market policy" to help train them in the ways of investigative journalism.

    As, McGann reports, the calls "rubbed Dougherty the wrong way":

    "What bothered me," he recalls, "was they were taking delight in causing specific angst for political gain. It wasn't, to me, 'This is public interest journalism.' This is hatchet journalism to attack an opposing candidate." After Dougherty wrote a memo to his bosses explaining his discomfort, they allowed him to skip the teleconferences, and he went on to write more than a dozen stories questioning the legality of the state's property tax structure. Once again, Dougherty's reporting hit a nerve; at least two of the state's Republican gubernatorial candidates have made overhauling the property tax system part of their campaign platforms.

    Then, this past March, NPRI and Dougherty started talking about yet another project: forming a nonprofit investigative reporting center in Nevada. Dougherty was intrigued, but only wanted to be involved if the center's board was independent and included a mix of political perspectives. NPRI refused to agree to these terms. Weary of the secrecy and ax grinding surrounding the whole endeavor, Dougherty finally cut ties with the group. "There has always been, to some degree, a sort of tension between my point of view about reporting and his," Steven Miller, the institute's vice president for policy and Dougherty's former supervisor, said when I asked him about the incident. "It's amazing we found as much common ground as we did."

    There you have it folks, "conservative journalism" at its finest.

    Be sure to add McGann's entire report to your weekend reading list.