February 13, 2009

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Obama Administration's not so new position on the State Secrets Privilege; criticism of NBC's new To Catch a Predator style reality show; how reporters misunderstand religion

The Privileged

During his campaign, President Obama criticized the Bush Administration's profligate use of the State Secrets Privilege. But this week, lawyers for the Obama administration invoked that rule in an ongoing trial. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick has some possible explanations for the shift.

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Prescription Stimulants

Among those who disagree with the particulars of the stimulus plan is a public policy group called Free Press, which said that 44 billion dollars should be allocated to broadband internet alone to get us competitive with the rest of the developed world, as opposed to the six billion now ...

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Prosecutorial Discretion

When it comes to investigative reporting of criminal activity, news organizations have traditionally worked parallel to, not in collaboration with, law enforcement, lest journalists be viewed as agents of the government. Why then is NBC ambushing alleged war criminals with foreign prosecutors in tow? Goucher College president Sanford ...

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The Cost of Being Green

News reports on climate change now have the tone of certainty that global warming is upon us. But there is anything but certainty when it comes to the cost of action. Shorenstein Fellow Eric Pooley says the media don't scrutinize the economic projections of ...

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The Science of Media Relations

Being a brilliant scientist doesn't always translate into being a good talking head on television or even a good source for a science reporter. So the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program at Stanford University was created to give scientists a better understanding of how to deal with the media. ...

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The Crime of Blasphemy

Twenty years ago this week, the Ayatollah Khomeini called for the death of author Salman Rushdie for insulting Islam in his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie's lawyer Geoffrey Robertson gave Rushdie a place to hide out in those days and defended Rushdie against the crime of ...

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Blinded By the Light

When President Barack Obama paraphrased a passage from 1 Corinthians in his Inaugural Address, he made a point of attributing it to Scripture. Had he not, many in the audience – including many reporters – would not have recognized the Biblical reference. That journalists too often “don’t get religion” is ...

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Paradise Lost

As a born-again Christian, L.A. Times reporter Bill Lobdell was frustrated by media coverage of religious people. So he lobbied his editors and prayed for the religion beat. He eventually got his wish, only to lose his faith in the church and in God after eight years on the job. ...

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