Joe Williams—the senior White House reporter who was suspended from and later left Politico—is having a rough couple of weeks.
Mr. Williams, a former D.C. deputy bureau chief for The Boston Globe, had his impartiality called into question when, during an appearance on MSNBC, he said that Governor Mitt Romney appeared on Fox and Friends so often because he was most comfortable around other white people. (Apparently, being cognizant of race now constitutes a liberal bias.) The Washington Free Beacon flagged the video, and soon Breitbart.com and The Daily Caller unleashed their liberal media bias-sniffing hounds, scouring Mr. Williams’s Twitter and uncovering one retweet of a lewd joke about Ann Romney and the following critique of Politico: “what’s most irritating is the overlay of blatant racism. that’s the secret sauce in the Politico shitburger.”
Former News of the World reporter Graham Johnson has published a tell-all of his time under Rebekah Brooks called Hack: Sex, Drugs, and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle. An interview with Vice suggests Rupert Murdoch’s former deputy might not enjoy her portrayal.
“The problem is with tabloid journalists, like Rebekah Brooks, and the editors Read More
In his long overdue Atlantic media diet, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti called out the previous contributors to the column, the ones who claim to read The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times in print, every day, and say they are so embarrassed by how the Economists they never got around to reading pile up around the apartment.
“The main way I discover information is my Twitter feed and my Facebook news feed. One of the interesting things about this Media Diet column is if people were honest, I think they would give more credit to Facebook and Twitter, which can mean totally different things depending on who you are. But social is the new starting point.”
Last week, Fox News chief Roger Ailes came under fire for characteristically incendiary remarks he made about The New York Times (“cesspool of bias,” “a bunch lying scum”) and other media organizations during a lecture at Ohio University.
The event was woefully underreported, but an unnamed “senior Fox executive” told Howard Kurtz that Mr. Ailes thought he had gone too far in the lecture. He respects Jill Abramson, the source said, and thinks the Times has been fair under her. At that lecture, he was speaking exclusively about Russ Buettner, who reported that Mr. Ailes had pressured Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators about her relationship with Bernie Kerik.
The full transcript of Mr. Ailes’s May 21 lecture at Ohio University is now online (via Romenesko), and it reveals plenty more original Times commentary. Mr. Ailes said former executive editor Bill Keller was fired for publishing biased news (it went down a little differently in the Ken Auletta version) and that Mr. Keller’s stated opinion of Fox News amounts to sour grapes because the newspaper industry is dying and Fox is thriving. He also said that the two of them are getting a drink.
[UPDATE: That rendez-vous hasn't happened...yet. Mr. Keller told The Observer in an e-mail: “After my column identifying Fox as a satanist front, he sent me a light-hearted email. I offered to buy him a drink. He hasn’t taken me up on it yet. Stay tuned.”
Below, an excerpt of his conversation with moderator Andy Alexander.