I was at a conference just a couple of weeks ago, and one journalist asked a PR rep if he was allowed to write a story. Edward R. Murrow didn’t just spin in his grave at that query; he catapulted out of it like a jack-in-the-box and started choking bitches.
They (and their fellows) have gotten so out of hand lately that the European Union set up a service specifically committed to fact checking British tabloids. (…)
Even lauded New York Times best-seller Malcolm Gladwell got his start suckling at the teat of big business.
The Fourth Estate’s answer to Michael Jordan started out his career shilling for Big Tobacco. His magnum opus was a warning that any decrease in American smoking habits might “put serious strain on the nation’s Social Security and Medicare programs.”
Gladwell was such a hit with Big Tobacco in the ’90s that Phillip Morris even included him on a list of media assets.
This isn’t to say that the man hasn’t written some fine books, but if you’re looking for someone who places pride in objectivity, Gladwell probably isn’t your man. (…)
You probably didn’t hear much of an uproar about this Huffington Post column by Tom Squitieri, defending the government of Bahrain for violently cracking down on protesters. There’s got to be two sides to every issue, right? And HuffPo listed ol’ Tom as an expert on the region, as well as a “journalist.” Only Squitieri hasn’t been a journalist since 2005, when he resigned from USA Today for plagiarism. He’s also an employee of Qorvis, a public relations firm that rehabilitates the images of dictatorships … including Bahrain. Somehow, no one looked into that.