Tom Johnson

Contributing Writer

Tom Johnson covers mostly websites (e.g., Salon, Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos) for NewsBusters. He blogged frequently for the site from 2005 until 2007 and has been a regular contributor since 2011. From 1989 until 2002, he was an entertainment analyst for the Media Research Center and its spinoff, the Parents Television Council. From July 2004 until June 2005, he monitored National Public Radio for the MRC.

Latest from Tom Johnson

Michael Tomasky, executive editor of the American Prospect, has written a column for the liberal magazine's web site urging the dismissal of his counterpart at the New York Times, Bill Keller, for Keller's alleged mishandling of both the Judith Miller matter and the NSA wiretap story. The piece is worth mentioning mostly for this paragraph, which builds to an overheated climax:    

The current issue of the New York Observer includes Gabriel Sherman's report on the back-and-forth at the New York Times regarding the paper's NSA-wiretap story.

Highlights from Sherman/>/>'s piece:

It may not be as inane as Anna Quindlen's lumping of Nazis with the religious right, but Jonathan Alter's web-only piece about President Bush and the NSA "scandal" nonetheless contains some of this week's worst overstatements from a Newsweek columnist. (Hat tips to Kathryn Lopez and Jonah Goldberg in the Corner.)

Excerpts from Alter on what he calls "Snoopgate" (fo' shizzle!):

Jacob Weisberg, editor of the liberal, Washington Post-owned online magazine Slate, has asserted the credibility of a printed rumor that President Bush likes the idea of lethal retaliation against reporters opposed to the U.S.'s Iraq policy.

Weisberg wrote (emphasis added):

Jim Romenesko picks up on this morning's Boston Globe interview with 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace. Highlights follow; the questioner is the Globe's Suzanne C. Ryan.

Less than a month ago, San Francisco Chronicle TV columnist Tim Goodman declared that Keith Olbermann ought to be the future of broadcast network news. This morning, Goodman touts Olbermann (and Oprah, and Jon Stewart) for Dan Rather's old job, opines that Katie Couric-to-CBS "will not change the network news blues," and gives CBS boss Les Moonves a fashion tip. (Speaking of which, a hat tip to Romenesko.)     

Dan Froomkin writes a White House column weekdays for the Washington Post’s web site. In case you're not familiar with his work, let's just say that in terms of bias and tone, he's sort of an online version of Dana Milbank. (And, in case you're not familiar with Milbank: Lucky you.) 


Today, in his weekly web chat, syndicated Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten provided an unintentionally funny response to a "conservative-leaning" reader. Here's the exchange:

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, Bill Moyers claims that while he was at the helm of PBS's Now, the show was guilty of "aggressive reporting," but not liberal bias. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Following is the relevant portion of the interview. The questioner is B&C's John Eggerton.

In his new web column, Newsweek's Paris bureau chief and Middle East regional editor Christopher Dickey writes about his dinner last Sunday with former Time White House columnist Hugh Sidey, who suffered a fatal heart attack the next day. Unfortunately, Dickey spoils his reminiscence of his friend with a lament/rant concerning the good old days when the liberal establishment media had the field all to themselves (emphasis added) :  

Salon is about to turn ten years old, and Gary Kamiya, who helped found the left-liberal online magazine and is now its "Vice President of Content/Executive Editor," has penned a look back. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Kamiya acknowledges that

In the Friday edition of his blog, left-liberal pundit Eric Alterman posted a comment from a friend of his who shares his, shall we say, skepticism toward the idea of an overall liberal media bias. (Alterman is, of course, the author of What Liberal Media?

Tim Goodman writes about television for the San Francisco Chronicle. As befits a city in which almost 60 percent of voters oppose military recruiting in public schools, Goodman is just now grasping the notion of political bias on broadcast-network newscasts. Specifically, he believes that such bias will soon be a reality, as opposed to the Media Research Center's well-documented position that it's been quite real for quite a while. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Fitzmas having come and gone, the left seeks new topics about which to speculate. In an entry yesterday on the generally lefty group blog the Huffington Post, Nora Ephron, the writer and director of such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, addressed President Bush's mental health. (Hat tip: Altercation.) 

Parts of Ephron's post:

In case NewsBusters readers needed reminding that liberal media bias exists outside the major TV networks/New York Times-Washington Post/newsmagazines iron triangle, a Knight Ridder News Service story this weekend did just that. As you'll see, the first few paragraphs of this overheated "news analysis" by Ron Hutcheson and Steve Thomma speak for themselves.

As Brent Baker noted on NewsBusters, last night on Larry King Live Bob Woodward made what amounted to a pro-Bush point regarding an Iraq-Niger uranium deal. In a Thursday piece on the Editor & Publisher web site, however, Woodward's ex-Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein, discussing the Iraq war and Plamegate, sounded anything but pro-Bush. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

In his blog post today, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann not only takes credit for a World Series prediction he didn't make, but also links the Chicago White Sox' championship to...Plamegate.

(At this writing, the post in question is misdated October 24, but it's at the top of the page nonetheless.)

Anna Quindlen hasn't been a New York Times columnist for more than a decade, but she'd still fit in quite well on her old paper's op-ed page. In her opinion piece for the October 31 Newsweek, Quindlen takes up the inclination to psychoanalyze President Bush from one current Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, and the Iraq-is-Vietnam argument from another, Frank Rich.

Early in the column, Quindlen asserts that the Bush administration's Iraq policy

Left-wing pundit Eric Alterman, in today's installment of his MSNBC blog, reports a conversation with Bill Clinton in which the 42nd President indicated yet again that he thinks the media are slighting or shortchanging him.