Politico's Calderone Compiles a Quality 2009 Media Blunder List -- And Politico Messes Up the Photo Composite

December 31st, 2009 11:04 AM
NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
Michael Calderone,
Doing it Right




CORRECTION: I said the Washington Post was on the hook twice on Calderone's list.  H/t to NBer Dean who pointed out it's three - #s 2, 7 & 10.  A thousand apologies, and thanks to The Man from the People's Republic of Maryland.

Politico's staff reporter Michael Calderone has compiled his list of his top ten Media Blunders of 2009.

I for one think he did a fully fair and more than fairly good job of it. Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham for two thinks so as well.

On his list were the likes of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, the New York Times's Maureen Dowd and CNN. And the Washington Post - twice. Targets all for which you'll find a rich environment here on NewsBusters. And he slammed the traditional media in totality for remaining dockside while the Good Ships ACORN and Van Jones set sail on alternative media seas. He hailed the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck and website mogul Andrew Breitbart by name for captaining those stories when the Jurassic Press stood down.

Calderone clips Fox News for what he calls their "Tea Party Trifecta," but he's hardly bashing meritlessly here either. An FNC producer was caught on tape rallying a Tea Party crowd. That is quite a bit over the top. And Sean Hannity did run B-roll from the wrong rally - a more populous one - and was forced to apologize to the world generally and Jon Stewart particularly.

Though Hannity's probably was an honest mistake. The Pulitzer-winning Dowd's excuse for "borrowing" a paragraph from the liberal website Talking Points Memo - that a "friend" had sent it to her - bends the credibility curve downward quite a bit.

Someone at Politico worn-out horsed (See: Definition #3) Calderone on the photograph composite accompanying his article, however. (Said snapshots appear below the fold.) We don't think Calderone chooses what goes with his pieces. Perhaps he should.

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center

Their Caption? "The year's top 10 most noticeable media blunders."

Their Credit? "Photo: AP photo composite by Politico"

That's Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch, Beck and Dowd left to right.

Calderone lauds rather than scolds Murdoch and Beck - so why are they pictured for this story, over the caption "The year's top 10 most noticeable media blunders"?

Calderone may be interested in having that addressed. It is an inaccurate representation of what he has so accurately written.

UPDATE: Mr. Calderone replied to my email.  And said I "had a good point" about the photo montage, that he had NOT chosen the pics and that he would look into having them changed - once he completed his New Year's Eve travel. 

We appreciate his reply, and wish him safe travels and good luck with the powers that be at his publication.

UPDATE #2: Politico has changed their photo montage.  They have replaced Beck, who Calderone had lauded, not criticized in #5 - with Olbermann, who Calderone had co-assigned Blunder #9.  Bully for them for the change - and for Calderone, who told us he would be asking them to do it.

Merry New Year, Michael, wherever you are.