NPR, Juan Williams and the Clash of News and Talk

"Would you have fired Juan if you were still Vice President of News at NPR?" asked a longtime friend. He was referring of course to NPR News analyst Juan Williams' expression of concern about fellow airplane passengers in "Muslim garb." (Rhetoric note: He was trying to make the exact reverse point than his subordinate preamble suggested, so he's due demerits for poor phrasing.) My answer: It's not a hypothetical. We actually faced these same issues in the late 1980's, when I was head of NPR News: Cokie Roberts, who was covering Capitol Hill for NPR, received an offer from ABC…

Day One of CCLP Forum: Press and policymakers need to probe more deeply on rationale for war in Afghanistan

Policymakers and analysts are calling on the press to dig much deeper into the strife that engulfs Afghanistan, and to provide better analysis on the policy options now before President Obama as he weighs whether to send thousands more American troops. Former Ambassador Morton Abramowitz, who previously headed the State Department's intelligence unit, accused the press of "hit-and-run" coverage that has substituted for serious consideration of policy in Afghanistan. His observations, along with presentations and dialogue among top journalists, scholars and government officials, were presented at the inaugural Global Communication Leadership Forum , held November 6-7 in Los Angeles….