Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles

ACCOUNTABILITY JOURNALISM.

For those of you who months ago read AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier 's terribly offended screed on how this uppity arrogant black guy named Barack Obama thought he might actually be president and started wondering what Fournier's problem was after that piece basically set the tone for the AP's election coverage, Politico's Michael Calderone might have some answers . Before Ron Fournier returned to The Associated Press in March 2007, the veteran political reporter had another professional suitor: John McCain ’s presidential campaign. In October 2006, the McCain team approached Fournier about joining the fledgling operation, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. In the months that followed, said a source, Fournier spoke about the job possibility with members of McCain’s inner circle, including political aides Mark Salter , John Weaver and Rick Davis . Salter covers for Fournier later in the article, stating he "could never tell [Fournier's] politics." Right...

MCCAIN TELLS CNN HE SUPPORTS A TIMETABLE.

For a long time now, McCain has been arguing that a "timetable" would lead to "defeat" in Iraq and "a victory for Al Qaeda." Then on Friday, he told Wolf Blitzer that 16 months sounded like "a pretty good timetable," seemingly taking Obama 's position on the subject. Then he told George Stephanopoulos that he never used the word "timetable," when in fact he had. When he isn't arguing that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki doesn't know what he's talking about, McCain is trying to reframe the argument over withdrawal in Iraq by stating that Obama's timetable is somehow inflexible and not based on conditions in Iraq, and as far as CNN is concerned, it seems to be working. Sen. John McCain could support a 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, he told CNN's Larry King Monday night. But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the "conditions on the ground" safe enough. Speaking from Bakersfield, California,...

O'REILLY DENIES TAKING TALKING POINTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

Continuing his long tradition of "not doing personal attacks ," last night Bill O'Reilly called Scott McClellan "an idiot" for saying O'Reilly and others at FOX took talking points from the White House and denied ever doing any such thing. In fairness, even Scotty would have to admit that he's not exactly the most trustworthy fellow, but what's most interesting is not his claim that the White House fed talking points to pundits, but his defense of it (Transcript of Hardball via Nexis): MATTHEWS: Did people say, call Sean, call Bill, call whoever? Did you do that as a regular thing? (CROSSTALK) MCCLELLAN: Certainly. Certainly. It wasn`t necessarily something I was doing, but it was something that we at the White House, yes, were doing and getting them talking points and making sure they knew where we were coming from. MATTHEWS: So, you were giving them talking points... (CROSSTALK) MCCLELLAN: But I would separate the journalists. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: No, no, this is important...

POLICEMAN INDICTED IN TASER DEATH.

Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that 21-year old Police Officer Scott Nugent , of Winn Parish in Louisiana, has been indicted in the death of Baron "Scooter" Pikes . Pikes died after being shocked nine times with a Taser, and according to the local coroner, at least twice while he was unconscious. The incident has inflamed racial tensions in the area; Nugent is white, Pikes was black. In his own written report of the Pikes' incident, Nugent acknowledged that he had subdued and handcuffed Pikes after a foot chase and that Pikes had not struggled or resisted arrest. Instead, Nugent wrote, he began Tasering Pikes after the suspect did not respond quickly enough to Nugent's order to stand up and walk to a waiting police car. Witnesses reported that Pikes had pleaded with Nugent and two other arresting officers to stop Tasering him. Nugent's attorney has said the former officer acted according to police procedures. But the Winnfield Police Department's written Taser policy...

CAN WHITE JOURNALISTS JUDGE MCCAIN OBJECTIVELY?

Via Matthew Yglesias , an AP reporter asks this important question in a write-up of Obama's speech at the recent UNITY conference: "Can minority journalists resist applauding Obama?" Well, no, because they simply lack the same ability to make decisions based on factors other than race, which, history has shown, is a quality only white people are born with. It would be really frustrating if the journalists of color gathering at UNITY would show any positive reaction whatsoever to Obama's speech, because it would show that they are incapable of doing their job as professionals, much the same way McCain's standing ovation and complimentary coffee and donuts at an Associated Press event forced others in the mainstream media to question their objectivity and professionalism. In all seriousness, it would be a great improvement if people recognized that white journalists have as much of a particular cultural and racial perspective as journalists who aren't white. (See Ann 's take here ). --A...

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