Todd Gitlin

Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in communications at Columbia University, has been writing frequently on media and the campaign for BillMoyers.com. His next book is a novel, The Opposition.

Recent Articles

All the President's Pets

Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush by Eric Boehlert (Free Press, 352 pages, $25.00) It will come as no surprise to readers of these pages that the galloping pack of Washington journalists has spent much of the last five and a half years rolling over for an alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) fanatical, inept, mendacious, and clueless George W. Bush. In the run-up to war, they gave him the benefit of many undeserved doubts. When he claimed to accomplish his mission, they saluted. They buried their doubts and when the time came for apologies displayed remarkably little curiosity as to how they had acquired so many sins to apologize for. Even today, with Bush's approval ratings on the shadowy side of one-third and his coalition unraveling, they leave much of his malfeasance and that of his entourage barely noticed. When they do unearth telling dots, they soon re-inter them unconnected. If you have any doubt, read Eric Boehlert's devastating book. Read it and weep, tear...

The Harder He Blows

Chris Matthews blows hard. This may sound less like a news flash than a crashing redundancy. And it's true that yelling is nothing new for the omnipresent MSNBC/CNBC barking head, for whom picking up the pace and pumping up the volume almost always substitute for picking apart the fairy tales that keep the Bush White House intact. But in recent months Matthews' obsequiousness toward his favorites and nastiness toward his bêtes noires have ballooned to new proportions. He's told Tom DeLay, for instance, “You are not in this business for the money,” and said about incoming House Majority Leader John Boehner, “You can see this man's greatness,” while declaring that the country went Republican in the 1994 elections because it was “tired of Hillary Clinton's, you know ‘I'm going to run the country' mentality.” As the faith-based bubble of George W. Bush goes on veering away from reality -- even from reality as seen by many conservative politicians -- Matthews, weirdly, is having trouble...

The Harder He Blows

Chris Matthews blows hard. This may sound less like a news flash than a crashing redundancy. And it's true that yelling is nothing new for the omnipresent MSNBC/CNBC barking head, for whom picking up the pace and pumping up the volume almost always substitute for picking apart the fairy tales that keep the Bush White House intact. But in recent months Matthews' obsequiousness toward his favorites and nastiness toward his bêtes noires have ballooned to new proportions. He's told Tom DeLay, for instance, “You are not in this business for the money,” and said about incoming House Majority Leader John Boehner, “You can see this man's greatness,” while declaring that the country went Republican in the 1994 elections because it was “tired of Hillary Clinton's, you know ‘I'm going to run the country' mentality.” As the faith-based bubble of George W. Bush goes on veering away from reality -- even from reality as seen by many conservative politicians -- Matthews, weirdly, is having trouble...

All the President's Friends

“Like most people at the times,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller told a Princeton gathering on November 14, “I am suffering from a serious case of Judy Miller fatigue.” Aren't we all? But before we succumb, a deeper look would be timely. The Miller case turns out to be part of an epidemic in need of a proper diagnosis. The very day Keller was criticizing Miller's WMD coverage while congratulating the paper for airing its dirty laundry, Bob Woodward, American journalism's knight in tarnished armor, was giving a deposition to the grand jury called by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. A couple of days later Woodward published a statement in The Washington Post -- one that read more like a legal-deposition-cum-bureaucratic memo than a journalistic report -- revealing that “current or former Bush administration officials” had, in a “casual and offhand” manner, told him about Joseph Wilson's wife and her CIA job in June 2003, before Wilson's famous Times op-ed and before...

All The President's Friends

“Like most people at the times,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller told a Princeton gathering on November 14, “I am suffering from a serious case of Judy Miller fatigue.” Aren't we all? But before we succumb, a deeper look would be timely. The Miller case turns out to be part of an epidemic in need of a proper diagnosis. The very day Keller was criticizing Miller's WMD coverage while congratulating the paper for airing its dirty laundry, Bob Woodward, American journalism's knight in tarnished armor, was giving a deposition to the grand jury called by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. A couple of days later Woodward published a statement in The Washington Post -- one that read more like a legal-deposition-cum-bureaucratic memo than a journalistic report -- revealing that “current or former Bush administration officials” had, in a “casual and offhand” manner, told him about Joseph Wilson's wife and her cia job in June 2003, before Wilson's famous Times op-ed and before...

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