FROM Kelly McBride
The Ethics of True Crime True crime has long been a popular niche in books and TV. Now it’s a mainstream obsession, thanks to new storytelling formats.The latest example is the 10-part Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” Before that there was the HBO series “The Jinx”... and before that the podcast “Serial.” All these works re-investigate old murder cases, sometimes turning up new evidence. This kind of journalism can be a public service. It’s also full of ethical pitfalls. What are they?
The LA Times and "Sponsored Content" The LA Times, cooperating with the Columbia School of Journalism, recently published a hard-hitting series on Exxon. It exposed the oil giant for casting doubt on climate change and opposing emission controls at the same time its own researchers were proving that climate change was real. But investigative reporting was not all that the Times was up to. It was also creating a website for the California Resources Corporation, formerly Occidental Petroleum, with articles and videos supporting the oil and gas industry.
Journalists and the "Scooter" Libby Trial Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan originally told reporters that political mastermind Karl Rove did not leak the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Today, a federal judge allowed videotape of the briefing to be played in the "Scooter" Libby trial , a case the Los Angeles Times says is really about the " ugly mutual exploitation " between government and the news media. Testimony has revealed how the Bush Administration manipulated reporters--and how reporters went along. It's a sordid story that's more about political payback than the public's right to know, but it could have consequences. Reporters have been required to reveal their sources despite promises of anonymity. Will that discourage potential whistleblowers? Are reporters too eager to protect official sources in pursuit of scoops? How does the public know what to believe?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?