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?
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?
Concern deepens amid Trump's controversies President Trump delivered today's commencement speech to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. As he praised the accomplishments of the graduates, he listed some of his own… and made reference to reports that he leaked intelligence to the Russians and tried to shut down an FBI Investigation into his associates.