Friday, June 26, 2020

Beat the Press: Increasing Newsroom Diversity, Facebook Ads, Evaluating Press Secretary Performance

I'm putting on my media criticism hat tonight on "Beat the Press" with host Adam Reilly, Northeastern University's Dan Kennedy, former CNN correspondent Dan Lothian, and WGBH's Callie Crossley. We're discussing the uptick in interest in increasing diversity in newsrooms, Facebook's kinda-sorta-maybe stance on violence in ads and posts, and how the latest White House Press Secretary is doing in her post. Here are the clips, in case you missed the show on WGBH-TV:

Friday, June 19, 2020

Beat the Press: Stopping Bolton's Book, Pence's COVID Op-Ed, Trusting But not Verifying

Tonight, Dan Kennedy, Dan Lothian, Mike Nikitas and I join host Emily Rooney to talk about the media on WGBH-TV's "Beat the Press." We're discussing the president's lawsuit to stop John Bolton's book (he's also getting lawyers involved against his own niece, who is coming out with a tell-all of her own); the vice president's op-ed about COVID-19 in the Wall Street Journal; how the media has been trusting but not verifying when it comes to the police; and our weekly Rants and Raves. You can watch the whole show right here:

Friday, June 5, 2020

Beat the Press: Covering Black Lives Matter, Trump's Church Photo-Op, Cotton's Op-Ed, Targeting Journalists

Skype problems notwithstanding, I join Northeastern University's Dan Kennedy, WGBH's Callie Crossley, former WCVB reporter Jorge Quiroga, and host Emily Rooney on "Beat the Press" tonight. We're talking about the coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests, the coverage of the president's church photo op, the New York Times' op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton, and how journalists are being targeted as they try to cover all of the above. You can watch the full show right here:

Friday, May 29, 2020

Beat the Press: CNN Crew Arrested, a New Presidential Order, Embracing or Ignoring Bias?

"Beat the Press" is back, and I'm on tonight with host Emily Rooney, former CNN correspondent Dan Lothian, former NECN host Mike Nikitas, and WGBH's Adam Reilly. We're talking about the arrest of a CNN crew and reporter this morning in Minneapolis, the ins and outs of the president's executive order aimed at social media, whether the mainstream media should just embrace its bias, and our weekly rants and raves. (My rave this week was for Washington Post Executive Editor  Marty Baron and the commencement speech he gave yesterday to Harvard University's graduating class. It's a must-see or must-read for anyone who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press.)Tune in to WGBH-TV tonight at 7 p.m., or watch the show below: 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Greater Boston: Political Reporters Push Back on Trump

So pleased to be back on "Greater Boston" tonight, joining WGBH's Adam Reilly and host Emily Rooney for the "Beat the Press" type media-criticism segment. We're talking about how political reporters are starting to push back during the President's Coronavirus briefings. Tune in to WGBH-TV at 7 to catch a glimpse of our home-offices, or watch below as we figure out how to do the show without physically being in the studio (related: this was the first time my kids have seen me wear makeup in a long while!). 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On the Radio: Talking Local Politics and More

Had a great time at the political round table, talking about local politics with WGBH hosts Jim Braude and Margery Egan, as well as Michael Curry, the deputy CEO and general counsel at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, on WGBH's "Boston Public Radio" recently! You can listen to the show online at

Friday, February 14, 2020

Beat the Press: Electability, Click-Bait Mug Shot Galleries, Media Partnerships

WGBH's Adam Reilly, WBZ News' Jon Keller, WGBH's Callie Crossley and I joined host Emily Rooney on "Beat the Press" for Valentine's Day. We discussed whether the media has a role to play in determining how "electable" a politician is, whether online outlets should ditch click-bait mugshot galleries, whether the New York Times plays well with its media partners, and our weekly rants and raves. If you missed it, you can watch the entire show here:

My rave was for all of the media outlets that offered clips of or links to the Oscar-winning short film "Hair Love" so that people like me, who are agnostic about awards shows, could still have a chance to appreciate it. You can watch that here:

Thursday, January 2, 2020

On Greater Boston: Castro Drops Out, Impeachment and the 2020 Elections

Happy to start 2020 by being on "Greater Boston" with host Jim Braude and Liberty Square Group founder and CEO Scott Ferson. We're talking politics, including the remaining Democratic contenders and Trump's impeachment trial, on WGBH-TV tonight at 7... tune in or watch the clip right here:

Friday, October 18, 2019

Has the Media Learned Anything Since the 2016 Election?

After taping "Greater Boston" on Wednesday afternoon, I headed over to Northeastern University, to participate in an event at the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. I was on a panel with Kimberly Atkins, the Washington Correspondent for NPR/WBUR, and Nate Fredman, a former producer for "The Bill O’Reilly Show" on Fox News (now in charge of digital media at The Hill), discussing and debating whether the media is doing a better job of covering the 2020 presidential election than they did covering the one in 2016.

As you might imagine, it made for a lively discussion. The students in the audience seemed surprised to discover that while partisanship may run roughshod all over Washington, and while voters seem more divided than ever, journalists generally get along just fine, even when they represent employers who cater to different politically active audiences.

The event was part of the University’s Myra Kraft Open Classroom, and since it was open to the public, it was also live-streamed, so you can watch it all right here:

Thursday, October 17, 2019

On WGBH: Discussing and Dissecting the Democratic Debate

On Wednesday night, I joined WGBH’s Adam Reilly, David Pakman of The David Pakman show, and host Jim Braude to analyze Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. It aired at 7 on WGBH-TV’s “Greater Boston,” but you can catch it here:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

10 Things to Know About Impeachment and Donald Trump

At the 2017 Women's March, the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. (Photo: Lylah M. Alphonse)
**EDITED to add an 11th thing...**

I'm astonished by how many lawmakers are circulating misinformation about impeachment. I know I shouldn't be -- they're counting on people being ignorant about the process. Impeachment is not about overturning an election or installing a new leader with a different political ideology. FWIW, here are 10 things to know about impeachment:

  1. Impeachment and removal from office are two separate things.
  2. Impeachment happens in the House of Representatives.
  3. Conviction -- the decision to remove the person from office -- happens in the Senate (and requires a 2/3 vote).
  4. Senators are not involved in the impeachment process in the House. Representatives are not involved in the conviction process in the Senate.
  5. Mitch McConnell can't stop the impeachment process. He can choose not to convict.
  6. Nancy Pelosi can't remove the president from office. She can vote to impeach -- or censure -- him for his actions.
  7. Witnesses aren't called as part of the impeachment process in the House.
  8. A coup is a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government. Impeachment is a charge of misconduct made against a person holding elected office, and the process is outlined in our Constitution. 
  9. One can be impeached but not removed from office. Both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate (and not removed from office). Nixon was not impeached -- he resigned before the House could vote on the articles of impeachment.
  10. There is a line of succession that must be followed if the President is removed from office -- there's no random appointment, the office doesn't revert to the other main political party, the other political party doesn't install someone temporarily. If Donald Trump is impeached **and** removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence becomes President. If Donald Trump is impeached and **not** removed from office, he's still the President and can finish out his term (and run for another one, if he so chooses).

    BONUS 11th THING!
  11. The Trump administration is now saying it will not cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. But while refusing to cooperate complicates the inquiry -- a refusal to comply can become it's own article of impeachment, because doing so obstructs the investigation and thus obstructs justice -- it doesn't stop the impeachment process. That is: The House doesn't need Trump to comply in order to vote to impeach him.

Want more? Here's a primer on impeachment, and here's the U.S. Constitution, handily annotated so you can find more information about various terms and topics. Both are worth a read.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Beat the Press: Trump vs. the Media, the Globe vs. Sponsored Content

This week, I joined Northeastern University's Dan Kennedy, WGBH's Adam Reilly and Callie Crossley, and host Emily Rooney to dissect and discuss the media. Our topics: Trump's media bashing reaches a new level, The Boston Globe's sponsored celebration of Boston Children's Hospital, CNN's fact-checking the president in real time, Prince Harry's royal lawsuit against the press, and our weekly Rants and Raves (my rave was for this Slate article by Mark Joseph Stern, which looks at how having a more-diverse jury affected the outcome of the Botham Jean case). The show is in five segments; you can watch the full show at WGBH or check out each segment below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

On Greater Boston: Pelosi Launches a Formal Impeachment Inquiry Against Trump

Tonight, Sydney Asbury of DNM Solutions and I join host Jim Braude on “Greater Boston” to talk about the formal impeachment inquiry Nancy Pelosi announced this afternoon. The show airs on WGBH-TV at 7 p.m., or you can watch the clip here: 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Beat the Press: Throwing Softballs at Ortiz, Using Lewandowski as a Source

Tonight on "Beat the Press,” we’re talking about whether The Boston Globe threw softballs when they interviewed David Ortiz, whether the New York Times missed the mark with its latest Brett Kavanaugh story, whether Corey Lewandowski should ever be on the air or used as a source after admitting he lies to the media, and our weekly Rants and Raves. (My rave was for social media -- specifically Snapchat, which launched it's political ad library.) Also: WGBH’s Adam Reilly, former NESN Reporter Mike Nikitas, Northeastern University and I host Emily Rooney in remembering Cokie Roberts. Tune in to WGBH-TV at 7, watch the whole show online at,  or watch the clips right here:

Friday, August 9, 2019

Beat the Press: Sudden Vacations at Fox News, Conservatives Calling for Gun Control

Tonight on "Beat the Press”, we’re talking about the sudden vacations scheduled at Fox News (Tucker Carlson’s is the latest, after KKK Grand Wizard David Duke applauded his assertions about white supremacy), editorials in conservative outlets calling for gun control, how the media’s fascination with sharks may have led to a small threat becoming a much larger one over time, and our weekly Rants and Raves. (My rave was for this massive Washington Post correction. Watch the clip to see why.) WBZ's Jon Keller, Northeastern University's Dan Kennedy, and former Wall Street Journal staffer Roy J. Harris Jr. and I join host Emily Rooney at 7 on WGBH-TV. You can watch the whole show online, or you can watch each clip below: