Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: Thank you to everyone who wrote regarding Friday's The Diane Rehm Show. As those who were listening know, Diane did tackle the issue of Kenneth Tomlinson hiring a monitor to spy on her program and Tavis Smiley's. That story was quickly overshadowed by the announcement that Sandra Day O'Connor was retiring.

On that topic, I want to thank C.I. for commenting here and at The Third Estate Sunday Review about the issue of the make up of the judiciary committee. I share the shock that fourteen years after Anita Hill faced an all male, all white judiciary committee what has passed for "improvement" is the addition of one and only one female to the committee.

Rachel had e-mailed on that and I share Rachel's anger. No, one female is not an improvement and no, one female does not "cut it."

What also has not "cut it" has been the endless turning to males by the media to address this topic. The all male panels that made up the Sunday Chat & Chews, as has already pointed out here, do not speak to the issue nor address the reality of where we are and where we should be now.

How has Morning Edition addressed the topic? Very poorly. There have been three stories on it from Monday through Wednesday. One of those was Cokie Roberts "analyzing" and the less said about the better but it should be noted she's the only woman who's weighed in on Morning Edition thus far. Cokie spoke on Monday.

On Tuesday, we had the other two stories. This included a commentary by a male:

O'Connor's Departure Will Move Court to Right
by Mark Tushnet
Morning Edition, July 5, 2005 · In the second of two different perspectives, commentator Mark Tushnet offers his thoughts on the tenure of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Tushnet argues that O'Connor was the centrist on this Court, and now the center will shift to the right.

The first commentary apparently aired on the weekend edition of Morning Edition.
The other feature this week, also on Tuesday, was this:

Looking Toward a Replacement for O'Connor
Morning Edition, July 5, 2005 · NPR's Juan Williams analyzes the political battle in the Senate over who might replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Nina Totenberg, the person who should be commenting on this story because she covers the Court for NPR, must be on vacation since they're bringing out the light weight Juan to "analyze."

Three stories has been all that Morning Edition has offered from Monday through Wednesday.
As Rachel would say, that doesn't cut it.

A far better job was done by, no surprise here to members, The Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday:

10:00 Supreme Court
President Bush has said he will choose a Supreme Court nominee in a timely manner to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. We'll talk about the likely confirmation battles ahead.
Joan Biskupic, reporter, "USA Today"
David Savage, reporter, "Los Angeles Times"
Stuart Taylor, "National Journal"

And for anyone who has time, Wednesday The Diane Rehm Show had a report that would be of interest to community members:

11:00 Geneva Overholser: "The Press" (Oxford)
Diane speaks with the co-editor of a new volume of essays on journalism and its role in American society.
Geneva Overholser, Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting, Missouri School of Journalism. She is former editor of the "Des Moines Register" and former ombudsman for the "Washington Post."

The topics included the state of the the press and the monitoring of PBS and NPR programs was addressed. Ms. Overholser had much to say on the commercialization of our press and the dangers that have arisen. The issue of Judith Miller was also addressed.

The news of O'Connor's retirement has depressed me. I e-mailed C.I. that I might not have a report this week and was told that was fine. Today's report isn't much but I'm hoping that by getting something completed, however weak, I'll be able to regain my focus.