Civil Liberties

Deep Dish Media Criticism


In today's Wall Street Journal, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds outlines the basics of deep dish, Chicago-style media criticism. He starts with the case of several Northwestern kids targeted by Cook County prosecutors because they are journalism students—but not, the Chicago officials maintain, journalists—working with the Innocence Project to expose the wrongful convictions, like that of Anthony McKinney, who has spent 31 years in a Chicago jail after a false confession. Sez Reynolds:

The Cook County prosecutors' actions are certainly shameful. But they may be excused for thinking that attacks on media critics are, in today's political era, business as usual. Indeed, they need look no farther than the White House, whose occupant has sometimes styled himself the nation's chief media critic.

It is, after all, the Obama administration that declared that its critics at Fox News Channel are not real journalists, and that Fox is not a "legitimate news organization." In doing so—as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted with a reference to "brushback pitches" in baseball—the White House's goal was just the same as that of the prosecutors in the president's native city: To chill criticism, and to get journalists to think twice before stepping up to the plate.

Reason's own Radley Balko has been all over this story as well.