Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Moonbat Guarding the Henhouse

One common complaint about the Columbia Journalism Review and its website is that they tend to soft-peddle or ignore completely anti-Israel bias in the media, and ignore completely controversies that make the left-wing press look bad. A good example, the series of messes that have arisen among United Nations correspondents.

Well, now we know why. It's no accident. Today it was revealed in the David M blog, later picked up by the Editor & Publisher website that the guiding hand behind CJR is none other than Victor Navasky, publisher of the far-left Moonbat journal The Nation. The rag's UN correspondent, Ian Williams, is the "payola pundit" at the center of the UN press scandals, which the CJR has never mentioned in its print magazine or website. Gee, what a coincidence!

CJR is so proud of this guy running and bankrolling their publication that they really, really, honest to gost were planning to put him on the masthead but....well, they just plumb forgot.

It's characteristic of the pathetic state of the mainstream media-watchers that this whole mess was uncovered by a blog, not by E&P or Poynter or any of the other usual suspects.

E&P said that Navasky, publisher and former editor of The Nation, "has been working behind the scenes in a key, if uncredited, role at the Columbia Journalism Review," according to CJR executive editor Michael Hoyt. E&P went on to say that "Navasky, whose name does not currently showup on the CJR masthead, told E&P today that he will appear there next issue as 'chairman.'"

But if you've started gagging and are running to the bathroom, try to hold it down, urges Hoyt. "As for whether having the longtime editor of a magazine with a famously political (liberal) [sic] bent involved in the administration of CJR, Hoyt said appearances might not match with reality. "It could give somebody an opportunity to make a connection, but the connection is not there," Hoyt said. 'He doesn't push anything editorially.'"

Yeah, and we have your word on that, I guess? Just as we had your (implicit) word that your masthead was accurate?

"Navasky said: 'I've made clear to the dean and everybody else that if there is any conflict with the Nation, I will recuse myself from any considerations or anything that has to do with it.'"

How reassuring. So it is just pure happenstance that CJR has completely ignored the controversy around The Nation's payola pundit, Ian Williams, reported everywhere from this humble blog to Accuracy in Media and Front Page Magazine and Fox News? Williams worked for the UN as a "media trainer" and writer while working for the UN--a conflict of interest that has been abysmally handled by The Nation and Salon, which also runs Williams' stuff.

The CJR has been so fey, timid and biased in recent years that it has lost most of its credibility. Now that the magazine has come clean and yanked Navasky out of the closet, it has none.