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Bob Griendling
Washington, DC area
Interests: Jazz piano (the great Tin Pan Alley standards mostly), Cycling (all too infrequently these days)
Recent Activity
Bob Griendling has shared their blog Robert Griendling
Aug 2, 2011
In the New York Times story today about Fox News President Roger Ailes being accused of lying asking someone to lie in a wrongful termination lawsuit, we have this short ‘graph. Mr. Ailes, a onetime adviser to Richard Nixon whom critics deride as a partisan who engineers Fox News coverage to advance Republicans and damage Democrats, something Fox has long denied. At what point can a reporter say that Fox News is an organization that advances the cause of Republicans? Journalistic purists may not like it, but Fox News is not unlike many news organizations early in the past century... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
Washington Post reporter David Hilzenrath called me last week after I sent him an email asking if he was going to look into claims that “regulations kill jobs.” (see also and here) He and Phil Rucker had written a front page story that included a statement by the reporters that no one making those claims could provide any evidence. Yet for about 1600 words Hilzenrath and Rucker allowed mostly those asserting the claim full rein. In my talk with him I characterized it as a “he said, she said” story. He took umbrage at that, but we did find common... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
Nice graphs, but which have the sub-hed: Eleven charts that explain everything that's wrong with America. Why must progressives fall into conservative’s trap? When you say “what’s wrong with America” what people hear is what’s “wrong with Americans.” And thus,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
The conversation in this country is, whatever your politics, sad. We are battling over crumbs, cutting our way to becoming a second class country, an impoverished people, a failed state. As E.J. Dionne pointed out yesterday, the tea partyers have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
What Speaker John Boehner said in reference to the president’s remarks on the Wisconsin protests: "Rather than shouting down those in office who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the president and his advisers should lead." Now let’s see,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
I have thought for some time that there needs to be changes in Social Security. I think the age should be raised, probably to 69, with lower ages for folks whose jobs are so physical that they can’t be expected to continue them that late in life. However, I’m not sure how you would actually implement that. One reason for the higher age is that in the future we may need those workers as population growth decreases. After baby boomers retire, we may have a worker shortage. The other changes I’d like to see are a higher cap on income... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
I have thought for some time that there needs to be changes in Social Security. I think the age should be raised, probably to 69, with lower ages for folks whose jobs are so physical that they can’t be expected... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
Kudos to American Journalism Review’s Rem Reider who is the latest to say what Anderson Cooper did (a sin to the David Gregory’s of the world) is what journalism is all about, speaking truth to power. Cooper, who called some of Mubarak’s pronouncements as he tried to hold to power “lies.” Is calling a lie a lie out of a journalist's "purview"? Was Cooper guilty of "taking sides"? I don't think so. All Cooper did was tell the truth, albeit in an unvarnished, perhaps jarring, way. As Platt would say, Cooper was the explicit adjudicator of a factual dispute. He... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
In today’s New York Times report about the Wisconsin conflict over unions we see reporter employ a rarely used device within the story: asking a question. But [Wisconsin Gov.] Walker has insisted that he is not singling out any group, merely searching for solutions to close a deficit of $137 million in the current state budget and the prospect of a $3.6 billion hole in the coming two-year budget. “It’s not about the unions,” Mr. Walker said in an interview. “It’s about balancing the budget.” But why would permanently limiting collective bargaining be necessary to solve an immediate budget problem?... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
Both are breaches of trust. which is why I categorize this as "GOP hypocrisy." When state employees took their jobs, it was with the understanding that in exchange for working for less than they could get in the private sector, they wouldn't pay for their retirement.
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2011 on ’A Breach of Trust’ at Commonwealth Commonsense
The Pentagon has proposed a $5 a month increase in the health insurance premium payment for working age military retirees. A modest increase, indeed, and when you consider what they pay now--$515 A YEAR—it seems in these tough times, Republicans... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
So the University of California Irvine has suspended the Muslim Student Union over its protest against the Israeli ambassador to the United States. The students tried to shout down the ambassador as he was giving a speech. There was no... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
The Washington Post buried the story about Speaker Boehner’s remarks on the possible loss of federal jobs resulting from reduced spending. The story is inside the Metro section, probably because he was talking about government jobs, of which many are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
How many times since the November election—and really before that—have you heard a Republican say that “the American people want” everything from smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, a reduced deficit? They say it at press conference, at congressional hearings,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
Over the past month, there have been 13 stories written by Lori Montgomery. Some of the ledes are revealing: One tells the reader how Obama won’t be able to overhaul the tax codes because of the tax compromise. (“Extension of tax cuts chokes Obama’s deficit plans”) Another story complains that Obama hasn’t embraced the deficit commission plans. (“Obama not likely to call for Social Security cuts”) She ridicules the president by calling his plans for more spending as “investments” in quotes, a writing device used to deride the use of the word. (“Everyone wants budget cuts, but will they work?”)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
I’ve argued to anyone who’ll listen that the meme Republicans have used about government having to tighten its belt “just like families do” was not only flawed, but ripe for adopting as a Democratic theme. Now, President Obama did it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
All the more reason we need journalists who fact check. Politick calls Republicans liars at three times the rate they call Democrats liars. Naturally, someone has a problem with that. In this case, Eric Ostermeier, a researcher at the University of Minnesota and author of the Smart Politics blog. Politick, the high profile political fact-checking operation at the St. Petersburg Times, has been criticized by those on the right from time to time for alleged bias in its grading of statements made by political figures and organizations. Ostermeier questions how Politick determines which statements get evaluated, suggesting the website authors... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
Well, the Washington Post has made a feeble attempt to weigh in on this question but in a way that makes one wonder why. As I wrote on Monday, a front page story that day had at least 13 references to jobs either in quotes or attributions that made the claim that “regulations kill jobs,” exactly the message Republicans want delivered. Even though the reporters of that story admitted in it that those making the claims didn’t provide evidence that it was true, Post reporters David Hilzenrath and Phil Rucker gave a big megaphone to that claim. When I sent... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
I will argue that some regulations can be unhelpful when they are applied without a measure of commonsense. I recommend a book by Phil Howard called "The Death of Common Sense" in which he argues that there are regulations that while well meaning, are taken to extremes or applied when they serve little purpose. However, often problem is not the regulations but the laws requiring them. Over the last 50 years, laws have become more complicated and demand exact processes and procedures that leave those developing and enforcing regulations little leeway. Why has that happen? Howard has some theories. I think it's because of the extreme influence of lobbyists who demand that exceptions and benefits to their interest be written into the law, instead of allowing the agencies charged with enforcing the law to show a measure of commonsense in their implementation. Thus, the law ties the hands of administrators. Of course, you may not like giving a measure of power to the administrators, who many call bureaucrats. Bu the point of my post is not whether regulations are good or bad, but whether the news media should report ad nauseum the GOP's mantra that regulations kill jobs without demanding that they offer some evidence. And according t the article I link to, they apparently can't prove a causal relationship. It may cost businesses time and money, but that doesn't mean that the net effect in the economy is lost jobs. Regulations that improve our environment, for example, may create more "green" jobs than the "dirty" jobs that are lost.
I just discovered what could be a terrific website called Remapping Debate. It launched last October. The heart of our work will be original reporting. We take seriously the idea that the job of journalists is to question and to illuminate. We believe that we need to question ourselves as much as we question others. We think we need to reject the mental borderlines that leaves "mainstream" reporters generally speaking to "mainstream" sources, and "alternative" reporters generally speaking to "alternative" sources. We insist that it is probing – not stenography – that can illuminate and inform, and that challenging a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
If you relied on The Washington Post’s coverage of President Obama’s speech yesterday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you would have missed some interesting messaging that approaches a narrative that could be very successful for the president come 2012.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense
In this morning’s Washington Post, writers Phil Rucker and David Hilzenrath write of Rep. Darrell Issa's plan to hold hearings on what regulations can be eliminated in the name of savings jobs. Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and his supporters in the business community had remarkable message discipline. At least 13 times in the article were either quotes or attributions that included the word '”jobs” and how regulations are hurting the creation of them. [House Republicans] are taking guidance from industry groups that say the rules threaten jobs. …Issa asked industry groups to identify... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at NewsCommonsense
No more stark contrast in messaging styles can we have than these few paragraphs from The Washington Post’s online report today about the employment statistics. The stats, which come from two different sources, paint a contradictory and completely opposite picture... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2011 at Commonwealth Commonsense