Niamh Marnell

Niamh Marnell earned a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago where she examined organizations and power from the perspective of political science and sociology. She moved to DC to pursue a career in journalism. You can follow her at:

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A Reporter Who Mattered

Jack Anderson died last Saturday morning. He gave me a job as a reporter in 1968. He taught me that a kid from California could investigate anything and ask anyone in government any question. He taught me to be good, reporters needed to “look in the gutter and under rocks ” for stories and source. He taught me that too much time in power corrupts. Jack believed in teaching young reporters like me to get to know the drivers, message takers, maids, and ex-wives of the powerful to get news. He taught me that I could overcome a state education and the lack of an ivy- league pedigree by simply calling more people than anyone else. That is how Jack became the best reporter of his generation. No one spoke truth to power as eloquently as Jack Anderson.

The Times and Judith Miller

The New York Times is the best newspaper in the United States but it is not perfect. The family that controls the Times has, over the decades, used the paper to push its own personal agenda. This is not unusual among press lords. The Sulzbergers, who own the Times, are restrained compared to Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox, or the Unification Church, owner of the Washington Times. But there is a difference at the Times. It has credibility among the media and the financial class. Conservatives hate the paper and there is a certain irony in that because of the way the paper helped sell the public and Congress on the war in Iraq. If the Times family – and I mean the owners and the editorial employees – suffers from one syndrome, it is the belief that they can still determine the way America should think by covering, or not covering, certain stories. In many ways, they are right. And that is a power that drives right-wingers nuts.