BREAKING: Cable contributors scarf contributions!

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018

We cut and paste, you decide:
CNN and MSNBC spill over with "contributors" from the major print press.

Two examples:

The New York Times' Maggie Haberman is a contributor at CNN. Her frequent writing partner, Michael Schmidt, helps out at MSNBC.

Yesterday, in that same New York Times,
Michael Grynbaum wrote an analysis piece about the role of journalists in this age of Trump. It included the brief passage we've highlighted concerning issues of pay:
GRYNBAUM (1/30/18): Since Mr. Trump took office a year ago, the political press has endured a sustained assault from a chief executive who has called journalists ''the enemy of the American people.'' Yet the news media has also driven decisions inside the West Wing to a degree perhaps unmatched since the scandal-ridden days of Richard Nixon. And White House aides and reporters alike say that political reality is being refracted by the media in an unprecedented way.

Some reporters, in unguarded moments, say that they fear for journalists' safety. Margaret Talev, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, was moved to tears in an interview as she recounted the death threats that now routinely land in her colleagues' emails.

Other journalists—ironic, cynical or simply enterprising, depending on your point of view—have embraced the moment as the wildest ride of their lives, and a lucrative one, too: The number of Washington reporters with cable television contracts, some with salaries verging on six figures, has surged.
According to Grynbaum, some of those contributors are being paid second salaries "verging on six figures."

For ourselves, we don't know how high the salaries go. Concerning Grynbaum's "verging on sic figures" assessment, it that a lot, or is that a little? Could this arrangement possibly produce a conflict of interest?

We've reported, now you can decide. We may discuss that second question tomorrow.

12 comments:

  1. Money may influence journalism. That's hard to dispute. But what sort of salary is "acceptable?" If not six figures, then what? 5? 4? $100? Zero?
    One could, on the other hand, stipulate that paying journalists too little is also undesirable. For example, if you paid them minimum wage, say, then who would do it? Low paid workers have less influence than high paid ones. And in an era where hyper partisan journalists on the right make sacks of cash, perhaps the liberal voices need to be paid the going rate. It's capitalism.
    Otherwise, we'd all be amateur bloggers, working in corporate America at some non-journalistic job. And then how would we pay off our journalism school debt?

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    Replies
    1. Do fat, growing bank accounts go in the category of "likely more credible" or "likely less credible" when evaluating a journalist or politician's truthfulness?

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  2. Is Bob's valiant defense of Trump (and previously Moore) guided by his hope of getting picked up by the right wing media, which has been handing out far larger paychecks (starting with Limbaugh) for 25+ years ?

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  3. What kind of conflict of interest would a political reporter have with a cable station vs a print job?

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