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In a first, Polk award goes to blogger, Josh Marshall of TPM for legal reporting.

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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 11:19 AM
Original message
In a first, Polk award goes to blogger, Josh Marshall of TPM for legal reporting.
Edited on Tue Feb-19-08 11:22 AM by Hamlette
good news for internet junkies and investigative journalism. Congrats Josh!

Here's how and why Marshall and Talking Points Memo won a Polk Award today:

"His site, www.talkingpointsmemo.com, led the news media coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country. Noting a similarity between firings in Arkansas and California, Marshall (with staff reporter-bloggers Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) connected the dots and found a pattern of federal prosecutors being forced from office for failing to do the Bush Administration's bidding."

Hopefully, this acknowledgment of what one savvy blogger and his team have accomplished is a milestone that will speed the day when mainstream journalists realize that the best kind of blogger like Marshall is truly one of our own kind, using new tools and a new way of thinking to break a news story that otherwise might have not been discovered.

How did Josh and his cohorts do it? Here's something I wrote last year during my media-reform period (kind of like Picasso's "Blue period," except much less impressive) that tells some of the story of how Talking Points Memo exposed the scandal -- the journalism they were honored for this morning. It's very long and is a little targeted toward the news geeks among us, so it comes after the jump:

One major accomplishment kicked off on Jan. 12, 2007, when a TPM blogger, Justin Rood, wrote of a surprising story in that days San Diego newspaper: The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, Carol Lam, had been asked to step down. Rood knew, from TPMs heavy coverage previously of the scandalous bribery case of Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham, that Lam had prosecuted that case. Wrote Rood: According to this morning's San Diego Union-Tribune, the White House's reason for giving her the axe is that she failed to make smuggling and gun cases a top priority. But most folks the paper talked to -- supporters and detractors -- said that sounded like a load of hooey.

In the pre-Internet era, such a story might well have died in the recycling bins of San Diego. But because of TPMs background knowledge in the Cunningham case and its skeptical stance, it was more aggressive in questioning whether there was a connection between Lams ouster and her probe of powerful Republicans and their friends in the defense contracting industry. So TPM did something that the San Diego paper wouldnt be much inclined to do -- Rood, Marshall and their readers scanned the Internet to see if any other U.S. attorneys had been fired lately, and conducted research to find out if mid-term firings of U.S. attorneys were common. (They werent).

http://www.attytood.com/2008/02/a_landmark_day_for_blog...


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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 11:27 AM
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1. Excellent news!
Thanks for posting!

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SheWhoMustBeObeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 11:34 AM
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2. TPM rode herd on that story all the way to the MSM
I followed their coverage closely. They were not only tenacious; their reports were clear and compelling, and helped make sense out of a murky mess.

Congratulations to Josh Marshall and the TPM staff. They are indispensible!

:toast:
K&R
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 11:35 AM
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3. I read TPM daily and I think it's one of the best
but isn't the Polk award the one O'reilly won? Or is that the one he lied about winning?
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. He said he won the Peabody, Inside Edition won the Polk, after he left n/t
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 02:14 PM
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5. Congrats to TPM. They rely on and accept support - VOTE with $$$
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-08 04:06 PM
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6. Scott Horton: Polk Award Recognizes Exposure of U.S. Attorneys Scandal
Good insight and read. It is well-known these authors have collaborated, in particular on Siegelman.

=====================
Polk Award Recognizes Exposure of U.S. Attorneys Scandal
Scott Horton - February 19, 2008 - http://harpers.org/archive/2008/02/hbc-90002446

The George Polk awards remember a great CBS correspondent who died covering the Greek Civil War. They are, alongside the Pulitzer Prize, a recognition for the professions high achievers. Today Talking Points Memo, the team web effort led by Joshua Micah Marshall, has received a Polk Award for its coverage of the U.S. Attorneys Scandal. The award is well warranted, and TPMs work on this front has been invaluable.

Of course, the Mukasey Justice Department recognized TPM in a different way. It declared the internet publisher persona non grata. That may be an equally significant badge of honor.

For most of the nations broadcast and print media, the announcements of a stream of resignations by U.S. attorneys across the country were not significant news. They were seen as routine personnel transitions. Marshall and his group are among the handful of people who quickly detected a pattern in the news and worked hard to bring the facts to the forefront. Notwithstanding a torrent of misleading statements gushing from the Justice Department and the White House, they succeeded in laying bare a plan involving Attorney General Gonzales, White House Counsel Harriet Miers, and the Presidents key political advisor, Karl Rove. Not coincidentally, all three have since left the Bush Administration. But the White House and Justice Departments stonewalling continues. Indeed, it seems to get more melodramatic every week, as last weeks contretemps in the House showed.

The story of the eight or nine (or perhaps even a dozen) U.S. Attorneys cashiered by Alberto Gonzales at the end of 2006 hasnt yet run its full course. Gonzaless lies about what he did, and the deceptions and misstatements of four other senior Justice Department officials, led to a clean-sweep of the upper reaches of the Justice Department and to ...........

.........
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