Furor over NYT’s Trump tape is much ado about nothing

It’s absurd to single out any single event in this election cycle as odd, since the whole affair is so bizarrely weird that it feels like something you’d stumble into on the other side of the looking glass. So, for the sake of accuracy let’s just call the convoluted controversy over the tape of Donald Trump’s off-the-record conversation with the New York Times’ editorial board interesting. During this week’s Republican debate, you may have heard Trump refuse his opponents’ calls for him to release the recording. Here’s what’s at issue: Back in January, Trump went to The New York Times for one ...

Watching ‘Spotlight’, I was proud of my vocation and ashamed of my church

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Properly practiced, journalism is an honorable, but not a dignified vocation, and the cool, unsentimental way in which Spotlight captures that makes it one of best films ever made about newspaper work. The movie is up for six Academy Awards, and I hope it wins every one—though my friend Joe Morgenstern, the Wall Street Journal’s indispensable film critic, predicts it will get only one for best original screenplay, and he’s usually right about these things. If you’ve yet to see it—and you should see it—“Spotlight” recreates the investigation by the Boston Globe’s four-reporter team of that name that exposed not only widespread ...

Southern California’s Newspaper Readers Don’t Deserve More of Tribune’s Inept Management

For decades, the best newspaper in America on any given day was either the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal or the Los Angeles Times. Today, the LA Times not only has plummeted out of daily journalism’s top tier, but also become a ghostly poster child for everything that’s gone wrong with our newspapers since the advent of the digital age. Not long ago, the Times had a daily circulation of more than 1 million—virtually all of it to valuable home delivery subscribers—and a staff of more than 1,200 journalists. It maintained one of the world’s ...