Posts Tagged ‘Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’

The Pulitzer Prize winner, the faux journalist and the governor of the Garden State: Reflections on a short video investigation

April 14, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 14, 2014

The other day, I ruminated at length about the similarities between former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But there’s something that I left out of the story that’s been lingering in my mind for the past several weeks. That something is a 2011 video by would-be conservative journalist James O’Keefe criticizing a Newark Star-Ledger journalist (and adjunct Columbia University journalism professor) Amy Ellis Nutt.

Nutt won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for a series of feature stories called “The Wreck of the Lady Mary,” which chronicled the sinking of a fishing boat in which six men drowned. After describing how she wrote that story as part of a public panel discussion at Columbia’s Journalism School, which administers the Pulitzers, Nutt was recorded in what she thought was a private conversation.

It turns out that Nutt was speaking not with a cub reporter, as she apparently thought, but with a plant working for “Project Veritas,” O’Keefe’s quasi-journalistic enterprise. The decoy, as O’Keefe calls him, covertly took video of Nutt saying that it’s important to re-elect President Obama and disparaging Christie.

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Navel-gazing: Ten years ago, on the eve of war

March 19, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 19, 2013

There have been plenty of navel-gazing columns by the pundit class lately. And with good reason: Ten years ago today, the United States was on the eve of launching a “war of choice” against Iraq and its ambitious, brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein.

I consider the war and subsequent occupation a colossal blunder. The exercise was grounded in lies and conducted in the main by laughably unprepared bunglers. Its consequences have been thoroughly lamentable for many, including our nation.

None of this, however, was apparent to me 10 years ago.

At the time, I was a master’s student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. I had a cautiously positive outlook about attacking Iraq.

Although I hadn’t voted for President George W. Bush (and would not do so in 2004, either), I found administration assertions that Hussein was actively seeking to develop nuclear weapons fundamentally trustworthy. These assertions, and my assessment, turned out to be gravely mistaken.  Read the rest of this entry »

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