EDITORIAL: Media pussy cats
Tom Brokaw and NBC are confused about media ethics
What were the people at NBC News thinking? Long-time NBC anchor Tom Brokaw was being considered for a White House appointment when he interviewed President Obama on Jan. 5 and covered him on the news.
The position in question was to become a commissioner on the White House Fellows Commission. Neither NBC nor Mr. Brokaw ever made any disclosure that Mr. Brokaw had been offered or was considering the position. It was not until June 17 that NBC made public that Mr. Brokaw was joining the commission.
According to the White House Web site, the White House Fellows program is "America's most prestigious program for leadership and public service. White House Fellows typically spend a year working as full-time, paid special assistants to senior White House Staff, the vice president, Cabinet secretaries and other top-ranking government officials." For many, being involved firsthand in the formation of government policy is undoubtedly a heady experience. The commission selects who receives these fellowships.
The White House Press Office has refused to respond to multiple press inquiries from us over the past week. This includes basic questions such as when they started to talk to Mr. Brokaw about the position and when he accepted it. (continues...)