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Sandusky, Scientology & Ethical Journalism with Gawker.com Senior Reporter John Cook

40 years after Watergate, journalism has gone through tectonic shifts that affect how reporters get their stories. We examine those shifting ethical grounds with gawker.com senior reporter John Cook. We discuss topics ranging from Christopher Hitchens, Barbara Walters, the FOXNews mole, the Church of Scientology, the Sandusky trial and more–always with one eye on the place for integrity in journalism in the ‘gotcha!’-age.
John is not afraid to demystify his subjects–even when he happens to admire them–and be an advocate for truthful media. It’s a striking discussion.

Guest Bio

John Cook is a senior reporter for Gawker Media and has worked as a TV reporter and writer for Radar magazine, Mother Jones and the Chicago Tribune.

Episode Breakdown

00:01 The uncensored obituary–demystifying Mike Wallace.
00:37 Welcoming John Cook.
04:30 To Catch a Predator and the ethics of journalism collaborating with law enforcement.
07:30 Barbara Walters coverage of Assad and Syria.
10:11 Eulogizing Christopher Hitchens with honesty.
15:02 Is there a place for disparaging people you disagree with in journalism?
16:45 The Clinton impeachment and the punishable offenses of a president.
20:57 The temptation to shut up and follow the party line.
21:37 Barack Obama and the fast and furious controversy.
22:39 The Fox Mole, infiltrating Bill O’reilly for Gawker and the repercussions.
27:51 If Watergate was reported today…paying for information.
33:40 The advantages of ‘situational ethics’ in journalism, and the prudish attitude towards journalists.
36:58 The burning of confidential sources and the reporter’s code of conduct.
37:18 John Connolly, the Church of Scientology’s media mole.
42:56 The Mayhem Round with Nick.
43:26 Reporting on the Mormon church and Mitt Romney.
45:58  Scientology response to media coverage.
47:34 Jonah Lehrer’s self-plagiarism at the New Yorker.
50:28 The muted response to Mormons and Romney from minorities.
52:12 The Sandusky trial and Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandals.
1:00:03 Thanks and Goodbye!

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Guest Bio

John Cook is a senior reporter for Gawker Media and has worked as a TV reporter and writer for Radar magazine, Mother Jones and the Chicago Tribune.

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