A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 13, 2012
Lapdog Media and Watchdog Media

"Watchdog” media monitor the practices of business and government; “lapdog” media are servile and unquestioning of business and government. “Watchdog media” has been cited in print since at least 1971 and “lapdog media” has been cited in print since at least 1990 and 1992.


Wiktionary: lapdog
Alternative forms
. lap dog
Noun
lapdog
(plural lapdogs)
1.A dog small and tame enough to be held in the lap.
2.(derogatory) one who is completely obedient, unquestioning, and submissive to the government or another party.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
watch-dog, n.
With modifying word: a group or organization which monitors (and often regulates) the practices of companies, agencies, etc., operating in the specified field.
1926 Public Admin. 4 32 The Treasury is the nation’s financial watchdog or at least ought to be.
1938 Hardware Age 24 Mar. 51/1 Passage by Congress of the‥FTC bill broadening the Commission’s power‥brings to the agency that which it has been seeking for years—power to become a consumer watchdog with a full set of teeth.
1986 Times 5 June 23/1 New ways of charging for private telephone lines are examined in a consultative document published yesterday by Oftel, the telecommunications watchdog.

4 July 1971, Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “Big Business Critics Point Out Crime Costs” by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (New York Times), pg. N5, col. 4:
The watchdog media are asleep and lost in dreams of monopoly and other bones of conflicting interest.

Google News Archive
22 January 1980, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “Enemies of Apathy,” pg. 6A, col. 1:
That view stands in contrast to the more mundane reflections of the First Amendment Congress, which seemed to be centered on what kind of “dog” the press should be in this day and age. Though the representatives of a dozen media associations agreed that it had grown from a “lapdog” to a “watchdog”, fears were expressed that many Americans today perceive it as a vicious “attack dog” which needed more control, regardless of what the Constitution says.

Google News Archive
8 June 1986, The Press-Courier (Oxnard, CA), pg. 19, col. 1:
Watchdog’s Become Lapdog
WASHINGTON (AP)—The Consumer Product Safety Commission is no longer committed to protecting the public, charges departing commissioner Stuart M. Statler, who says the agency has changed from a watchdog of industry into a lapdog.

OCLC WorldCat record
Mainstream media : watchdog or lapdog?
Author: Alexander Cockburn; David Barsamian
Publisher: Boulder, Colo. : David Barsamian, ©1987.
Edition/Format:  Audiobook on Cassette : Cassette recording : English
Summary: Alexander Cockburn, columnist for the Nation and the Wall Street Journal, speaks about mass media in the United States on Sept. 27, 1987 at the Masonic Hall in Portland, Ore.

Google Books
Freedom of Information
By V. R. Krishna Iyer
Lucknow: Eastern Book Co.
1990
Pg. XXVI:
At this stage, it is good to recollect that sycophants and claques around those in Power, including the ‘lapdog media’ (to adapt a Jack Anderson idea), thrive on a culture of official secrecy and surrender of the freedom of speech.

Google News Archive
4 July 1991, The Day (New London, CT), editorial, pg. A6, col. 1:
From watchdog to lapdog
Media finally protests the blatant censorship practiced by military during gulf war; image matterd more than security


New York (NY) Times
‘J. F. K.’; Righting, Not Rewriting History
Published: January 05, 1992
To the Editor:
(...)
The very fact that Oliver Stone has people talking instead of taking the Official Story as gospel will, I hope, inspire the media to return to their proper role as watchdogs rather than lapdogs of government. With “J. F. K.” Oliver Stone is making an attempt to right, not rewrite history. The people in power have already done the latter.
MIRANA BERCOVICI ABBOTT
New York

10 March 1992, Hutchinson (KS) News, “We can’t afford to allow more ozone scandals” by David Norlin, pg. 4, col. 3:
One reason is that “unnamed officials” and the primarily lapdog media that quote them refuse to look at issues until they become crises.

Google News Archive
15 September 1992, Lakeland (FL) Ledger, “Ultra-conservative Rush Limbaugh coming to your screen weekdays” by Susan Stewart (Detroit Free Press), pg. 4C, cols. 3-4:
Clinton is “lying all over the campaign trail” with the help of “the national lapdog media serving as his press secretary.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Media and sports : watchdog or lapdog?
Author: Robert Mertzman; Philosophy Lab Corporation.; University of South Florida. Ethics Center.
Publisher: New York, NY : Insight Media, ©1999.
Series: Sports & society, [program 11]. 
Edition/Format:  VHS video : VHS tape Visual material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary: Features excerpts from presentations by Frank Deford, Jennings Bryant, Val Pinchbeck, Jr., and Michael Oriard at the First International Conference on Ethics and Sport, held at the University of South Florida in 1998. Focuses on the relationship between the media and sports and related ethical issues.

OCLC WorldCat record
The role of media in government’s policy making a watchdog or a lapdog?
Author: Li, Hon-wah, Kelvin; 李漢華
Publisher: University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong) 2002
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Edition/Format:  Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Lapdogs : how the press rolled over for Bush
Author: Eric Boehlert
Publisher: New York : Free Press, ©2006.
Edition/Format:  Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary: Lapdogs is the first book to demonstrate that, for the entire George W. Bush presidency, the news media have utterly failed in their duty as watchdog for the public. In blistering prose, Eric Boehlert reveals how, time after time, the press chose a soft approach to covering the government, and as a result reported and analyzed crucial events incompletely and even inaccurately. From WMDs to Valerie Plame to the NSA’s domestic spying, mainstream fixtures such as The New York Times, CBS, CNN, and Time magazine too often ignored the administration’s missteps and misleading words, and did not call out the public officials who betrayed the country’s trust.

OCLC WorldCat record
What watchdog media? How and why the U.S. mass media failed the pre-invasion coverage of Iraq
Author: Jeffrey B DeGroot
Publisher: 2008.
Dissertation: Thesis (B.A.)--Whitman College, 2008.
Edition/Format:  Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript Archival Material : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Winston Peters and the media : watchdog, lapdog or wolf pack?
Author: Margaret Clare Bates
Publisher: 2009.
Dissertation: Thesis (MA--Political Studies)--University of Auckland, 2009.
Edition/Format:  Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript Archival Material : English

OCLC WorldCat record
WATCHDOG OR LAPDOG? MEDIA AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
Author: N Qian; D Yanagizawa
Publisher: [Stanford, CA] : National Bureau of Economic Research
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Working paper series. no. 15738, (2010): ALL
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Watchdog or lapdog? A behavioral view of the media as a corporate governance mechanism
Author: Bednar M.K.
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Academy of Management Journal, v55 n1 (2012 02 01): 131-150
Database: Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Other Databases: British Library Serials

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Sunday, May 13, 2012 • Permalink