Is when journalists of established or reputable news organizations (like The Wall Street Journal, BBC or Washington Post) or smaller news reporting organizations (like the Kansas City Star or The Salem Daily News) fail to ask critical questions or raise important issues in their reporting; usually of controversial subject matter.
The phrase is borrowed from observing the behavior of domesticated cats: It is used to describe how a cat may become accustomed to food from a bag or can, and thereby, its walking circle becomes a smaller path. For example, from the place where it lounges to the place where the food is set out in a dish. This cat no longer looks under bushes and hides in a tree. It is satisfied with the little effort, and enjoys snoozing whenever it can.
When comparing a native cat, their walking-about path is much larger. They might not return home for days. They enjoy spending time outdoors and scrutinizing things longer.
Whereas a domesticated cat knows where to look for food, the native or natural cat might spend more time looking and actually forgo eating, to stay in place, waiting for the right bird to come along.
"Pussy cat journalism" is used to describe the least path of resistance, to get the story. And because of this, the story is usually one sided or one dimensional and many important questions are not raised or dealt with in the reporting. Often times, this type of journalism is a bias journalism. It is also attributed to socialist or communist type reporting, where the reporting is favorable to the ruling government.
The worst forms of "Pussy Cat Journalism" occur when a paper or news agency, continually fails to raise critical questions or deal with important subjects, in a comprehensive manner; ie: deliberately omitting to report the full story.
"I am tired of reading the paper's pussy cat view on insider trading. It is illegal to sell something you do not own. Compare counterfeit ticket makers and scalpers who sell tickets that do not exist, yet stand outside sporting events with the tickets held up high for all to see. They buyers go into the arena to watch the game in their designated seat, only to learn that someone else is sitting in their seats. To settle the issue, they compare ticket stubs and an official is called to verify who is holding legitimate seats. This exchange is illegal in all 50 states. Yet the U.S.Government and SEC let large brokers and trading institutions, sell millions of shares of stock that do not exist; nor do they own. When will the Wall Street Journal truly report on what a substantial crime this is? ... "
"You would think someone would need to sell counterfeit shares to a journalist's mother, before the community of journalists at the New York Times will report on the underside of short selling shares of a company's stock that do not exist. This pussy-cat journalism on the current market, sometimes makes me want to throw up. I simple do not understand how 'reputable' papers do not report more on instances when over 100 million shares of a company are short sold, and there is no accounting for where those shares exist, nor who is the custodian."
"Recently I read a story of a company offering shares of stock for the first time. They established 17 million shares were offered to the public and would be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They gave the date in which the shares would become available for purchase. A pre-sale was offered to larger firms who reportedly wanted to purchase 12 million shares. On the day the shares were released, smaller investors snatched up the remaining shares. Over the next two weeks, the shares changed hands as buyers persisted in wanting more shares. This drove the value of a share up, as buyers could only purchase shares from someone who already owned a share. Eventually the share price rose to $50.00 each, when originally shares started out selling at $26.00 per share. ... The story did not stop there. Three months later, the SEC was allowing over 150 million shares of company stock, be short sold, although 17 million shares were actually in the public domain. The pussy cat journalism of Barron's News, most recent article, focused on the company's margin of earnings and ability to generate revenue in the next year. The article failed completely to focus attention on the fact, that there were 8 to 9 times as many shares being sold short, than are actual shares available in the market. As a reputable news agency, I expected some attention be given to who (which hedge fund, hedge funds or large trading institutions) are shorting that many shares, and illicit comment from those company heads or spokespersons. A comment would have also been appropriate, from the SEC and the stock exchange's regulatory agency. Instead Barron's News reporters keep focusing on company revenue, in their reporting, for a company that has only 17 million shares. How can an investment firm sell 2 or 3 times the number of shares than what actually exist, without it being blatantly dishonest or fraudulent at some level? Where is Barron's serious reporting community, and why do they continually fail to report the unscrupulous side of short selling? When you think of a ticket scalper selling a counterfeit ticket that does not exist, and getting in trouble, why is no one clamping down on the counterfeit sale and repurchase of stock shares that do not exist?"
"I saw in the Kansas City Star the other day, a person has renamed a file on their computer. Apparently some smut was renamed by a guy and the prosecuting attorney wants to prosecute him under a "publication law," dealing with illicit pictures. This is so they can prosecute the guy as a dealer or publisher of child porn, and thereby give him a stiffer sentence if found guilty, or, leverage a heavier sentence in getting him to plea, even though he did not take the picture in question. ...I am sorry, but renaming a computer file is NOT publishing. Publishing involves a printing press, and usually a client, a group of clients or large customer base; a buyer/seller relationship. You cant have one without the other, both are necessary to be called "a publisher." Everyone else in the world, including the publishing industry and judicial community, rename files. The instance of renaming a file is NOT, the same as publishing that file or intending to publish the file. Just because a file is renamed, is hardly grounds to seek a stiffer sentence. I wish the KCStar would stop this pussy cat journalism, and start holding judicial officers to a higher standard of professionalism. If they did, they might save the poor chap and his family a lot of money in legal fees. Think of how much abuse of power could be piggy backed on the pretense of falsely calling a teenager with smut, a publisher. How much MORE money will the parents have to pay their defense attorney, now that the teen who was looking at smut changed a file name and is now a publisher (although he has no printing press and no coin is believed to have been exchanged as in a sale)? ... Publisher? Come on. The paper's reporting is so bad, you would think they are owned by a counsel of defensive attorneys."
"Recently saw a news feature on Ohio news station. The prosecuting attorney is standing at a podium, explaining how they saw a 8 year old being raped with their morning cup of coffee. It was so horrific, they had to set the coffee cup down and turn off the pc. Obviously this was done for shock value. Then the attorney goes on to express contempt. ....The news reporters are so stunned and accustomed to pussy cat reporting, than none of them asked, how old were the pictures? 30 years old, 40, 50 years old? Taken during the 1960's, circa 1943 or yesterday? ...The prosecutor wants to prosecute a guy for having it on his pc. The news reporters do not ask if he was the actor or offender. It is merely implied and omitted from the story. The prosecutor wants to send the guy to jail for 10 to 15 years. Says he renamed the file to hide it on his pc, and the prosecutor says thats an act of "publishing." The journalists fail to ask if the film or pictures were cross-referenced with previous crime scenes, that have already been prosecuted. Maybe someone is already serving out the 10 or 15 year sentence for having taken those pictures? Why prosecute more than one person for that same picture set? Is it so attorneys and colleagues of the prosecutor, can charge more than one person $40,000-$80,000.00 for defense counsel? ....The Journalists fail to ask how many times those pictures have been prosecuted, in the last 25 years, nor how much money the legal profession has made off those same smutty pictures (probably prosecuted in a neighboring state in 1968). ...The journalists reporting reminded me of my lazy cat who knows only a comfortable stroll from the lounger to the food bowl, will jump if startled and then eventually goes back to a soft spot by the window and falls asleep."
"Recently in the news, I see many reporters exclaiming that 'the American consumer has NOT felt the pinch at the pump, because, THEY ARE STILL PURCHASING GAS.' ...No one is being interviewed, the reporter just stands there and looking sober in expression, makes the statement, implying that the high price of gasoline is not hurting the American economy. What a farce. Now there is pussy cat journalism, at its finest. Obviously they are not talking to people in our part of the city. (Not interviewing anyone is more likely.) "