To me, the most interesting observation after the South Carolina primary came from New York magazine reporter and regular TV pundit John Heilemann, who said this on MSNBC (h/t Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars): Gingrich is going to get so much free media attention over the next few days. It is going to be wall to wall Gingrich, and I think it is fair to say that, in some ways, the "liberal media," as Gingrich would put it, is kind of rooting for Gingrich right now. They want this–they/we, want this race to go on, so he is gonna [...]
Remember last week's uproar about the New York Times and factchecking? In today's paper, we see a great example of how this works. Former Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd's new job is as a lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America, which means he's leading the charge in support of SOPA, the bill that big media companies believe will stop online "piracy." Opponents see it as a potentially devastating blow to free speech on the Internet, and they seem to have had great success in turning the tide of the debate. This is not good news for people like Dodd, [...]
New York Times reporter David Carr (12/19/11) takes a look at comedian Louis C.K.'s recent decision to webcast his own comedy special: A scabrous and successful champion of the everyman, Louis C. K. decided last week to go direct with his fans: no cable special, no middleman, just a simple download for $5 on his website to see his comedy show Louis C. K.: Live at the Beacon Theater. The show could be viewed as the consumer wished, with no rights protection or expensive subscription. A buy-it-and-watch-it proposition, no cable company involved. He was also, of course, enabling people to [...]
PBS has a website called MediaShift, billed as "Your Guide to the Digital Media Revolution." Based on an alarming post this week headlined "Tear Down the Wall Between Business and Editorial!" (12/7/11), the revolution looks rather revolting. The piece is written by Dorian Benkoil, who "handles marketing and sales strategies for MediaShift, and is the business columnist for the site"–a job description that suggests that PBS has already torn down the wall between business and editorial, since those responsibilities would seem to put you in a constant position of conflict of interest. (He earlier worked as "a liaison between the [...]
One of the strangest comments post- Iowa straw poll came from reporter Kelly O'Donnell on NBC Nightly News (8/14/11): Both Pawlenty's exit and Perry's launch consumed political oxygen that typically would have gone to the straw poll's actual winner, Congresswoman Bachmann, who appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows, including Meet the Press. I'm having trouble imagining how someone could put those two thoughts together. Bachmann was merely on five national TV shows Sunday morning. That's being overshadowed? If that's oxygen deprivation, one has to wonder what you'd call the media treatment of Ron Paul, who finished one percentage [...]
That's not my opinion– that's what I learned reading the New York Times today (6/27/11). Jeremy Peters profiles the right-wing scam artist, telling readers (emphasis added): Some of his reader-generated scoops have reverberated all the way to the halls of the United States Capitol, like the Weiner photos and undercover video he released of ACORN workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution. After the videos went viral Congress ended grants to ACORN, and federal agencies severed ties with the group. That wasn't the lesson of the ACORN videos at all. After a long battle, the [...]
Seymour Hersh reports in the New Yorker (6/6/11–subscription required) that there is s virtually no evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program, despite huge efforts on the part of the U.S. to prove otherwise. Though Hersh's findings do not contradict the past two National Intelligence Estimates, they do fly in the face of long-held official and corporate media views. Corporate media routinely treat the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program as a matter of fact. New York Times reporter Michael Gordon has done it at least twice (2/24/03, 10/19/04), in one case suggesting that a U.S.-friendly regime in Iraq might pressure [...]
The San Francisco Chronicle is apparently in trouble with the White House for posting video of a protest against the White House's treatment of suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning. The Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead reports: The White House threatened Thursday to exclude the San Francisco Chronicle from pooled coverage of its events in the Bay Area after the paper posted a video of a protest at a San Francisco fundraiser for President Obama last week, Chronicle editor Ward Bushee said. White House guidelines governing press coverage of such events are too restrictive, Bushee said, and the newspaper was within its rights [...]
The New York Times and London Guardian both published stories yesterday (4/25/11) examining the WikiLeaks documents about the Guantanamo prison. While obviously just a snapshot, it is interesting to see how the papers have headlined their findings. The Guardian: The New York Times: And today the Times stresses the potential danger allegedly posed by those imprisoned there: This is not to suggest that the Times' pieces are particularly bad. But the difference in emphasis is striking–and reminiscent of how differently the papers treated previous WikiLeaks disclosures.
A Drudge Report headline today (4/6/11) representsthe tip of the rotten iceberg: RACE BASE: Obama looks to Rev. Al Sharpton for help in re-election…
USA Today has a long piece (3/17/11) by Martha Moore about video hoax artist James O'Keefe's NPR project. The article does a pretty good job ofrunning down thedeceptions inO'Keefe's video. That's good. This, however, is not: The video follows a long, if not always honorable, tradition of muckraking exposés. It also is a stepchild to the political tactic of tracking an opponent with video until a gaffe occurs, then capitalizing on it. The sting's impact was magnified by the quick dissemination-without-scrutiny that is a hallmark of Internet-driven media. O'Keefe's video has nothing to do with muckraking. And please don't blame [...]
Drudge Report headline, right now: CLAIM: Iran Arranging to Buy Yellowcake in Africa… Is my computer a time machine, traveling back to 2002-03?
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange believes people are out to smear him and his organization. That much seems clear. Today the New York Times' Ravi Somaiya writes a piece that would seem to confirm those suspicions. Theheadline today: Assange Complains of Jewish Smear Campaign The issue hereis what an editor at theBritish magazine Private Eye says Assange told him–that there is, in the Times' words, "a Jewish-led conspiracy to smear his organization." There's no way for the Times to verify this information, as Glenn Greenwald points out at Salon. So why the definitive-sounding headline? And the background to Assange's "rambling phone call"raises [...]