The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned.
..... The number of Web-only subscribers who pay $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year fell to just over 221,000 in June, down from more than 224,000 in April.
Not that it was a particularly insightful prediction, but yours truly wrote the following in November 2005 (first item at link), when the Times announced it had reached 135,000 online TimeSelect subscribers (current print subscribers get TimeSelect access free of charge):
Willie Geist's genius as an observer of the political and pop-cultural scenes has been his ability to stay largely above the fray. But guest-hosting for Joe Scarborough on today's "Morning Joe," Geist let the curtain down enough to make clear his pessimism about the Iraq war and desire to have the US exit post-haste. At the same time, retired General Barry McCaffrey made no effort to hide his contempt for Barack Obama's foray into foreign policy regarding Pakistan.
Geist interviewed MSNBC commentator McCaffrey at 6:30 A.M. EDT this morning. McCaffrey at one point opined that he could envision the possibility of reconciliation between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis. Geist was not so sanguine.
MSNBC'S WILLIE GEIST: Could we possibly stay there long enough, though, to see a reconciliation between Sunni and Shia? We're talking years, possibly generations for that to change, aren't we?
Later, looking ahead to tonight's Dem debate, Geist's focus was on which candidate could extricate us from Iraq fastest.
GEIST: Which [candidate] gives you the best sense that they will help us end this war, get us out of there?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter Jake Tapper used the story that Rudy Giuliani’s daughter had joined a pro-Barack Obama Facebook group as a segue to recount the travails of other presidential children. Somehow, his list of wayward youths included only the offspring of famous Republican politicians, while ignoring Democratic embarrassments, such as the recent drug arrest of Al Gore III.
Additionally, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer closed the segment by discussing parent/child relationships with guest host George Stephanopoulos. Sawyer mentioned how she fought with her father, a Republican judge, over politics:
Diane Sawyer: "...I remember what a hard time I gave my father about politics."
Yesterday I wrote a piece about reporter Mika Brzezinski's handling of a story that reflected a political double standard on her part. While hosting MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for the vacationing Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski aired a video of a female reporter chasing after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Before she could catch up with the mayor however, the reporter was intercepted by a very large security guard and sent barreling into the side of what appeared to be a nearby dumpster. At the time Brzezinski brushed off the incident as "not that pressing," in stark contrast to the seemingly endless attention the David Vitter scandal received on "Morning Joe" throughout July. This morning however, Brzezinski seems to have changed her mind and now believes "That story's important."
For a little context, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, has been under scrutiny since he confessed to an affair with Spanish language reporter, Mirthala Salinas. Not surprisingly, Salinas received special access to the mayor during their affair.
Yesterday, after airing the video, Brzezinski gave her opinion as to the newsworthiness of the story. Here is her quote from the August 7 show:
Don't get me wrong. I like that mainstream media do take some efforts to report more religion and faith news items these days, including blogs like "The Seeker" at Chicago Tribune's home on the Web and the ongoing "On Faith" feature hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Let's say you are a scandal-ridden governor looking for some love. Where would you find it? Well, if you are New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, aka Steamroller Spitzer, immersed in a scandal that threatens to destroy your political career, you go looking for love in the Daily Kos with a divorced from reality "Happy Talk" blog post that makes no mention any pending unpleasantries. Spitzer's "Happy Talk" love fest on the Daily Kos will have no effect in stopping the scandal investigations but perhaps it is temporarily therapeutic to brag about himself to his fellow leftists in his blog post titled, Congratulations on a Great Weekend :
While we are seeing a mounting reform movement at the national level, I would also urge you to be aware of some of the important developments that are occurring in statehouses across the country. There are some exciting things happening, demonstrating that your activism is also paying dividends at the state level.
Once again the Associated Press give us more of its prosaic brand of "unfair and unbalanced" news with a Jesse Jackson anti-gun story that doesn't offer a single word to counter his propaganda, their report doesn't present even a hint that there is any "side" but the anti-gun position. We aren't shocked at this, of course, but it needs to be pointed out for the record nonetheless.
Jackson faces a trial and possible jail time for his absurd June 23rd picketing of a gun shop in Riverdale, a suburb of Chicago. During the effort to disrupt the shop's business Jackson and his cohorts illegally blocked the entrance to the establishment an action that resulted in his arrest for trespassing.
As the AP reports on Jackson's first appearance in court to face these charges, they made all efforts to make Jackson seem the righteous actor, unruffled and heroic. AP even decided he was "relaxed-looking" is his appearance.
As laid out in this video, entrants are asked the following in order to receive $100,000 while, at the same time, saving Al Gore from looking like one of the biggest charlatans to ever walk the face of the planet:
Can't say we haven't seen this before: Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a writer for the New Republic, has recanted his tales of American military savagery according to the Weekly Standard (h/t Powerline):
The Weekly Standard has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp--author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns--signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.
A former member of the Clinton administration, and current Senior Fellow at the virtual Clinton think tank the Center for American Progress, claimed Monday that global warming might have played a factor in the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis last week.
I kid you not.
Writing at Climate Progress, the global warming blog of CAP, Joseph Romm - who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1995 though 1998 - stated in a piece amazingly entitled "Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse?" (emphasis added throughout):
Editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution was asked why letters that are "factually inaccurate" are allowed into the newspaper. I had long assumed it was the same reason stories that are factually inaccurate are used in the newspaper, but not-so says Tucker: "We live in such a politically polarized age that not everybody agrees on the facts. My letters policy tends to be a bit looser than those of some other editorial page editors."
This includes "Readers who still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that they were taking to Syria are allowed to express that view even though it is clearly not true." As you may recall, I addressed this "inaccuracy" once before for ACLU president turned journalist, Robyn Blumner.
George Ou reports that Dateline NBC investigative "journalist" Michelle Madigan was run out on a rail when she tried to infiltrate DEFCON in Las Vegas, the convention for hackers and security specialists, hoping to catch someone admitting to a crime. This is the same group of people who play "spot the spook" at their yearly conventions, so Michelle never had a chance. This all came after DEFCON organizers gave her four chances to register as press. Instead, Madigan made reference to how "people in Kansas" would be interested in what the hackers were up to (Kansas being the reference to the fly-over area between LA and NY) and then made a trip to the restroom to get her pinhole camera running.
A pronounced example of how bad news is news and good news is much less newsworthy: On Friday night, ABC and NBC teased full stories on the 281 point plunge that day in the Dow Jones average, but on Monday, after the Dow rebounded by five points greater than Friday's loss in the biggest one-day gain in five years, the networks limited coverage to a few seconds. “The stock market stumbles again today exposing fault lines in the nation's housing market,” ABC's Charles Gibson teased a full story Friday night on the stock market and troubles in the mortgage industry which he introduced by emphasizing how “the gains of the past couple of days were more than wiped out by a dramatic late-day sell-off.” But on Monday night, Gibson didn't tease the rebound news and held coverage to barely 20 seconds.
Brian Williams teased Friday's NBC Nightly News: “Stocks slide again on Wall Street. What is spooking the market tonight as we head into the weekend?” Williams spent a minute-and-half with CNBC's Jim Cramer discussing reasons for the plunge, but on Monday fill-in anchor Ann Curry gave the good news just 20 seconds, not counting time for more bad news: The bankruptcy filing by American Home Mortgage. CBS's Katie Couric on Friday only devoted 25 seconds to how “investors headed for the exits, and the Dow plunged 281 points. So, since hitting a record high 14,000 two weeks ago, the Dow has now given up more than 800 points.” On Monday, however, she squeezed in a piddling eight seconds on the rebound, not counting unemployment news and a note about American Home Mortgage.
Four firefighters who say there were forced to participate in San Diego's "Gay Pride" parade and subjected to "vile sexual taunts" have filed a complaint and plan to sue the city.
According to the Thomas More Law Center, four firefighters were forced to participate in the parade against their will and were "subjected to vile sexual taunts from homosexuals lining the parade route." According to the complaint filed with the city, the firemen of Engine 5 told their chief they did not want to appear in the parade but were told the morning of the parade that they were under orders to participate.
Diane Sawyer kicked "Good Morning America" off this morning with economic worries about Wall Street, the "credit crunch" and "record" foreclosures.
“We do begin with the week on Wall Street, where the Dow took another huge hit, plunging 280 points in just two hours. The cause of the worst credit crunch in almost quarter a century and you’ve seen it in the neighborhoods – a record number of foreclosures,” said Sawyer.
But according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBAA), foreclosures are not at a record when viewed by percentage. GMA’s one-sided talk of a “record number of foreclosures” misled viewers. Foreclosures are up compared to 2006, but so are the number of home loans.