Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, speaking at the Online Publishers Association conference in London, said journalists need to adapt to the new media.
Reports the London Guardian: "Tom Glocer said that media organisations needed to understand their true value in order to make the most of the online world."
"I believe the world will always need editing," he said. "Just because everyone has the potential to publish their own blog, doesn't mean they're all worth reading. The role of companies like ours is to edit and filter, and provide open tools for the audience. The good stuff will float to the top.
As NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein pointed out this morning, Hollywood’s liberal streak is now so obvious even the news media are taking notice. But it isn’t just that celebrities are liberal activists in their spare time — liberal talking points are also finding their way onto TV and movie screens.
Case in point: Last night’s ER, NBC’s long-running medical drama. The March 2 episode saw the much-promoted return of “Dr. John Carter,” played by Noah Wyle, who left the show at the end of last season. Last night’s episode had John volunteering at a refugee camp in Darfur, Sudan, where hundreds of thousands have died in a real-life humanitarian catastrophe. Even as they portrayed the Janjaweed militia as the chief villains, the ER writers couldn’t resist taking a potshot at inaction by a supposedly racist U.S. Congress. Windows Media or Real Player
At a conference speech Thursday, former vice president Al Gore announced the formation of a coalition of political, labor, and religious groups which will soon begin making ad buys on America's television channels warning of the dangers of global warming. Gore also called on the nation's TV outlet owners to match the group's purchases with equal amounts of time gratis. No doubt some will take him up on his offer. Can you imagine, though, if say, Newt Gingrich were to call on media companies to match spending for a program arguing for the need to cut federal spending? He'd have been laughed off the stage.
What got into Good Morning America? Each of the network shows ran its compulsory pre-Oscar segment this morning. But while Today was airing a bland piece on the freebies that celebrities in attendance get in gift bags, GMA's segment had a most unexpected angle, asking whether Hollywood has become too political - read 'liberal.' As Tim Graham has noted, Jon Stewart and George Clooney have denied that Hollywood suffers from any such bias, but GMA host Charlie Gibson acknowledged the slant frankly.
He framed it this way:
"Now we turn to the politics of the Oscars. We've talked a lot about the culture wars in America, the blue state/red state divide, the clash between more traditional moral values and more liberal points of view.
For the second consecutive night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, citing recently released videotape of Bush administration officials meeting before Hurricane Katrina struck, questioned the honesty of Bush's September statement that nobody "anticipated the breach of the levees," claiming that the possibility of a "breach" had been talked about during the videotaped meeting. But also on this second night, the Countdown host ran a story filed by NBC's Lisa Myers in which she torpedoed Olbermann's claim, citing meteorologist Max Mayfield's recollection that "nobody talked about the possibility of levee breach or failure until after it happened." Olbermann, evidently not noticing this, continued as if her report had supported his attack on Bush rather than disproved it. Guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post even followed up by directly referring to Myers' report as evidence of Bush's "credibility" being undermined, even though Myers clearly argued in her piece that Bush's version of the story was supported by her investigation. Milbank: "It undermines the President's credibility, and now people are getting at this question of his honesty and his secrecy." (Complete transcripts follow)
In the past couple of days, there has been a media frenzy over a video released by the Associated Press showing President Bush being informed that the levees in New Orleans could be “topped” as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Just hours ago, the AP reported that it has another video taken after the hurricane hit wherein Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is heard telling Administration representatives that the levees had not been breached.
The article began: “In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to a new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.”
MSNBC versus NBC News. MSNBC's David Shuster, at the top of Thursday's Hardball, and NBC's Lisa Myers at the start of the NBC Nightly News, played the identical soundbites from Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center warning, on Sunday August 28, about his “grave concern” the levees in New Orleans could be “topped,” and a clip of President Bush four days later maintaining that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." But they used the soundbites to prove opposite assessments. Shuster contended that Mayfield's video “seems to contradict what President Bush said about Katrina” since Mayfield's warning “clearly” means that “the President's team did anticipate the breach.”
Lisa Myers, however, recognized the meaning of words and how water flowing over a levee, topping it, is not the same thing as a breaching, the collapse of a levee, which is what occurred. Myers explained: "Today Mayfield told NBC News that he warned only that the levees might be topped, not breached, and that on the many conference calls he monitored, 'nobody talked about the possibility of a levee breach or failure until after it happened.'” (Transcripts follow.)
Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” had Arianna Huffington on March 1. Host Stephen Colbert, aping a conservative commentator, had a lot of fun with the liberal proprietor of the Huffington Post. One of the highlights was when Huffington boasted of all the Hollywood types who post at her blog. Colbert, with a total straight face, stated that it was marvelous that celebrities finally had an avenue to voice their opinions (video link to follow).
Huffington: If you want to know what Al Franken, or Nora Ephron, or Larry David, or Steve Martin, or Bill Maher are thinking about anything, right now in real time, go to the Huffington Post…
The media at all levels on Wednesday pounced on video released by the AP of government conference calls held as Hurricane Katrina hit last August, with most stories portraying them as containing a smoking gun about how President Bush was warned about potential levee failure. But as FNC's Brit Hume noted on his show Thursday night, the video, which MSNBC's Hardballhyped Wednesday as “breaking news,” was hardly any such thing, or “confidential video” as the AP hyped, since the video was made public at the time and the sessions were open to the press.
During Hume's panel segment, Bill Sammon, fresh to the Washington Examiner from the Washington Times, excoriated his press corps colleagues for “journalistic fraud” as well as “disingenuous” and "bogus" reporting. Referring to the video of a meeting President Bush participated in from his Texas ranch, Sammon charged: “It's held out today and yesterday as almost a smoking gun. I would say not only is it not a smoking bun gun, it's actually a journalistic fraud for some of the reasons you've outlined where they suggested it was ‘confidential' videotape where it wasn't. It was open press. Also, they make Max Mayfield out to sound like he was sounding the alarm bells when clearly he was ambivalent in the extreme....So, to suggest that was the warning that Bush should have heeded and didn't, is disingenuous in the extreme.” Sammon also took on the press for denigrating Michael Brown as an incompetent, but now they want to “rehabilitate him because he's now willing to trash the Department of Homeland Security....This is disingenuous of the mainstream media to suddenly rehabilitate Michael Brown for their own political purposes." (Transcript follows.)
According to the report, the Times newsroom is currently 82.5 percent white, slightly less than the industry average of 86.5 percent. Only 14 percent of newsroom managers are minorities, the council found, and there are currently no minorities on the newspaper masthead and only one nonwhite on the company's executive committee.
It apparently isn't just George Bush who doesn't care about black people.
My personal favorite part of the article:
The council defined diversity in terms of employees' race, gender and sexual orientation. Religious and political differences were not accounted for.
After President Bush made a surprise visit to Afghanistan yesterday, putting it back in the news, the question became how long would it be before the media would try to frame the war in Afghanistan in a negative light? For CBS, the answer was this morning as reporters on "The Early Show" sounded almost like Taliban cheerleaders in their attempt to undermine President Bush’s credibility and tout bad news coming out of Afghanistan. For instance, Julie Chen introduced a report from Sheila MacVicar:
Julie Chen: "Julie Chen: "Before India, the President's first stop was Afghanistan where despite his reassurances that things are going well, the Taliban are, in fact, staging fierce new attacks."
It’s a question that has been asked many times: If Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during a case, would the media notice? The answer, apparently, is no. On March 1, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of a Texas redistricting plan. One only has to look at the accompanying graphic to see how exciting Justice Ginsburg found the case. FNC correspondent Megyn Kendall reported it this way on Wednesday's Special Report:
"It is one of the biggest redistricting cases the high court has heard in years, but the special two hour argument proved less then compelling to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who at times appeared to be, well, asleep.
The same media that joins the Democrats in accusing the Bush administration of using terrorism to scare the American people, seems to think scare tactics are okay when used to support a liberal agenda. On Thursday's Good Morning America, ABC's Bill Blakemore, for the second time in the past two months, used a one-sided story in an attempt to create paranoia about global warming.
When Blakemore fear-mongered about global warming on the January 11th GMA, he linked warming to a potential massive extinction of species around the world: "One study calculates within 45 years between 18 and 35 percent of Earth's plant and animal species will be extinct or committed to extinction because of global warming."
What issue will doom Congressional Republicans in 2006? In February, it was Abramoff, while the month of March is shaping up as the UAE ports controversy.
This morning, the Times once again insists that the Republicans will face trouble in the 2006 elections. Last month it was ethics scandals and Jack Abramoff. This month’s Times-selected Republican killer is shaping up to be the ports deal with United Arab Emirates.
A story by Carl Hulse and Scott Shane, “Doubts Back Home Fuel G.O.P. Worries About Ports Deal,” drives that idea hard.
“Senator Jon Kyl, a staunch supporter of President Bush who faces a potentially difficult re-election fight this year, is hearing a lot from constituents in Arizona about the plan to allow a Dubai company to operate shipping terminals at Eastern ports. Most think the deal should be stopped.”
Americans who read the New York
Times must have wrinkled their brows in puzzlement after reading the
February 26, 2006 article about a former government official and
spokesman for the Taliban walking the campus of Yale University as a
Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi has been granted special student status and
the state department has awarded him entry into the United States on
a student visa. This is an interesting turn of events for a person
who could just as easily have ended up as a guest of the United
States in a cell at Guantanamo Bay.
Prior to his arrival as a student, Rahmatullah had been imprisoned at
Bagram Air Base. He had been a member of the Taliban government,
serving both in Afghanistan and in the United States as Second
Foreign Secretary and Ambassador-at-Large.
There’s no getting around it. Chris Matthews hears what he wants to hear even when the facts are right in front of him.
After showing the video of President Bush being briefed by Max Mayfield saying: "I don’t think anybody can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but that’s obviously a very, very grave concern," Matthews took that as evidence that Bush lied when he said no one anticipated the breach of the levees.
Here’s what Matthews said after running a clip of the video: "Okay. There we saw it and I want to repeat something that I just read and I want to repeat it to you because I read a few minutes ago.
Here’s the President four days after Hurricane Katrina, that’s four days, actually five days after that briefing. ‘I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,’ that’s the President. Kate O’Beirne, square those two facts, the briefing we just saw on tape and the President saying he was never briefed as to the possibility of the water coming over from Lake Pontchartrain."
We've often noted here at NewsBusters how the press seems to consider itself entitled to some right to know things before others. The White House press corps seems yet to recover that it wasn't the first be alerted about Vice President Cheney's shooting accident, for instance.
But this attitude is not limited to just the American media. Canadian blogger Kate Werk notes a similar arrogance in the press of her country which is upset that recently elected Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper isn't immediately telling who he's picking for his new cabinet. This arrogant attitude began during the tenure of the last Conservative PM, Brian Mulroney:
When Brian Mulroney won his landslide majority in 1984, a talking
head (whose identity I've forgotten) announced to the nation that in
the face of such a one sided parliament, the media would assume the role of opposition .
That was a signal that something was about to go desperately wrong,
and it did. The Canadian people had already spoken as to what voices
they wanted in parliament. The Ottawa press gallery weren't on the
ballot, yet they declared themselves elected, and they've by and large
behaved like pompous, entitled Liberal senators with a broadcast
license ever since.
Is it just coincidence? Barely a week after new media from Rush Limbaugh [subscripton required] to this column found the Today show appearance of NY Times foreign-affairs maven Thomas Friedman noteworthy, Today had him back again this morning. Could the new media be driving news choices at the antique?
In any case, while the ostensible purpose of Friedman's appearance was to discuss President Bush's current trip to India, his most interesting comments came in relation to Iraq and by extension to the entire Middle East. His notion: the path from dictatorship to democracy in the region necessarily passes through a period of fundamentalist religious rule.
Wednesday’s Early Show on CBS carried a segment on Iraq emblazoned with the headline “Iraq Civil War.” The worry that Iraq is about to tip over into an all-out fight between the Sunnis and the Shiites has been thick in the media since terrorists bombed an important Shiite mosque a week ago. As CBS anchor Bob Schieffer announced that night (February 22): “One of the worst days ever in Iraq, and it’s Iraqis against Iraqis. A Middle East expert tells us the country has been plunged into civil war.”
But while there’s been a definite uptick in violence and death in the week since the mosque bombing, the “civil war” scenario has failed to materialize. On FNC’s Your World with Neil Cavuto earlier this afternoon, a panel discussed whether notions of an imminent Iraq “civil war” are a grim reality, or a media myth. Former CBS and NBC reporter Marvin Kalb spoke for the rest of the liberal establishment: "What is going on in Iraq now is deadly, serious stuff. People are dying there....This is not a myth. This is what is happening and the American people deserve to know the truth.”
Well, if Iraq’s future matches the current prognostications from the liberal media, it’s purely a matter of coincidence. Pessimistic media mavens have been fretting about a “civil war” since shortly after the coalition liberated Baghdad in April 2003. A brief review: