There’s trouble in Katie Land. Alex Ben Block at The Hollywood Reporter warns her show is “teetering on the verge of cancellation,” that “soft ratings, a huge budget and ‘disdain’ for her female audience — Q Scores report only 10 percent of women view Couric favorably — have the host's Disney/ABC talk show in jeopardy as a renewal decision nears.”
The third season just began with a publicity blitz about Couric getting engaged, but “renewal seems a long shot.”
Anonymous “insiders” say the show is too hard-edged, not soft-focus enough for the 25-to-54 women viewers.
Two items by Andrew Beaujon at Poynter are interesting when put side by side. At a conference in Cannes, the Guardian reports, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg said that “We feel strongly that traditional media have given up on young people” and that news organizations should focus on sharing throughout their processes. They need to stop the old model of "very boring news" geared for Google searches and focus on shares in social media.
So what is the new news that the youngsters under 40 want? Beaujon has the details right below. Joe Veix of Death and Taxes says BuzzFeed "posted essentially the same article" he did without crediting him prominently enough. His October 2 story was about people tweeting photos of themselves falling down stairs.
Alec Baldwin granted an interview to Politico’s Patrick Gavin about his new MSNBC show. Television is turning out to be much tougher than his public-radio show. He seems to revolting against the rules, like wearing an earpiece because that’s “so artificial.” He even sounds like he’s revolting against what MSNBC is, underlining he was reluctant to sign on for a show.
"I wasn’t that wild about that idea because MSNBC — which I’m a fan of — it had a certain stamp that I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear," Baldwin said. "It is this harshly political thing and, regardless of my own politics, I wasn’t sure I wanted to dine out on that." Baldwin’s imagining that he’s not some raving Olbermann. He’s going to do a PBS show like Charlie Rose:
Liberals have grown increasingly angry at Republican “gerrymandering” as a cause for today’s “crazy” conservative House, that Republicans represent overwhelmingly anti-Obama districts and are in no danger of losing. They often completely ignore that many minority Democrats represent overwhelmingly pro-Obama districts and are in no danger of losing. (In response to Voting Rights Act-caused racial gerrymandering, we have silly-looking districts like Mel Watt’s in North Carolina. See PJ Media for more.)
In Tuesday’s USA Today, black columnist DeWayne Wickham -- a former reporter for U.S. News & World Report magazine -- took this willful blindness to new heights, and bizarrely made it sound like a white conspiracy that Republican districts are so white the House GOP “looks like a Klan klavern”:
The Washington Post typically boosted a leftist rally for amnesty for illegal immigrants, with one major difference – they utterly ignored the hypocrisy of the Obama administration and the National Park Service closing open spaces in Washington, unless a left-wing protest was scheduled.
CNN's routine marketing lie is that they're the centrist network that doesn't take sides. In July, CNN's Belief Blog promoted Muslim creative-writing professor Reza Aslan's book about Jesus. CNN contributor Stephen Prothero wrote a Fox News-"correcting" article titled "What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus" and they published Aslan's own piece on "Why I Write About Jesus."
But when it came to Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Jesus," CNN's Belief Blog posted an article titled "Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'". Oh, yeah, CNN never takes sides. The author is a liberal author named Candida Moss, who has written a book attacking the "myth" that the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire. She mocked O'Reilly's grasp of facts:
Back in the 1960s, PBS was created to fill a hole in the market for educational television. So it’s strange to read The Washington Post and find PBS trying to finagle its way into a crowded market of digital and mobile apps in 2013. Reporter Cecelia Kang began: “On television, Big Bird stands tall among children’s shows. But on the iPad, he is just a little chick.”
Kang says PBS is hoping for an Internet hit with its new math show "Peg & Cat" and is competing “against corporate giants such as Disney, Fisher-Price, and Netflix for a share of the multi-billion-dollar business of entertaining and teaching children online.” Only one paragraph in this PBS-promoting story has a free-market rebuttal from Trevor Burris of the Cato Institute:
At the very end of ABC’s “The View” on Thursday, they turned for advice on infidelity to MTV star/gay activist/sex columnist Dan Savage. (He's in favor of "sexual adventure.") When Savage explained how he and his partner Terry Miller are not exactly monogamous, Barbara Walters jumped in to wonder about the etiquette of this process: What does Savage say to Miller after an infidelity? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Walters wasn’t posing as anti-infidelity, considering her tattling about her Edward Brooke affair, but more as a Miss Manners of misbehavior. Savage quipped: “When I’m cheating on my partner, he’s cheating on me at the same time -- at the other end of the same guy.” In the midst of the furor of shock, laughter, and applause, Savage added: “It’s not cheating when everyone agrees!”
Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine offered a cover story on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with these words on the cover: “Ginsburg’s Decision: She hears the calls to step aside, but she isn’t ready.”
Post high-court reporter Robert Barnes channeled a debate between liberals, and at least he admitted she is “leader of the court’s liberals.” One woman said “We need her to stay forever,” and her companion said “Or leave right now.” Sometimes the story sounded like a polite shove out the door:
Jennifer Senior at New York magazine interviewed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and she wanted it to sound big: "most outsiders tend to regard him as either a demigod on stilts or a menace to democracy, depending on which side of the aisle they sit." She found him "more puckish than formal."
He informally dismissed the nation's top newspapers as too impossibly liberal to pay for, especially The Washington Post:
The first laugh line from Gross? She asked Matthews, “Can you remember that far back, to when you were partisan?” Another gag line came when Gross asked if Matthews grew emotional when his liberalism (“love for the political process”) was challenged by people who want to dismantle and defund things:
An AP poll in April 2013 showed 79 percent of Americans polled didn't think the Washington Redskins should change its name. But media liberals were thrilled that President Obama suggested that maybe that name’s too politically incorrect. (One might think Jeremiah Wright’s church would lobby against “Chicago White Sox,” as long as we’re at it.)
Guest-hosting Meet the Press on NBC on Sunday, Savannah Guthrie ran a three-minute news story on this sjubject and then asked the roundtable about it. GOP consultant Mike Murphy mocked it for the majiority, but liberal NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep joked there were better names, scarier names:
MRC’s Dan Gainor passed on a nominee for wacky-weed blog of the weekend. Salon.com posted an article Saturday titled “White America says ‘Let the Fire Burn’: What the Philadelphia firebombing of 1985 can tell us about the culture of white rage that led to the shutdown.”
For the young people, in 1985, a radical-left black group called MOVE had repeated bouts of violence with police. After refusing an order to vacate their property, the police fire-bombed the house, killing 11. Despite Philadelphia having a black mayor at the time, Andrew O’Hehir thinks this is a metaphor for Unhinged White Conservatism:
Amanda Terkel at The Huffington Post reports that Cincinnati-area viewers of the Bengals-Patriots game will be "treated" to an ad attacking Speaker John Boehner to a baby throwing a temper tantrum.
The Democrats at House Majority PAC feature a close-up of a toddler crying for half the ad before an announcer says "Speaker John Boehner didn't get his way on shutting down health care reform. So, he's shut down the government and hurt the economy."
Veteran New York Times reporter David Sanger is a friend of Team Obama. He wrote an Obama-boosting book called "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power." But now we learn that Sanger has proclaimed “This is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”
Former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie quoted this in a Post commentary on how the Obama administration is prosecuting leakers. It’s titled “In Obama’s war on leaks, reporters fight back.”
Ezra Klein may be young, but he’s not young enough to miss how recycled it is to smear the Tea Party as haters in every category. Nevertheless, Klein sought out and interviewed Christopher Parker, a political scientist at the University of Washington, is co-author of the book "Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America".
After rigorous, professorial study, Parker found people don't fully appreciate why Tea Partiers won't compromise: “when I looked at it empirically, I found that people who supported the tea party tended to be more racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Obama.” Klein then professed that this made him bristle a tiny bit:
Public-broadcasting fans love to proclaim that PBS and NPR are bravely “independent” of the government. But sometimes, the facts suggest a close symbiotic relationship. Terence P. Jeffrey of CNSNews.com reports that on the first day of the government shutdown, the Daily Treasury Statement revealed no money for clinical trials for cancer, but the administration awarded $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Pay the publicist first!
PBS has hosted two very friendly interviews with President Obama in the last few weeks, and on Friday, their two “opposing” political pundits agreed the shutdown was a “constitutional monstrosity” and the Tea Party was a spent force.
Cher is a regularly harsh critic of the “Teapublicans” and their unbearable whiteness. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when she regurgitated it on Twitter this week...except that she started talking about them as the “devil incarnate” who the good people should “deep 6.”
First, there was this tweet: “WHO THE F--K DO THESE TBAG (DEVIL INCARNATE)MEMBERS OF GOV.THINK THEY R? PPL R ACTUALLY GOING 2 DIE(cancer trials shut down)& THEY R REASON”.
Richard Wolf of USA Today can’t use the word “left” to describe recent Supreme Court rulings, only “right.” It came in a story headlined “Supreme Court poised to tilt further to the right.”
When the Court tacks left, it’s a “blockbuster” term of “landmark" decisions. Wolf began: “After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.”
Jon Stewart “stooped” to publicizing a Media Research Center study last night on “The Daily Show.” Actually, he mocked an MRC study by Rich Noyes as adding a bucket to Fox’s “Bull[bleep] Mountain.”
Ah, yes, Jon Stewart, the man who said “Crossfire” was ruining America with its harsh partisan talk and held a “Rally for Sanity” with his keynote address announcing “We can have animus and not be enemies.” Apparently, blaming Republicans for the shutdown is like blaming floods on water [video and transcript below]:
On Friday night's NBC Nightly News, reporter Kelly O’Donnell and producer Shawna Thomas brought out more tweets addressed to its “Dear Congress” hashtag. It’s a little fun now to see what other tweets these Twitter correspondents are posting.
A “MrKristoff” was quoted for tweeting “@johnboehner Enough already. Stop claiming to speak for American people & start Listening. #DearCongress”. But right next to that was a vulgar attack on that "monster with no soul" Ted Cruz:
Andrew Beaujon of Poynter MediaWire reports that NPR standards editor Stuart Seidel asked reporters and editors to “please avoid overusing ‘Obamacare’” after the Maynard Institute’s minority-journalism blogger Richard Prince wrote him saying “the term can no longer be defended as neutral.” Prince said Obama isn't using "Obamacare" in recent speeches.
Seidel explained "I’m not persuaded that the use of 'Obamacare' is wholly inappropriate, but I am persuaded that good effort needs [to be] made to avoid over-using it. I’m sharing that feeling with NPR's editors and correspondents."
As often happens, the most fiendish liberal columnists spent most of their careers as “objective” reporters, and when that weakly attached lid of restraint is finally lifted, the real leftist comes out screaming and ranting.
Witness Timothy Egan at The New York Times, whose latest column is less-than-creatively titled "Wrong Side of History." Egan called Tea Party Republicans “America’s Worst Idea” and somehow conflated conservatives to anti-Catholic “Know Nothings.” What if you’re a Tea Party Catholic? Their “only real fight is with progress.”
Former CBS News vet and O’Reilly Factor regular Bernard Goldberg is hopping mad at conservatives who’ve written him to tell him they will no longer watch him or read him. Goldberg even stooped to suggesting his critics “don’t want to even hear the other guy. You want the other guy dead (in some cases, I suspect, literally dead!)”
At what point does this kind of rage at the audience start hurting Fox’s ratings? Comparing American conservatives to Islamist Iranian dictators? He unleashed on them in a column called “An Open Letter to the Ayatollahs.”
The Washington Post launched two stories today promoting “The Laramie Project,” a leftist play staged by Ford’s Theatre that blames the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard on the bigotry of America. In neither story did the Post disclose to the reader that The Washington Post is an “Official Media Partner” of this play and the larger “Lincoln Legacy Project” to “create dialogue around the issues of diversity, equality and acceptance.”
Drama critic Celia Wren wrote a rave review on page 2 of the Style section headlined “In any space, Ford’s ‘Laramie Project’ is a thoughtful and provocative work.” When reached by NewsBusters, Washington Post spokesperson Kristine Coratti insisted that the partnership has no relationship to that unbiased newsroom:
The Washington Post kept up its crusade to attack Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Thursday’s paper. In a story covering a debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Cuccinelli as attorney general, reporters Frederick Kunkle and Michael Laris put only one candidate’s quote on the front page: the Democrat attacking Cuccinelli as an extremist and abuser of power.
The Post offered Mark Herring’s outburst, and then waited until inside the paper for his quote to fall apart:
The best-selling author Tom Clancy died at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of 66 after a brief illness. Our condolences go to Clancy’s family. Foxnews.com reports Clancy’s career was jump-started by President Reagan saying he couldn’t put down “The Hunt for Red October.” (Historian Tevi Troy confirms this.)
For liberals, Clancy’s name became synonymous with rah-rah patriotism and the military-industrial complex. Let's rewind to a Brent Baker item about a Clancy interview with Newsweek.com in 2003. Brian Braiker asked if patriotism in the U.S. creates hostility abroad. Clancy shot back that the most arrogant people in America work at the largest newspapers:
Leftist Charles Pierce, the chief political blogger of the men's magazine Esquire, is fulminating again now that the Tea Party is angering Obama with a shutdown.
Pierce, also a regular on the Stephanie Miller radio show and a panelist on the NPR game show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me," is best known to MRC fans for writing ten years ago in the Boston Globe Magazine that if Mary Jo Kopechne were alive instead of dying after Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, she would appreciate Kennedy's legislating in her dotage. But he thinks it's conservatives who are mentally deficient:
President Obama granted a 24-minute interview to NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep, the man who compared him to Abraham Lincoln in a softball 2012 interview with David Axelrod. On Tuesday's morning show, they spread the interview into three segments distributed throughout the show. The questions were mostly brief, neutral process questions about budget negotiations, but Inskeep did ask a tough question, from the Left, about rising income inequality on Obama's watch. (The full transcript is here.)
What really stood out was the part where Inskeep helpfully suggested to Obama that conservatives are scared that Obamacare will be implemented because it will become popular – which it certainly isn’t now – and then agreed it’s a deficit-shrinker:
Movie star, comedian, and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Rob Schnieder announced he was switching to the Republican Party in an interview with Anne-Marie Murrell of the website Politichicks.tv.
“The state of California is a mess,” Schneider declared, “and the supermajority of Democrats is not working. I’ve been a lifelong Democrat and I have to switch over because it no longer serves the people of this great state. We need to have a new voice. We need to have a new direction, and we need to break the supermajority. It isn’t helping with jobs.”