The news that Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera America for millions of dollars owed him from the purchase of his Current TV network rocked the media world last week. After all, who knew Al Jazeera America still existed?
But AJA is still there (probably), snug in the old Current TV channel slot on your cable guide. It’s just that you’re not watching. Neither is anyone else.
The Poynter Institute, which keeps an eye on all things journalistic, is maintaining a list of media people and institutions who have decided they are so enraged by the idea of calling the Washington Redskins the …well, you know..….that they will no longer participate in this heinous practice.
During a simulcast of NBC's Today and Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Tuesday, the outspoken America's Got Talent host suggested a way for the network morning show to boost its ratings: "You know, Savannah, it would be great for the ratings if you had the baby and then you had postpartum depression....a lot of women will relate to that. Matt could do a three-piece set on that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
With co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer sitting in Stern's studio, he took the joke even further: "Wouldn't it be great? Let me spell out my scenario. Savannah has the baby. Gorgeous baby, healthy baby, we know that....Savannah then has postpartum depression, comes back to the Today show, kills Matt on camera....Wouldn't that be amazing?"
Following the stunning revelation last month that NBC News had paid special correspondent Chelsea Clinton a starting annual salary of $600,000, on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the former first daughter was also getting paid $75,000 per appearance...given to the Clinton Foundation. Conflict of interest anyone?
Clinton spokesman Kamyl Bazbaz assured the Times that "100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation." So the money goes back into the foundation run by her and her family.
Yesterday 39 representatives from various journalist trade groups, coordinated by the Society of Professional Journalists, shot off an open letter to President Obama criticizing the "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies" that has occurred on his watch. [h/t Washington Examiner]
"The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring 'a new era of openness' to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about," the missive lamented, going on to detail a few examples before "ask[ing] that you issue a clear directive telling federal employees they’re not only free to answer questions from reporters and the public, but actually encouraged to do so" and, moreover to:
"Imagine after Katrina that reporters are getting ready to go to New Orleans, and the Bush administration says to reporters, now one thing: no recording devices, no questions, no interacting with staff or children, no photos, and no interviews, but other than that you can cover Katrina," MRC president Brent Bozell noted on this afternoon's Your World with Neil Cavuto. He observed that the media's response would be that it was "fascistic" to impose such "demands on the press." Fast forward to now with the Obama administration slapping these sort of restrictions on the media on the U.S. border with Mexico, and the press are taking it lying down rather than telling "the Obama administration to go fly a kite."
"This is an administration that is becoming unglued.... They are reacting with panic the way the Chicago machine reacts where they're just trying to ram down the throats of the public the rules as they see fit," Bozell argued, adding "they are breaking the Constitution at every level. This seems to be the First Amendment that's threatened by these people." [watch the full segment by pressing play on the embed below the page break]
Shortly after news broke on Wednesday that Diane Sawyer would step down as anchor of ABC's World News and be replaced by David Muir, Temple University journalism professor Karen Turner ranted to MediaBistro's TVNewser blog: "In this growing multicultural nation, it's unconscionable that as of September three white men will lead their respective networks."
It would have been shocking if the abortion comedy Obvious Child hadn’t been celebrated on Melissa Harris-Perry’s weekend show on MSNBC. But the spin on Sunday morning’s program could not have been expected.
“MHP” wanted to know if abortion opponents just couldn’t handle the uncomfortable truth about women’s sexuality and how women’s bodies operate. She asked Obvious filmmaker Gillian Robespierre if her abortion comedy could be a good educational “tool” for mothers to share with their daughters as they mature, and the answer led to the term “laminated uterus.” (Video below)
"In a recent Salon article, Adam Carolla said the gay mafia is in fact, real. Well Adam, there goes your chance to ever win a Tony Award.... A former CNN employee says he was fired for being gay. And today, an employee of the Bravo network was fired for NOT being gay."
A group of prominent journalists -- including former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie -- met yesterday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder but walked away from the meeting disappointed that the Obama administration's top cop won't amend vague Justice Department guidelines which, they argue, make it far too easy for the administration to hound a reporter with the threat of criminal prosecution for protecting his or her sources in a leak investigation.
Yet in covering the story, Post editors shoved Paul Farhi's reporting on the matter to the front page of Style, rather than the A-section, and slapped on a yawn-inducing headline guaranteed to entice only the wonkiest of readers: "Media group, Holder meet on leak cases." "U.S. rules on warrants and subpoenas targeting reporters are challenged," noted the subheader. According to Farhi, the group of journalists want to see DOJ policy amended so that the attorney general must personally get involved in a subpoena request for a journalist's records (emphasis mine):
Is “The Gray Lady” that way because the sexist owners of The New York Times won’t pay her enough for a proper dye job? This and other delightfully schadenfreude-alicious questions are worth pondering now that the paper has “unexpectedly” fired executive editor Jill Abramson on May 14.
Abramson stepped into that role on September 2011, becoming the first female executive edtior at the Times, according to AdWeek. And according to several reports at least part of the reason was because she made a fuss about being paid less than her predecessor.
One minute the liberal media will tell you that Hillary Clinton is a tough-as-nails politician and stateswoman who is eminently qualified for the White House and in the next the same folks are in high dudgeon about how the former secretary of state is the target of mean ol' "sexist" and "ageist" Republicans.
Witness msnbc.com's Aliyah Frumin riding valiantly to the rescue of the poor sexagenarian damsel in distress/grandmother-to-be. "When it comes to conservative criticism of the Clintons, not even Chelsea’s unborn child is immune," Frumin laments, citing a New York Post columnist as her evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy to rain on Grandma Hillary's 2016 parade:
On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported that NBC, ABC, and CBS turned down a White House request for primetime coverage of a presidential address on Tuesday to spike the football on ObamaCare reaching the seven million enrollment mark. Instead, the President was forced to settle for an afternoon pep rally in the Rose Garden which only ABC and NBC covered live.
These were the same networks that fretted over Republicans not agreeing to let Obama give a primetime campaign speech to Congress at the same time as a Republican presidential primary debate in 2011.
How bad are things for Meet The Press? The once-dominant Sunday show has fallen into a distant third place. And now Mika Brzezinski has resorted to an embarrassing attempt to revive her network's failing patient.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika managed to mention Meet The Press by name no fewer than eight times in one segment. Her argument was that MTP is the go-to place for politicians wanting to make news, and that Chris Christie had blown it by not appearing yesterday, sending two surrogates instead. View the video after the jump.
He may call himself a "Bernie Goldberg conservative" and a "Juan Williams liberal" but in truth, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas is simply "a damn fool" who "has abused [his] role" on the network's airwaves to trash the constitutional right of "we the people" to keep and bear arms, syndicated radio host Mark Levin argued on his March 10 program.
Yesterday I noted how Washington Post TV columnist Rachel Lubitz made the debut of Ronan Farrow's eponymous afternoon program on MSNBC a "TV Highlight" for the day.
The Post Style section's mission to convince us that we should care about the fair-haired wunderkind -- ermahgerd, he graduated from Yale Law at 21!!!! -- continues apace today with staffer Emily Yahr's mini-bio/timeline, which reads at points like crush-obsessed entries in a diary (emphasis mine):
The staunchly leftist anti-gun Brit is, of course, a frequent target of our criticism and he's still on our radar whether or not he remains with the network. You can read our archive of Morgan's bias by clicking here. Feel free to share your thoughts on the demise of the former tabloid editor's low-rated program in the comments section.
As much as MSNBC's left-wing prime time hosts portray themselves to be on the side of the workers, none of the anchors have responded to 10,000 petitions delivered to the network on Thursday from NBC writers and producers demanding more workplace rights.
Talking to TVNewser, Writers Guild of America East communications director Jason Gordon pointed out the hypocrisy of the liberal channel: "The company can't have it both ways – presenting the strong, progressive voices of the MSNBC hosts while at the same time depriving the [NBCUniversal] Peacock [Productions] employees of their own voices on the job."
Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.
In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
"I was not aware of senators, liberal senators, suggesting to the networks that they make a big deal out of global warming, climate change..... When did they do that?" Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney asked guest Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (MRC), on his February 18 program.
"Absolutely. A letter was sent to the heads of all the networks to say that they weren't doing a good enough job promoting global warming," Bozell informed the Varney & Co. audience. "Imagine if a Republican caucus were to say to the networks" that they were not adequately "promoting the right-to-life position" or "tax cuts or covering ObamaCare"? Most certainly they wouldn't jump into action on those matters the same way they did on Sunday by flogging climate change, Bozell argued. [watch the full segment in the embed below the page break]
Yesterday a federal district judge in Virginia invalidated the state's constitutional provision defining marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. The judge immediately stayed her decision until such time as an appeals panel could affirm or reverse it, but naturally the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- all covered the development today on their respective morning programs.
But another federal court, this one in San Francisco and infamous for its leftist leanings, handed down another ruling Thursday which passed unreported onthe Friday editions of Today, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning. That decision was one striking down California's overly-restrictive concealed-carry gun law. Reported Bob Egelko of SFGate.com (h/t Human Events; emphasis mine):
NPR is branding itself for Valentine's Day with social-media Valentine's Day messages. After some seriously lame puns with names of NPR personalities, the most liberal-friendly one states "Make my world more just, verdant, and peaceful."
For NPR regulars, this is a wisecrack about the "underwriting announcement" of the leftist John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, where the announcer says on a very regular basis they are "committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world" at macfound.org.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report this morning projecting among other things, that 2.5 million Americans will drop out of full-time work thanks to ObamaCare. We will, of course, track how the broadcast networks cover this story, but if the news websites for ABC, CBS, and NBC are any indication, they will downplay and/or heavily spin this development.
For its part, for example, ABCNews.com teased a February 4 AP story with the headline "Modest Drop in Full-Time Work Seen From Health Law" in their "latest news" sidebar. By contrast, CBSNews.com was front and center with the CBO story, their teaser headline declaring, "New report stokes debate on Obamacare, jobs" [see screen captures below page break]
Update/Clarification:Whitaker erroneously described the interview as the unedited version of the interview done on the FOX broadcast network. It is, in fact, a second interview which was taped subsequent to the live aired interview on Sunday. || Just how in the tank is MSNBC for Barack Obama? To the extent that the president hectoring Fox News's Bill O'Reilly for being "unfair" is considered news worthy of top billing on the network's website. [see screen capture below page break]
"Obama blasts O'Reilly in extended interview," cheers the teaser headline for the first item in the lightbox at msnbc.com this morning. Clicking on the link takes you to Morgan Whitaker's 19-paragraph summary of the content of the full, unedited interview which O'Reilly taped prior to the Super Bowl. Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine):
Shortly after Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called on MSNBC's president to personally apologize and "take corrective action" for an offensive statement posted to the liberal network's Twitter feed which claimed that conservative people hate interracial families, the TV executive appears to have done just that.
"The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged it was offensive and wrong, apologized and deleted it," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a press release that was read aloud on "The Cycle."
Tuesday was a big day over at the Washington Post with the announcement of the departure of one blogger and the bringing in of another. Left-wing blogger Ezra Klein who had been overseeing a supposedly ideologically neutral section of the paper’s website called “Wonkblog” will no longer be working with the Post. Supposedly, he was in a dispute with the paper’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, over some large-scale online project for which he wanted funding.
Joining the paper will be the blogging team put together by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, known in the web world for his libertarian-conservative political views and his love of data and free speech. Unlike Klein, however, Volokh and his co-bloggers will not make the pretense that their ruminations are utterly devoid of ideological thinking.
I agree with MSNBC. I find it hard to believe that Gov. Chris Christie knew nothing about his staff's plotting a massive traffic jam on the ramp to the George Washington Bridge for political retribution.
On the other hand, I also find it hard to believe that Obama didn't know his own IRS was auditing his political enemies. And I find it hard to believe that Obama didn't know you wouldn't be able to keep your doctor under Obamacare. But most of all, I find it hard to believe that MSNBC host Al Sharpton didn't know Tawana Brawley was lying when she claimed to have been gang-raped by rogue cops on the Wappingers Falls, N.Y., police force.
The Newsroom, HBO’s low-rated series about a fictional television news channel will end after its third season, the premium cable channel announced Monday.
Besides struggling to get viewers, the Aaron Sorkin drama was widely criticized as being unrealistic and pompous. The show also was notable for its very liberal political slant and incredible lack of self-awareness about that slant. Throughout its brief time on the air, the show repeatedly denounced a lack of civility on cable television while also frequently slamming conservatives.