The Los Angeles Times reports that the Comcast-owned Weather Channel is starting to play hardball over demanding higher fees to air on the DirecTV satellite TV system.
Everyone needs their weather news to stay safe, they argue, so DirecTV is threatening public safety by not knuckling under. They're even pressing DirecTV viewers to write Congress and insure Comcast gets more profits for this "critical public safety resource," like your local TV station doesn't cover the weather:
After a string of high-profile embarrassments, MSNBC appears to have decided that perhaps letting the inmates run the asylum is not the best of ideas.
According to a piece out today by National Review, the low-rated cable news channel has assigned an executive to review the scripts of its shows before they are aired as a way of trying to prevent such premeditated disasters like Martin Bashir wishing for Sarah Palin to be defecated upon.
Conservative Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby has offered some New Year’s resolutions for the news business. He began by noting legendary columnist H. L. Mencken in his day at the Baltimore Sun said he was hard-pressed to to name five papers that conducted themselves as fairly and honestly “as the average nail factory.”
“If Mencken were alive today, would his opinion of the news business be less pungent? My guess is it would be even more so,” Jacoby guessed. “The journalistic sins and scams he was blasting a century ago are still being committed, only now the perps are more likely to have Ivy League degrees and to regard their occupation as a lofty profession.” But he offered some suggestions for self-improvement:
MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced this morning that 11 a.m. anchor Thomas Roberts would be getting a new year's promotion... to the 5:30 a.m. Eastern program, Way Too Early, the lead-in to Morning Joe. Roberts will vacate his present MSNBC Live gig but also be awarded a regular contributor slot on the Morning Joe panel.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and right in line with my career goals and aspirations,” Roberts was quoted in an MSNBC.com story, adding:
A recurring theme during the Obama presidency has been that, despite the distinct sense he gives of a man who sees himself as “above it all,” the president is a regular down-to-earth Joe. His efforts to connect with the hoi polloi have not always succeeded. His most recent attempt, enrolling in Obamacare, was sullied by the revelation that he didn’t actually dirty his own hands navigating the exchanges — his “staff” enrolled for him — and the gesture was purely symbolic anyway.
Following the suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty, his family appears to be reevaluating their relationship with the cable channel.
In a statement released on their Duck Commander company website, the family said it “cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm” and is currently in discussions with A&E about what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”
While many in the liberal media are cheering A&E's decision to suspend Phil Robertson from further filming of the network's Duck Dynasty reality show, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts suggested that the move by the network may not be "enough."
In a Facebook post, the openly gay MSNBC Live host posed to his fans the "big question" of the day (screen capture below page break):
Editor's Note: Dan Gainor, MRC's Vice President for Business and Culture addressed the recent suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson in the following statement to Variety today:
TV networks might claim they support free speech, but the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson shows that to be an utter lie. They only support free speech they agree with. Foul comments by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir take weeks to resolve, but utter your Christian beliefs in an inartful way and you are instantly suspended by A&E. This is just the latest example of media outlets bowing to the militant LGBT agenda that would remove all voices for traditional marriage from TV. [statement continues after page break]
As 2013 draws to a close, Fox News Channel continues to dominate cable television news programming, according to Nielsen data through Dec. 8.
In an article for Variety, Rick Kissell stated that Fox has averaged 1.774 million viewers in prime time -- down 13 percent from last year's presidential election-driven numbers -- while the Cable News Channel fell 15 percent, and MSNBC lost 29 percent.
More than one panelist opined that it's not just that journalists tend to be liberal on policy questions but that they live and work in environments which are socially liberal. "I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians [and] I don't know a lot of people in my kid's preschool who are pro-life," New York Times writer Mark Leibovich noted. Fellow Washington, D.C.-based journalist Jake Tapper picked up on that thread:
NewsBusters's parent company the Media Research Center (MRC) proudly announced the Best Notable Quotables of 2013: The 26th Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting earlier this morning, with former MSNBC host Martin Bashir taking home the “Quote of the Year” honor for a disgusting, misogynist rant aimed at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Not only did Bashir’s November 15 quote take the year’s top prize, he won by one of the largest margins in the 26-year history of Notable Quotables. Here's the offensive garbage which ultimately got him fired:
Getting a glimpse of the kind of real reporting that can occur on NBC Nightly News when Brian Williams isn't in the anchor chair, on Sunday's edition of the program, weekend anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that "official photo releases" from the Obama administration were "at the center of an escalating battle between the White House and the news media over access and image control." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker cited National Journal's Ron Fournier calling "images like these pure propaganda, arguing the Obama White House consistently blocks journalists from events they routinely covered in previous administrations." A sound bite followed of Fournier warning: "The White House is getting most of the control. That's not healthy for democracy."
Radio and TV blowhard Ed Schultz decided to take a break from his normal act of ranting against Republicans today by raging against some fellow liberals who had the temerity to criticize him and other MSNBC hosts for declining to publicly take the side of union members in a dispute they're having with the cable channel's parent company, NBC Universal.
Schultz, whose shtick is that he is just a working stiff looking out for people like him, lashed out at a report from Salon.com which mentioned him: “I become the target because I’m living good. I become the target because I have a platform,” he said on his radio show Friday. “They’re just out to take somebody down who’s got something they don’t have.”
Time's editor Nancy Gibbs -- who, last we checked, was a woman -- announced today that Pope Francis would be honored as the magazine's 2013 Person of the Year. This, of course, is the perfect excuse for the sort of folks who get their knickers twisted over these sorts of things to complain that, yet again, a man was named for the honor. As insult to injury for left-wing feminists, the man in question holds an office which only men can exercise, not to mention that Francis affirms the male-only priesthood is a settled matter.
As much as people on the left in this country and others rage against Rupert Murdoch and his many creations it is rather remarkable how most American conservatives, even professional political junkies, know or care very little about the man.
Beyond missing out on understanding how Murdoch’s life is a textbook case of the power and influence of media on policy, people on the right who aren’t very familiar with Murdoch are also missing out on a number of interesting stories.
To date, NBC/Comcast has made absolutely no apology to its viewers or to Gov. Sarah Palin for Martin Bashir’s vile screed on November 15 suggesting that she should be forced to consume excrement. Even following Bashir’s own apology and subsequent resignation, NBC/Comcast’s top executives have remained completely silent.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin offered only public support for Bashir, releasing a statement yesterday that said in part, “I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacted:
Call it a case of interview envy--in the context of an ongoing feud between two MSNBC hosts.
There has been bad blood between Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews for years, as here, here and here. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took the occasion of Chris Matthews' impending interview of President Obama to mock the way Matthews' on-air schedule has shrunk. In a particularly low blow, Scarborough even compared the Hardball host to Regis Philbin. View the video after the jump.
NB reader Gary Hall reports "It's not unusual to see a fake wrap front page at the LAT's - that's a full page ad that you peel off an throw away. Sometimes it's a half page that's wrapped around." (Washington Post readers often have a sticker advertisement pasted on the front page.)
But Wednesday's Los Angeles Times is dominated by an ad for the Disney cartoon movie "Frozen." This is the first time Gary remembers seeing this kind of promotion. (Visual here.)
The Washington Times and one of its former reporters, Audrey Hudson, sued the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.
In a motion filed in federal court, the plaintiffs asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.
"Look, folks, we love the filibuster when Democrats use it against Republicans, but really hate it when Republicans use it against Democrats."
If the New York Times editorial board were completely honest, that's exactly what they'd admit in print to their readers. Instead the Gray Lady keeps shifting her point of view on the parliamentary maneuver depending on whose ox is gored. On January 1, 1995, the Times gave the incoming Republican majority a new year's resolution: substantially trim back the filibuster to fall in line with the proposal of liberal Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin (emphases mine):
Armed with evidence compiled by NewsBusters senior editor and Media Research Center director of research Rich Noyes, MRC president Brent Bozell sent letters to members of the boards of directors of two prominent newspapers in Utah, demanding that they offer their readers fair and balanced coverage of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R). You may recall that both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News savaged the Tea Party conservative senator for his attempt to defund ObamaCare.
"Your paper can no longer claim that Sen. Lee’s strategy was out of proportion or radical," Bozell wrote Ellis Ivory, chairman of the board of directors for the Deseret News Publishing Company. "Already the nation is seeing ObamaCare for the disaster that it is" with "more than 3.5 million... losing existing health insurance plans as a result of ObamaCare," the MRC founder noted, adding:
Earlier today the Washington Post announced that it had hired National Review's Washington Editor Robert Costa. This marks perhaps the first time in decades that a top-tier "mainstream" news outlet has hired away a reporter from a right-leaning publication.
By contrast, left-leaning political magazines like the Nation, Mother Jones, or the New Republic have frequently been places where publications like the Post or the New York Times turn to for their reporter farm teams. Elite national media outlets have even taken somewhat frequently to hiring former Democratic political aides as their reporters as we've chronicled for years in our "Revolving Door" series.
Over the years, we’ve written a lot about long, slow ratings collapse of broadcast news. But ABC, CBS, and NBC aren’t the only ones experiencing this decline. As reported by David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, the ratings for PBS NewsHour show are almost in a freefall, even compared to their commercial competitors.
By its own count, NewsHour had 2.5 million viewers in 2005. This year the show is at 1.3 million. That’s an astonishing drop, nearly 50 percent, unmatched by any of the commercial broadcast evening news shows.
Bill Moyers, the former LBJ press secretary who has made a career of producing partisan Democratic television shows at taxpayers’ expense, announced Wednesday that his latest program, Moyers & Company will end in early 2014.
While Moyers has never openly admitted to his obvious partisanship, his announcement of the show’s cancellation reeks of left-wing identity politics masquerading as news:
The Tea Party has been blamed for many things by outrage-seeking liberals. Until today, no one apparently thought to blame the political movement for the failure of the US Postal Service to boost its revenues.
In a fund-raising email sent to its subscribers, the far-left political magazine The Nation, claimed it needed more money because the Tea Party was causing postal rates to go up.
Pepsi and pop stars don’t mix, according to one food police group.
The D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ran a full page “open letter” in Variety, telling pop singer Katy Perry to stop her work with Pepsi, on account of her influencing young fans. CSPI warned Perry that, “Soda companies are using you and other celebrities.” The letter then bashed her for not caring about her fans. ‘‘Drink Pepsi and you can be cool like Katy Perry’ is the takeaway message for your young fans. ‘Live for now’ – and worry about the health consequences later.” The letter ended by urging her not to “exploit that popularity by marketing a product that causes disease in your fans.”
CBS This Morning brought on New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson on Friday with all the honors, with Charlie Rose lauding her for leading her paper to four Pulitzer Prizes this year as “the first female” in the top job, and asking her how she’d put an “Abramson imprint” on the paper. But the interesting part came later.
Abramson agreed with her reporter David Sanger that the Obama administration is worse than the much-criticized Bush administration when it comes to cracking down on reporters seeking interviews with government sources. It was almost funny, as three different CBS hosts asked the question, like they could not accept the answer:
"With magazines, with movies, it’s always weird when things are targeted for young people yet they’re driven by people that are like 40 years too old. It can’t be like this 70 year old Jewish man that doesn’t leave his desk all day, telling me what the clubs want to hear."
So oddly said Miley Cyrus in an interview with Hunger TV Wednesday: