Media Business

By Ken Shepherd | May 28, 2013 | 6:46 PM EDT

Last Tuesday, the Washington Post's Walter Pincus did his level best to dutifully defend the Obama/Holder DOJ's handling of the Associated Press phone records subpoena. Ol' Walt is back at it again this week, chastising the media for "circling the wagons" around Fox News correspondent James Rosen, who was virtually treated like a criminal by the Justice Department when he was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a leak investigation.

"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.

By Tim Graham | May 16, 2013 | 10:33 PM EDT

Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter described what happened at the annual Comcast shareholders meeting in Philadelphia when Tea Party conservatives stood up to ask about the dramatic left-wing slant of MSNBC.

On the webcast of the meeting, Tom Borelli asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "Why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary?"

By Liz Thatcher | May 14, 2013 | 1:21 PM EDT

“Assault on Wall Street,” directed by Uwe Boll and starring Dominic Purcell, takes the liberal agenda to a whole new level. Every possible liberal ideal – anti-gun, anti-capitalism, the evils of health insurance companies, crazy gun supporters – is depicted in this 1 hour and 39 minute movie, which was released on May 10 in limited theaters and on Amazon instant video.

Within the first ten minutes, viewers were introduced to evil Wall Street executive Jeremy Stancroft (John Heard) saying, “Our responsibility begins and ends with our partners and shareholders and that is it.”

By Matthew Sheffield | May 10, 2013 | 11:38 AM EDT

CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield and HLN anchor Nancy Grace gave eagle-eyed viewers some mild laughs following yesterday's verdict in the Jodi Arias trial as they appeared in a split-screen setup talking via satellite uplink even though they were seated right next to each other.

The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett and Philip Bump caught the "Anchorman"-esque bit of comedy and documented it with several animated GIF images showing various vehicles passing in the background from each anchor's camera.

By Ken Shepherd | May 7, 2013 | 5:52 PM EDT

How apropos that in the week before Mother's Day, the Lean Forward network is announcing hires for its website who have ties to Mother Jones, the far-left magazine that blessed the journalistic world with David Corn, himself a fixture at MSNBC as a frequent contributor.

"MSNBC.com is staffing up ahead of a major relaunch later this year," TVNewser's Alex Weprin reported last night. "The relaunched site will focus on the world of politics and the personalities that populate MSNBC’s programming. There will also, however, be plenty of political news and information."

By Cal Thomas | May 6, 2013 | 7:57 PM EDT

"Mainstream media" are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company's eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.

When Warren Buffett spent $344 million to purchase 28 newspapers, there were mostly sighs of relief from journalists glad to keep their jobs. However, reaction to reports of the Koch brothers' interest in buying the Tribune papers was quite different. Charles and David Koch, you see, are conservative libertarians, not liberals. Will the Kochs, gasp, force their conservatism on readers? Will they sully journalism's good name? Truth is, no one knows what the Kochs plan to do.

By Ken Shepherd | May 6, 2013 | 12:58 PM EDT

Former CNN president Jon Klein and former NBC News president Steve Capus are reportedly among the finalists to take the helm of Al Jazeera America.

"One of the biggest jobs in media is a new position and a high-risk opportunity: running Al Jazeera America," Sharon Waxman of TheWrap.com reported this morning (emphasis mine):

By Matthew Sheffield | May 3, 2013 | 5:12 PM EDT

Integrity in journalism is not only optional, being dishonest is actually commendable. That was the message sent last night by the American Society of Magazine Editors as it gave one of its highly coveted National Magazine Awards to Mother Jones, the far-left publication which published a surreptitiously recorded video of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to a Florida fund-raiser in 2012.

The Romney speech, in which he made his infamous reference to “47 percent” of Americans being willing to support President Obama because of their dependence on the welfare state, was secretly recorded by a hotel bartender and then released subsequently by Mother Jones.

By Ken Shepherd | May 3, 2013 | 4:16 PM EDT

Try as they might, the liberal sports media's efforts to shame the Washington Redskins into ditching their team name out of political correctness concerns hasn't significantly moved public opinion. A brand new Associated Press-GfK poll found 79 percent of respondents favored keeping the name.

Of course in his story on the poll, AP's Ben Nuckols weighted his piece heavily with Skins detractors, including former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. "There’s a derogatory name for every ethnic group in America, and we shouldn’t be using those words," the Colorado Republican complained. "We probably haven’t gotten our message out as well as it should be gotten out."

By Randy Hall | May 2, 2013 | 11:14 PM EDT

When MSNBC announced in March that Ed Schultz's weeknight program, “The Ed Show,” was being replaced by “All In,” which is hosted by 34-year-old Chris Hayes, the executives of the "Lean Forward" network hoped that the new hour-long program would hold onto the channel's liberal audience and even draw in younger viewers.

Instead, the ratings for Hayes' broadcasts in April were down 18 percent in total viewers from that month's numbers in 2012 for “Ed,” and it appears that “All In” is also dragging down the viewership for “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which was off by seven percent from its ratings during that period a year ago, and “The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell,” which also fell eight percent in a year-to-year comparison.

By Tim Graham | May 2, 2013 | 6:43 PM EDT

Politico’s Dylan Byers reported “The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins.” Kurtz erred in suggesting Collins hadn’t been forthcoming about his fiancee, even though he discussed her on both ABC and in the Sports Illustrated cover story that made “history.” Kurtz’s story was retracted on Thursday.

On top of Kurtz losing his $300,000-a-year Beast gig (which started in October of 2010), TV Newser reported “A source at CNN tells TVNewser that Kurtz’s current deal with the cable channel will likely be his last.” The New York Times had a source claiming it wasn't just a Collins thing:

By NB Staff | May 1, 2013 | 3:17 PM EDT

"If you're going to say that a known conservative entity like the Koch brothers should not be getting into the business of dictating what a news operation should do, what does that tell you about Warren Buffett," or the Sulzburger or Graham families behind the New York Times and Washington Post respectively, Brent Bozell argued on the April 30 edition of CNBC's Kudlow Report. Bozell also noted the vast sums of money leftist billionaire George Soros pumps into media outlets, while the liberal media raise no concerns about him somehow corrupting journalism with ideological influence.

The NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder was on the program opposite Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, who last week offered up an uncharacteristically blustery column -- headlined "How the L.A. Times can stop the Kochs" -- in which Pearlstein coached Times reporters to threaten to quite en masse rather than work for libertarian publishers. [To watch the full segment, click play on the embedded video below the page break]