Media Business

By Ken Shepherd | December 19, 2013 | 6:23 PM EST

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):

By Dan Gainor | December 19, 2013 | 4:50 PM EST

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]

By Randy Hall | December 19, 2013 | 5:30 AM EST

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.

By Ken Shepherd | December 18, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST

"Top journalists from The New York Times, NBC News and CNN acknowledged Wednesday that, generally speaking, the national media has a liberal bias," Politico's media reporter Dylan Byers noted in a December 18 post recapping a Politico Playbook breakfast discussion held earlier on Wednesday morning.

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:

By NB Staff | December 18, 2013 | 11:53 AM EST

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:

By Kyle Drennen | December 17, 2013 | 6:00 PM EST

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."

By Matthew Sheffield | December 17, 2013 | 2:10 AM EST

Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee will soon be joining the world of online news publishing with a new venture called the Huckabee Post.

The move comes shortly after the former Republican presidential candidate announced he was ending his nationally syndicated radio show. The announcement was confirmed by Huckabee's son yesterday. Mediaite was the first to report the story, however.

By Matthew Sheffield | December 13, 2013 | 5:29 PM EST

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.”

By Ken Shepherd | December 11, 2013 | 1:27 PM EST

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.

For some of the predictable outrage, we turn to Mashable Associate Managing Editor Amanda Wills, who, at least, did refrain from making any swipes at the Church for its stance on women priests (emphases mine):

By Matthew Sheffield | December 8, 2013 | 2:30 AM EST

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.

By NB Staff | December 5, 2013 | 12:29 PM EST

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:

By Mark Finkelstein | December 4, 2013 | 8:26 AM EST

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.