Media Business

By Mark Finkelstein | May 13, 2011 | 7:45 AM EDT

Rachel Maddow has engaged in a strange--sinister?--irony.  On her MSNBC show last night, one moment Maddow was condemning the late Senator Joe McCarthy for encouraging people to "turn in their friends" in the entertainment industry. The next moment, Maddow was urging her viewers to . . . turn in someone in the entertainment industry--the animator of Mike Huckabee's history series for kids.

Maddow devoted a sarcastic segment to mocking Huckabee's series of DVDs on American history.  Along the way she accused Huckabee of engaging in revisionist history. Her example was the way a Huckabee DVD described Ronald Reagan's testimony as a friendly witness at a McCarthy hearing, in his role as president of the Screen Actors Guild, as Reagan having "worked against Communism in Hollywood."

Maddow then said this: "We asked [Huckabee's production company] today who had done the animation on these DVDs.  They would not tell us.  If you know who brought this amazing animated sauce to life, please get in touch with us.  We would like to know."

View video after the jump.

By Lachlan Markay | May 11, 2011 | 7:42 PM EDT

Some traditional media outlets, faced with harsh economic realities in the digital age, have begun to turn ideologically inward in the hopes of shoring up support among an enthusiastic and sympathetic audience. The goal is to raise the floor of potential readers or viewers, even while the ceiling drops.

The New York Times, for its part, has decided to revamp its Sunday opinion section - currently called Week in Review, but which might change its name to Sunday Review - to place more emphasis on opinion content. The move may be rooted in the recognition that opinion sells. For the Times generally, it means a more overt, in-your-face liberalism.

By NB Staff | May 9, 2011 | 5:00 AM EDT

Sorry, Chris Matthews, maybe next year. 

You'd think the MSNBC "Hardball" host would be a shoo-in for the Media Research Center's annual "Obamagasm Award," but the 2011 prize went to Evan Thomas of Newsweek for declaring the president "stand[s] above the country, above — above the world. He’s sort of God." 

The "Obamagasm award" was just one of a handful of DisHonors mockingly awarded journalists and Hollywood lefties Saturday night at the 2011 Media Research Center Gala and DisHonors Awards. 

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, columnist and author Ann Coulter, radio host Neal Boortz, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Red State blogger Erick Erickson were among the conservative heavyweights participating in the festivities.

[For a lengthy excerpt of the Gala that includes Neal Boortz announcing the Obamagasm Award nominees, click play on the first embedded video below the page break]

By Tom Blumer | May 3, 2011 | 7:28 PM EDT

How convenient. Via Editor and Publisher, the newspaper industry's Audit Bureau of Circulations, in issuing its March 31, 2011 circulation figures, tells us we shouldn't try to compare this year's numbers to last year's:

Because of the new and redefined categories of circulation on this FAS-FAX report, ABC recommends not making any direct comparisons of March 2011 data to prior audit periods.

As readers will see, if the ABC was really interested in enabling us to make apples-to-apples comparisons, it could have done so with appropriate definitional caveats. But it didn't; instead, it revised its definition of "total circulation" this year without disclosing the impact of the switch.

I've made the comparisons where possible for daily editions anyway, and they follow after the jump (original info links: March 31, 2011; March 31, 2010; Boston Globe data obtained here):

By Mark Finkelstein | April 30, 2011 | 7:20 AM EDT

Even at MSNBC, which gets crushed of course by Fox News in every prime-time slot, Cenk Uygur manages to come in dead last in ratings among his liberal peers.  

So when Cenk claims that he doesn't want to cover Donald Trump but is forced to do so by The Donald's popularity, the baloney-meter starts screaming. Uygur opened his show last evening with a long segment on Trump, all the while apologizing to his audience for doing so. 

View video after the jump.

By Brent Bozell | April 28, 2011 | 3:26 PM EDT

The votes are in and CBS, do we have a treat for you.

We received nearly 1,800 responses from our Facebook fans proposing who you should hire to replace Katie Couric. Ten people were recommended most frequently, listed below the page break.

Other entertaining suggestions include:

By Brent Bozell | April 27, 2011 | 10:48 AM EDT

Rumor has it that CBS News is going to name Scott Pelley as Couric's successor. But what's the rush? You've been in last place for well over a decade. Another few days won't matter. Do not make (another) rash, premature, impulsive decision. Vet all your options – especially when the MRC’s 500,000 members are coming to the rescue.

I'm pleased to announce that the Media Research Center has launched a national search committee and is soliciting recommendations for the next CBS Evening News anchor.

By NB Staff | April 26, 2011 | 4:43 PM EDT

It's now official.

Katie Couric is leaving the HMS "Evening News" on a life raft, having skillfully piloted the newscast to lower ratings depths during her time at the helm.

Equally liberal "60 Minutes" co-host Scott Pelley will likely take the conn, the New York Daily News is reporting:

By Ken Shepherd | April 25, 2011 | 12:41 PM EDT

Until now, MSNBC's "Lean Forward" ad campaign had largely avoided wearing the network's leftward slant as a badge of pride. Sure, there were hints here and there that "Lean Forward" really means "left-leaning," but the older ads were subtle compared to the latest batch which beat you over the head with their liberal take on major political issues.

For example, you can expect to see MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell in this spot lamenting that ObamaCare didn't go far enough to the Left:


By Ken Shepherd | April 15, 2011 | 5:16 PM EDT

Yesterday afternoon, the Bloomberg financial news service picked up on a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that U.S. companies pay the sixth highest effective corporate tax rates in the world.

"The tax rate for the largest U.S. companies between 2006 and 2009 was 27.7 percent, compared with a non-U.S. average of 19.5 percent, according to the study," reporter Richard Rubin noted. "Excluding the U.S., companies based in industrialized countries had an average rate of 22.6 percent."

But when the Washington Post picked up the story, it condensed the 15-paragraph Bloomberg story to a two-sentence squib on the Economy & Business page on A17 (see screencap of print edition PDF below):

By Jason Mattera | April 12, 2011 | 4:24 PM EDT

The following is cross-posted from Human Events, where Mattera serves as editor.

Christian conservatives often decry the silencing of faith by major network television. 

But Sunday night on CBS’ hit reality TV series “Undercover Boss,” people of faith had their breath taken away by what they witnessed, sparking a Facebook and Twitter avalanche of support and praise. 

On Facebook, Kini Se remarked, “Loved the episode of 'Undercover Boss' last night.  It is the BEST one yet.  It is great to see you praising the Lord on National television.  The entire time, I had tears running down my face.  It was real, it was true and inspirational.  God bless you and your family.” 

By Ken Shepherd | April 7, 2011 | 4:00 PM EDT

On Monday evening, the AP reported that a suspicious package destined for Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) Washington congressional office was intercepted at an off-site mail facility and "contained a pig's foot and a note laced with several anti-Semitic references, according to a person with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because of the ongoing police investigation."

King, the AP noted, is "[t]he Republican congressman [who] chairs the House Homeland Security panel which held hearings last month on Islamic radicalization."

But a search of Nexis reveals that major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post failed to report the story. The same appears to be true of the three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC.'s "The Note" blog, however, did report the story Monday evening.