Media Business

By Kyle Drennen | November 30, 2010 | 2:42 PM EST

A major staff shakeup has occurred on the CBS Early Show. Starting January 3, current co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, along with weatherman Dave Price, will all be replaced. Saturday Early Show co-host Chris Wragge and the broadcast's current news reader Erica Hill will take over for Smith and Rodriguez, while former ABC weather person Marysol Castro will take the place of Price.

Associated Press television writer David Bauder reported the changes on Tuesday, noting: "CBS News is completely overhauling 'The Early Show' to give the broadcast team a fresh look." The network morning show has long trailed in the ratings, consistently coming in a distant third compared to NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America.

By Mark Finkelstein | November 26, 2010 | 10:40 AM EST

Looks like an angel; strong as the devil . . .

Hey, it's the Friday after Thanksgiving, a classically slow news day.  So let's have some fun. For months I've been fascinated by the TV commercial for DirectTV. The focus is a man we instantly understand to be a Russian billionaire businessman/mobster. "Opulence: I has it. I like the best" he explains, as the commercial opens.  And sure enough, he's surrounded by the flashiest things—and women—that money can buy.  

With no Morning Joe to bust today, I was catching up on some House episodes I'd DVR'ed, and during an October number, up popped the commercial.  Just for fun, I decided to play it in slow motion, to see if there were interesting details I might have missed. Right away, I noticed for the first time that in the background of the opening shot, you see live dogs playing poker, in a re-creation of the famous poster.

But it was an image toward the end that really caught my attention.  One of the two women seated on the sofa with our mobster passes him a jewel-encrusted TV remote on a tray.  But the remote is sitting on a pyramid of . . . six gold bars. Wait a second, I thought.  Aren't gold bars very heavy?  View video and stills after the jump.


By NB Staff | November 22, 2010 | 12:27 PM EST

Appearing in studio on the November 20 edition of "Fox & Friends Saturday," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted the one year anniversary of the ClimateGate scandal.

During one year of coverage, the three broadcast networks aired just 12 stories, an average of one per month, Bozell noted. What's more, the Media Research Center founder added, "when they do cover [ClimateGate], they dismiss" the gravity of the scandal or "use it as a way to buck up their original argument" about global warming.

For the full interview, check out the embedded video below the page break.

By NB Staff | November 22, 2010 | 12:09 PM EST

Katie Couric's boosterism of "moderate Republican" Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and NPR's cheap shot at former President George W. Bush's recovery from alcoholism were just two of the "Media Mash" topics NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed on the November 20 edition of "Hannity."

"When will you ever hear the word 'liberal' attached to a Republican?" Bozell asked, noting that Murkowski is in fact a liberal Republican.

"In eight years, she was on [CBS] one time. In the last week, she's been on there twice," the Media Research Center president noted after viewing a clip of CBS "Evening News" Katie Couric's November 15 interview with the Alaska senator.

By NB Staff | November 17, 2010 | 11:04 AM EST

Upon receiving the Kennedy Center's Mark Train Prize for American Humor on November 9, comedian Tina Fey trashed Sarah Palin in her acceptance speech.

By the time PBS broadcast the taped ceremony, the taxpayer-subsidized network had edited out some of Fey's harsher jokes that maligned the former Alaska governor.

NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell appeared in studio on today's "Fox & Friends" to address the controversy, lauding PBS for doing the right thing by making those edits.

By Tim Graham | November 16, 2010 | 8:15 AM EST

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is a devout liberal, including on contentious social issues like abortion and homosexuality. But on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein began a story on Archbishop Donald Wuerl's elevation to Cardinal at the Vatican like this:

The archbishop's two brothers will be there. So will a rabbi he knows from Pittsburgh, the D.C. barber who cuts his hair and the fast-talking (and devoutly Catholic) television commentator Chris Matthews.

Do "devout" Catholics lecture their bishops that they should get their churchy noses out of our legislating? Boorstein apparently missed Matthews lecturing the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, in defense of Rep. Patrick Kennedy's pro-abortion politics on "Hardball" last November.

By Ken Shepherd | November 15, 2010 | 3:45 PM EST

An Oxford University think tank is taking the media to task for not doing more to whip up a frenzy about global warming.

Apparently the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism crunched the numbers and found that "[l]ess than 10 percent of the news articles written about last year's climate summit in Copenhagen dealt primarily with the science of climate change."

The study lamented the attention that was given to the ClimateGate scandal.

By Kyle Drennen | November 12, 2010 | 5:33 PM EST

On her website, The Daily Beast, on Thursday, editor-in-chief Tina Brown joyously announced the "wedding" of the left-leaning blog with the equally liberal Newsweek magazine: "Some weddings take longer to plan than others. The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties."

Brown touted how she would now serve as editor-in-chief for both publications. She expressed her desire to oversee the "great magazine's revival" and praised it for being "lively" and "well-informed." Brown should fit in well as head of the liberal magazine given her own history of left-wing advocacy.

By Ken Shepherd | November 11, 2010 | 6:15 PM EST

"Think of a caged rat, a cornered rat. What does a cornered rat do? It instinctively goes for the jugular. That's where the media are going right now," following the November 2 elections, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Ernest Istook in a radio interview.

The  Media Research Center founder appeared by telephone on the November 11 edition of Bill Bennett's Morning in America, where Istook was substitute hosting.

[Link to audio below page break]

By Ken Shepherd | November 11, 2010 | 3:53 PM EST

According to Newsweek's Allison Samuels, American TV audiences are not "ready for 'super-negros' on the small screen."

Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents:

By Brent Bozell | November 5, 2010 | 4:33 PM EDT

Editor's Note: MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement in reaction to news that MSNBC had suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann "indefinitely" for donating to three Democratic candidates in violation of NBC's policy. In October, Olbermann had blasted political donations from Fox News owner News Corp, slamming Fox as "a media outlet that has now put its money where everybody has known its mouth has always been."

Keith Olbermann is officially the Worst Hypocrite in the World. He rails about a ‘national cable news outlet’ that ‘starts to donate to partisan groups of one party,’ then does exactly that.

But it begs a bigger questions: why did it take NBC so long? This man has been using his perch as a newsman at MSNBC to promote a radical left-wing and hate-filled agenda for years. And they fire him over three contributions? NBC needs to review its own policies.”

(Video below page break)

By Ken Shepherd | November 1, 2010 | 3:10 PM EDT

Although the Rally to Restore Sanity definitely had a decidedly liberal tinge to it, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart did his level best to ensure his official message was that of "a pox on both your houses" to raised voices on the Right and Left in cable news media.

Of course the thin-skinned host of MSNBC's "Countdown"  won't have any of it, leaving liberal fans of both Stewart and Olbermann torn between the two.

For his part, equally thin-skinned and mercurial Joe Klein sided with Stewart in a Swampland blog post at today: