Many people might not be familiar with Denver, Colorado’s most popular radio talk show host Mike Rosen. Regardless, he wrote an op-ed in Friday’s Rocky Mountain News which was an open letter to CBS president Sean McManus (hat tip to TVNewser, emphasis mine throughout):
Unfortunately, CBS News has been mired in last place behind NBC and ABC in recent years. Your response has been to hire Katie Couric to "perk up" your evening newscast. That was a mistake. Although she scored some good ratings numbers during her first week, this was likely a flash-in-the-pan reaction to a big promotional campaign and viewer curiosity. In the November sweeps, she's settled into a "distant third," as Variety recently phrased it.
Fascinated? Well, here was the marvelous payoff pitch:
Rather can't have it both ways. If he says FOX News gets White House talking points, he'd better be able to back it up. And so far, he can't, no matter how many interviews he does with CNN. Mr. Rather is welcome here to explain himself, but he should have done that already.
As he introduced Malkin, O’Reilly made his case even stronger:
Regret the Error, a blog
corrections has released its annual
list of funniest mistakes, apologies, frauds, hoaxes, and
embarrassments perpetrated by and on the self-styled arbiters of the truth.
Some of my favorites:
Reuters, the news agency that brought you the fraudulent
Adnan Hajj, also makes real mistakes. In an Oct. 25 story about bees,
it mistakenly said that Queen Elizabeth has "10 times the life
expectancy of workers and lays 2,000 eggs a day."
In the dubious sources category: "Don Spille -- A man who
told the Tallahassee Democrat that he lost
everything in Katrina – including his father. Ed Spille Sr.,
father, later contacted the newspaper to disagree. 'I might be dead to
him,' he said. 'At 80 years old, I’m dead to a lot of
student newspaper at Purdue University had a real scoop about Supreme
Court justice Samuel Alito during his nomination process: "His motive
for shooting John Paul in the abdomen on May 13, 1981, remains
unclear," the paper asserted in a caption of Alito being sworn in at a hearing.
One of the most persistent tics of the passive-aggressive press is its denials of its power, that it doesn't run the country, or at least try to run the country. All that journalism-school boilerplate about how the media is merely a watchdog, or like it's the BASF of democracy, you know, it doesn't make everything, it just makes the secret ingredient that makes everything better? Baloney. Some of us signed up for the media-criticism business because the media want to pretend they're not major players in the political process that make every other actor in the political system try to figure out how to capture the warm glow of media adulation, or at least avoid it like an obstacle course. So when Dow Jones Chairman Peter Kann wrote an editorial on the press (see it over on his company's Opinion Journal), I liked the end the best:
Is Keith Olbermann just a modern-day reincarnation of the crazed anchorman depicted in the 1976 Academy Award-winning film “Network?” In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article published Tuesday, KO said no (emphasis mine throughout): “‘I am not Peter Finch walking around the streets of New York in my pajamas as Howard Beale muttering to myself and saying, 'I must bear my witness.' It's not like that.’"
One NewsBusters’ contributing editor didn’t agree with Olby’s position:
“My concern is that people are mistaking his show for real news," said Noel Sheppard, a blogger with NewsBusters.Org, a Web site founded by conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell. "But there's no question he is indeed Howard Beale. The whole Paddy Chayevsky [sic] concept in 'Network' was that news had to be entertaining. You had the anchorman flip out one day, and the ratings exploded. The same is going on with Keith Olbermann, who really does get into a snit like Beale did."
As a little background, the film “Network” was based on a fictitious media outlet whose ratings were doing very poorly, in particular, its news division.
Joining an undistinguished list of Hollywoodans biting the hand that feeds them, actress Gwyneth Paltrow declared on Saturday that she prefers the British to her own countrymen, slamming the civility and intellectual capacity of all us uncultured Americanos. As reported by Agence France Presse (hat tip to Drudge, emphasis mine throughout):
Oscar-winning US actressGwyneth Paltrow feels dinner talk is far more interesting in her adopted homeland Britain than back in her native country.
"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner," she told "NS," the weekend magazine supplement of daily Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias on Saturday.
Isn’t that special? Not as capitalistic! Dontcha love all the Hollywoodans that complain about American capitalism as they charge movie producers tens of millions of dollars for four months work? Regardless of the oozing hypocricy, her worst insults were yet to come:
In traditional union style, the employees of the Inquirer and the Daily News are up in arms over the newspaper's new management and ownership. Their demands? The usual: Permanent pensions despite company fiscal performance and seniority privileges for long-time employees regardless of job performance. From the list of demands:
Seniority. As with most labor unions, the current Guild contract calls for workers with more experience at the company to be protected in case jobs are cut for economic reasons. After a drop in national advertising, the newspapers are considering as many as 190 layoffs company-wide, and they have floated the possibility of up to 150 job cuts in the Inquirer newsroom. The company wants wider latitude in being able to pick who goes; the union says the company has not developed any objective alternative system for choosing who would keep their jobs.
Pensions. Current Guild employees qualify for pensions equal to 1.6 percent of their yearly pay for each year served, within certain limits. While that is less than what teachers and many other public-sector employees earn, Tierney says the pension liability is more than the company can afford at a time when other companies are shifting from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans and other retirement arrangements whose costs are less expensive and easier to predict. The union says the company has not proposed an alternative of comparable value.
If they don't get what they're demanding, then they're threatening to strike. The current publisher plans to continue operating the paper with non-union work. The site that will host the news from the picketing journalists in that event is here.
The Iraq government has set up an agency to monitor false news coming out of Iraq. After the Associated Press used a government source that doesn't exist, the government wants to make sure the AP and other media outlets cannot get away with similar fraudulent activity. Reports the UK Guardian.
Iraq's interior ministry has formed a press monitoring unit in response to what it described as "fabricated and false news" that misrepresents the country's security situation.
Singling out the Associated Press for criticism, spokesman Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said yesterday that dedicated unit would monitor news coverage and even initiate legal action if journalists do not correct stories it believes to be incorrect.
Imagine a world where the media felt their primary obligation was to inform society of important events and issues “with an openness to consider the different views out there before arriving at any conclusion.” Sounds like heaven, right? Well, NB member ‘lostincyberspace” has shared a fabulous editorial from a Malaysian newspaper called the Sun Daily that should be must reading for American editors and journalists:
When people pick up their newspaper in the morning, they have one thing in common - no matter what their personal interests and views may be. They want news and views.
They want to know what happened in the community they call home, and the larger world which the community is inextricably a part of.
They want to know about the decisions that are being made that could affect them, and the community and world they live in.
They want to know about the different views that exist and are being debated out there.
They want to have a say in these because they would be affected, directly or indirectly.
The editorial gloriously continued (emphasis mine throughout):
The New York Times is trying once again to convince the public that tipping off alleged terrorist front groups about an upcoming government search somehow falls under the umbrella of “the public’s right to information”.
Lawyers for the newspaper tried unsuccessfully to prevent special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from reviewing telephone records that could be used in helping the government determine who leaked the classified information to the newspaper in the government’s obstruction of justice investigation.
Michelle Malkin writes in her syndicated column that journalists complain about "the Bush administration for stifling its free speech, endless court filings demanding classified and sensitive information from the military and intelligence agencies, and self-pitying media industry confabs bemoaning their hemorrhaging circulations."
But this is nothing compared to what other countries' journalists face.
Give thanks we don't live in Bangladesh, where you can be put on trial for writing columns supporting Israel and condemning Muslim violence....
Give thanks we don't live in Egypt, where bloggers have been detained by the government for criticizing Islam and exposing the apathy of Cairo police to sexual harassment of women...
Last Thursday I noted an I Want Media vote about who should be the 2006 Media Person of the Year. I asked for nominations for our own tally, and now that the choices are in, you can vote for who you think most impacted the media/country in the last year.
The choices: Al Franken, Katie Couric, Ann Coulter, Keith Olbermann, George Allen and Mark Foley, Tony Snow, Chris Wallace, Washington Post, Green Helmet Guy, and the Media.
If you have a "write in" candidate, include it in the comments section. Sorry, you can only vote once, this not being a Democratic primary.
CBS told a federal court Monday that the government's new "zero tolerance" policy for indecent broadcasts is threatening to choke off free speech.
In its opening brief with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, CBS contends that the commission's policy "is flatly inconsistent with the bedrock principle that First Amendment freedoms require breathing space to survive."
The article continued (reader is cautioned that some of the profanity in question is present):
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a high-ranking member of the entertainment media publicly admonishing folks in his own industry. Yet, according to a Reuters article Monday (h/t to Drudge), one of the most successful movie producers and directors of all time is speaking out against excessive violence on television:
Steven Spielberg urged TV networks to be mindful of what they show on the air because of the effect it might have on children, and said programs like "CSI" and "Heroes" were too gruesome.
"Today we are needing to be as responsible as we can possibly be, not just thinking of our own children but our friends' and neighbors' children," Spielberg told an audience Monday at the International Emmys board of directors meeting here.
Newspaper investors are surely hoping that the San Francisco Chronicle columnist Peter Scheer never gets anywhere near the executive suite after his column last Sunday evaluating the state of newspaper industry.
In fact, something unusual must have been in the latte Scheer was drinking at the Chronicle when he wrote this about how to save the print newspaper business (HT Techdirt, which calls it the "Let Everyone Else Break News First" strategy):
What to do? Here's my proposal: Newspapers and wire services need to figure out a way, without running afoul of antitrust laws, to agree to embargo their news content from the free Internet for a brief period -- say, 24 hours -- after it is made available to paying customers. The point is not to remove content from the Internet, but to delay its free release in that venue.
Media blog I Want Media is taking nominations for Media Person of the Year. Last year it was Anderson Cooper. Who do our NewsBusters readers think should be the Media Person of the year?
Forget Time magazine's Person of the Year. Who should be named Media Person of the Year in I Want Media's fifth annual online poll?
Which figure in the media industry inspired the most debate, sparked the most interest, left a lasting imprint?
An influential media CEO ... a crusading journalist ... a ground-breaking blogger? Here's an opportunity to take a look back at the year in media through some of its leading (and sometimes over-the-top) personalities.
Include a brief explanation as to why the person you nominate deserves to be recognized. Your comments may be posted on the site.
Appearing on Monday's edition of the "The Colbert Report," Dan Rather promoted his new HDNet investigative series by touting an ability to report "quality news with integrity." The small cable channel will premiere "Dan Rather Reports" on November 14. The show will feature the ex-CBS anchor who famously left his network after overseeing a segment that included forged documents used to attack President Bush. Amazingly, when talking with Comedy Central's Colbert, Rather touted his reputation in Bob Dole-style third person:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, let me ask you something. Now, the show is called ‘Dan Rather Reports.’ Um, what is the show about? Like, what is Dan Rather reporting?"
Dan Rather: "Dan Rather is reporting, hopefully, quality news with integrity. I hope it will be news with guts and spine."
Early on in the recent Israel/Lebanon war, there was a photograph published by both U.S. News and World Report and Time Magazine, which according to captions published with the picture was of a burning Israeli jet, shot down by Hezbullah missiles. The blogosphere was quicktodisputethepicturein question, and the widely-circulated story was that the photograph was actually that of a tire dump.
Well, it seems that the photographer responsible for taking the photograph, Bruno Stevens, has finally sounded off on Lightstalkers (the professional photographer's forum), explaining the photograph and telling the true story of how things ended up the way they did. He also notes that the site was not a tire dump, but was rather an old Lebanese Army base that had either been hit by an Israeli jet, or by a misfired Hezbullah rocket (both possibilites he appears to have recounted in his original captions). The key point that Bruno makes is that, while he sent in a fairly balanced caption to accompany the photograph, the wire services rewrote the caption completely, changing the pertinent facts surrounding the story. Where have we heard that before?
Bruno's story is available in full at Lightstalkers, and I recommend checking it out, even though it is mostly written as a response to someone who has been alleging that he was somehow covering up a civilian massacre or other indiscriminate act by the Israeli Air Force.
Unsatisfied with American domination of the international news market, a French company is getting ready to launch a cable/satellite news channel.
The staff of France 24 insists they'll be different than CNNi, BBC, and others, but in one respect they're perfectly similar. Just like their American counterparts, they pretend they're objective. They also appear to have trouble perceiving reality. Regarding the Iraq war, managing director Gerard Saint-Paul says:
"Our image will be more panoramic as compared to other channels – but
that doesn’t mean that the other channels are bad at all. Let me give
you an example to better illustrate: Concerning coverage in Iraq, which
constitutes a cornerstone in media coverage, I find that CNN conveys an
American-directed message to a large extent, and more precisely one
that is in favor of President George Bush. What we will offer is a
wider vision that is different from what others present, and this of
course, will be affected by the historical and emotional relationship
between France and Lebanon, as well as the closeness of the relations
between France and the Arab world."
This is, of course, the news channel that actually is more anti-conservative and critical of the United States than its American counterpart. I guess Saint-Paul prefers a more Pravdaesque approach to covering international news.
I also can't help but note the hypocrisy in that France 24 has its country of origin in its name (and likely is benefiting from French subsidies as well) and talks about how its mission is to bring the French approach to news and culture to the world. Somehow this is OK but bringing an American approach is bad.
As the internet becomes more and more a news source for everyone, formerly dominant media outlets have seen news consumers shift online to look for news. Just like radio was harmed by TV but still continues to survive because it changed how it did things, the magazine business is at a similar crossroads.
With more magazines than ever out there to say nothing about the web, older general circulation magazines are having to adapt. Up until just recently, though, there hasn't been anything too drastic. That might be changing as the weekly Time seems willing to start changing things.
On the political side, the magazine has in the past reached out to left-wing bloggers to write for it. Now, it seems the management has realized that, amazingly enough, conservatives read political news online as well. To that end, it's essentially purchased the conservative blog Real Clear Politics.
Just as television is hypocritical when it comes to diversity (both political and otherwise), many newspapers which are run by liberals are equally hypocritical when it comes to how they structure shares of their stock.
The New York Times is the best example of this--editorially, the paper puts forth an image of empowering the powerless and standing up for the little guy. But when it comes to its own finances, the paper is decidedly in favor of the elites, refusing to let the majority of stockholders in the New York Times company have a voice in who its board of directors are. Instead, these shareholders must defer to a small elite--primarily comprised of members of the Sulzberger family--who own the voting Class B shares.
What this boils down to is that the Sulzberger family, led by the ranting leftist Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, is trying to take money from investors and remain completely unaccountable about how it runs the Times company into the ground. It's a classic case of having your cake and eating it too, and in this case, it's harming the company severely.
Fortunately, some Times investors have had enough of this offensive situation. The investment firm Morgan Stanley has stepped forward and said that it can't continue:
We've often noted here on NewsBusters the astonishing and undisputed lack of political diversity at the highest levels of the media but it's also true that despite the fact that liberals dominate the media, they are decidedly hypocritical when it comes to non-political diversity, something liberals supposedly value.
That hypocrisy was manifested in spades Tuesday night for any television viewer flipping through the channels to see. Despite all the media's odes to diversity, when it comes to the highest levels of power, women need not apply, especially when it comes to television.
As New York Times tv critic Alessandra Stanley noted yesterday, "On a night that crowned Nancy Pelosi as the first female speaker of the House and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic front-runner for the 2008 presidential race, the tableau of men talking to men all across prime time was oddly atavistic — a men's club from around 1962."
Today's Wall Street Journal online edition features an important essay by sociologist James Q. Wilson examining how the American press has turned into an unpatriotic and anti-war entity. He also explains why this matters: because educated people are likely to be swayed by the media's coverage of events, whether that coverage is accurate or not.
A few excerpts:
We are told by careful
pollsters that half of the American people believe that American troops
should be brought home from Iraq immediately. This news discourages
supporters of our efforts there. Not me, though: I am relieved. Given
press coverage of our efforts in Iraq, I am surprised that 90% of the
public do not want us out right now.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2005,
nearly 1,400 stories appeared on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news.
More than half focused on the costs and problems of the war, four times
as many as those that discussed the successes. About 40% of the stories
reported terrorist attacks; scarcely any reported the triumphs of
American soldiers and Marines. The few positive stories about progress
in Iraq were just a small fraction of all the broadcasts.
Despite the fact that former Vice President Al Gore invented the information superhighway, Market Wire reported Wednesday that more Republicans use the Internet than Democrats (hat tip to Drudge): “Nielsen//NetRatings (NASDAQ: NTRT), a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents. With campaign Web sites becoming increasingly important to reaching the electorate, candidates need to keep their fingers on the political pulse of the Internet.”
This is pretty funny, folks (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). Editor & Publisher reported Monday that just about every major metropolitan newspaper’s circulation was down during the six-month period ending September 2006. One of the notable exceptions is the New York Post, which not only saw its numbers increase, but is also now the number five paper in the country:
The Los Angeles Times reported that daily circulation fell 8% to 775,766. Sunday dropped 6% to 1,172,005
The San Francisco Chronicle was down. Daily dropped 5.3% to 373,805 and Sunday fell 7.3% to 432,957.
The New York Times lost 3.5% daily to 1,086,798 and 3.5% on Sunday to 1,623,697. Its sister publication, The Boston Globe, reported decreases in daily circulation, down 6.7% to 386,415 and Sunday, down 9.9% to 587,292.
The Washington Post lost daily circulation, which was down 3.3% to 656,297 while Sunday declined 2.6% to 930,619.
Drudge reported quite a shocker Thursday evening: “In an Ironic Twist of Events, NBC and The CW Television Network Refuse to Air Ads for Documentary Focusing on Freedom of Speech…NBC Claims that the Network ‘Cannot Accept These Spots as They are Disparaging to President Bush.’”
Shocking. For those that are interested, the ad is available here. In it is the famous line from one of the Chicks, "We're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas," as well as one clearly referring to Bush as a "dumb s---".
Photographer Emilio Morenatti, 37, of the Associated Press, was taken captive in the Gaza Strip this morning. No word from the captors yet, but my prayers are with Emilio and his family for his safe return!
According to the captions on the photo wires, Emilio was accosted as he was leaving his apartment for an Associated Press vehicle, and was forced into the captors' vehicle. I'll fill in with more details as they come in. Hajed Hamdan, the AP driver assigned to pick up Emilio, was confronted by the captors, who stole his phone and keys, and instructed him at gunpoint to turn away.
Boy, it didn’t take long for Katie Couric to go from media darling to whipping girl, did it? You’d think the perky one did something really obscene, like stating that she was voting for a Republican in the upcoming midterm elections. Yet, there it was in large type at USA Today: “Couric Fails to Keep CBS News on Top for Long” (hat tip to TVNewser). In reality, that might be the kindest statement in this article about Couric which began (emphasis mine throughout):
This is a truly shocking revelation by the New York Times ombudsman Byrone Calame (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). In a column published Sunday, Calame – the Times' “public editor” – has reversed a previous position of his concerning the Times June 23 article about secret international banking surveillance designed to uncover the sources of terrorist funding. Now, Calame thinks it was a mistake for the Times to reveal the existence of this program (emphasis mine throughout):
After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base. There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.
Those two factors are really what bring me to this corrective commentary: the apparent legality of the program in the United States, and the absence of any evidence that anyone’s private data had actually been misused. I had mentioned both as being part of “the most substantial argument against running the story,” but that reference was relegated to the bottom of my column.
This is quite a reversal for Calame who wrote at the time:
Media Life magazine had two media experts answer why Air America went south. Nancy Haynes said exactly what I've said from the beginning, that taxpayer-funded radio was the big obstacle, over 700 affiliate stations, a very established network:
Air America has had an especially tough time growing its audience because its affiliates must take listeners almost entirely from other, more-established stations, and the most likely source for Air America to “steal” audience would be from NPR affiliates. Yet NPR's isteners are among radio's most loyal. That's bad news for Air America.
Andrew Ettinger added the other obvious point, that radio dynamos like Limbaugh and Hannity built slowly, from the commercial ground up, not from the philanthropy-driven top down: