Media Business

By Lachlan Markay | June 24, 2010 | 4:52 PM EDT

UPDATE - 6/25, 2:20 PM | Lachlan Markay : Weigel resigned Friday after the Daily Caller published a number of additional emails that put these to shame. Details here.

Many conservatives, including a number of NewsBusters contributors, have been skeptical of Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel since he was hired in March to cover the right. Time and again, those concerns have been vindicated as Weigel has ridiculed a number of conservatives and conservative positions.

It seems that the Washington Post has little interest in an objective blog-based approach to the news -- something this humble blogger has noted previously. Likewise, Weigel seems to have little interest in covering the right with an even hand; he has consistently shown his disdain for the movement and its members.

The website Fishbowl DC today published a number of excerpts of emails from Weigel to an email list created by fellow Post blogger Ezra Klein ridiculing various conservatives. He says he hopes Matt Drudge will "set himself on fire" and dubbed Tea Party protesters "Paultard[s]," a crude reference to Ron Paul.

By Noel Sheppard | June 24, 2010 | 11:36 AM EDT

A new study found significantly more people trust tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft than they do traditional media.

Adding insult to injury, the relatively new social networking website Facebook is even more trusted than the media which 88 percent of respondents said they had little to no trust for. 

As reported last week, "A Zogby Interactive survey of U.S. adults found that among Apple, Microsoft and Google, 49% had trust in each of these brands. Twitter and Facebook were rated much more poorly, with trust levels of 8% and 13% respectively."

And here's the marvelous punch line (h/t NBer pvoce):

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2010 | 2:12 AM EDT
cnnapCNN has announced that it will cease using all content from the Associated Press effective June 30, and from all appearances will take a run at becoming a credible wire service competitor.

Although it would be easy to dismiss this as the blind leaving the blind, this development seems like it has the potential to alter the news landscape and temper some of the worst excesses of press bias and ignorance.

Here are a few paragraphs from CNN's internal announcement, as carried at Media Bistro:

To: CNN Staff
From: Jim Walton

We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN's global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.

By Lachlan Markay | June 16, 2010 | 11:29 AM EDT
MSNBC contributor Lawrence O'Donnell will take over at the 10 pm slot, the cable network announced Tuesday. O'Donnell, who guest-hosted "Countdown" while Keith Olbermann was on leave, is a self-described socialist, and will fit in nicely with the rest of MSNBC's prime-time lineup.

The 10 pm slot has up to this time been "Countdown" reruns, so MSNBC viewers will now be treated to a tad different far-left rant than Olbermann's 8 pm far-left rant.

That said, O'Donnell's segment will hardly be a breath of fresh air if his previous antics are any indication. He has a short, if colorful history of liberal outbursts. Let us review some of his greatest hits:
By Brent Bozell | June 15, 2010 | 3:12 PM EDT

Managing Editor's Note: The following is a statement that NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell released earlier today.

Americans have spoken and they are livid with the media.

A new Rasmussen poll found an astonishing two thirds of American voters are at least somewhat angry at the media, including an entire one third who said they are ‘very angry.’ That’s disturbing but unfortunately, not surprising. The liberal media lost touch with the public and fair reporting long ago, and Americans are sick of their lavish praise for a President that is leading our country and economy into a disastrous state. The American people are abandoning the old media by the millions because they are simply fed up.”

Now is the time for the national, so-called "news" media to Tell The Truth! and report the facts. The American people are furious and are demanding answers.

By Jeff Poor | June 14, 2010 | 12:33 PM EDT

Can't get enough of a brutal dictator responsible for substantial human rights atrocities including millions of deaths, all in the name of a failed ideology? iTunes has just the thing for you.

Developer Eigthart, Ltd. presents the iStalin: FREE Communist Posters for the People iPhone/iPad application. The developer's Web site describes the app as a means to "spread the communist glory." (h/t @SetonMotley)

"Good news, comrades! Finally, after years of struggle the Industrialization of the Soviet Union paid off. From the creators of the Communist Manifesto, the October Revolution and the Perestroika comes the best Soviet Union product since Kalashnikov - iStalin! Finally the people will have the privilege to create Soviet posters themselves and spread the communist glory!"

By NB Staff | June 11, 2010 | 12:50 PM EDT
If you ask the media, George W. Bush is to blame for everything from the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Al and Tipper Gore's broken marriage. What's more, the media are insisting, it's Democrat Hillary Clinton who deserves praise for paving the way for Republican women having success on Tuesday's primaries, not Sarah Palin.

That's just skimming the surface of the loopy stuff the liberal media have churned out recently and which NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell was brought on last night's "Hannity" to address.

Also discussed on the June 10 "Media Mash" segment, the media's sensitive treatment of disgraced columnist Helen Thomas, who abruptly "retired" following a controversy regarding her suggestion that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:

BRENT BOZELL: If I were Helen Thomas, I wonder, what is she more offended by, conservatives who call her a socialist and a radical, or her liberal friends who've all gone on national television to say she's senile? And if it is true that she is that senile, what was she doing in the White House all these years? Here's a woman who has spent decades with this anti-Semitic vicious vitriol that she spews out. And here they are all marching behind her.

By Lachlan Markay | June 10, 2010 | 6:08 PM EDT
An overwhelming majority of Americans prefer freedom of the press to outdated models of journalism, according to a new Rasmussen poll. The survey comes in the midst of discussions in the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to intervene on behalf of Old Media.

Eighty-five percent of respondents in the Rasmussen poll said they believe maintaining press freedom is more important than financially supporting the newspaper industry. Only six percent said the latter is more important. Just 14 percent said they would favor a bailout of the newspaper industry.

Respondents worried that government involvement in the industry would compromise press neutrality. Indeed, this sentiment reflects the findings of a number of studies over the past few years. As with any bailout, a bailout of a newspaper would inevitably mean at least some say in that newspaper's content.
By Ken Shepherd | June 9, 2010 | 2:47 PM EDT

In what must to the far-left seem like adding insult to injury, Fox News could end up with  Helen Thomas's vacated press briefing room seat.

What's more, rival network CNN's senior White House correspondent would be perfectly okay with it reports the Huffington Post:

At least one competitor is backing Fox News for the newly vacated front-row seat in the White House briefing room: CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry.

Henry, who is on the White House Correspondents Association board, told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks Fox News should get Helen Thomas's seat now that she has retired.

"When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time," Henry said. "But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I've got to honor that commitment."

By Ken Shepherd | June 8, 2010 | 5:00 PM EDT

As other media outlets have given Helen Thomas the kid glove treatment in light of her "trailblazing" career, media consumers may be forgiven for assuming that Helen Thomas's anti-Israel, arguably anti-Semitic comments were an aberration in an otherwise unblemished career of assertive but fair journalism.

To his credit, Washington Post's media reporter Howard Kurtz made note of other incidents, such as the time Thomas blamed Israel for inspiring "99 percent" of terrorism and the time in 2002 when she exclaimed "Thank God for Hezbollah," the Iran-backed terror group that murdered 241 U.S. servicement in 1983 and has plagued Israel for decades.

As the excerpt below shows, it's not just conservatives who have had complaints about Thomas (emphases mine):

By Ken Shepherd | June 7, 2010 | 5:59 PM EDT

Well that didn't take long. The folks at the left-wing MoveOn.org are practically in mourning over Helen Thomas's "retirement."

Just a few hours after news broke that Hearst columnist Helen Thomas is calling it quits after a viral video of her anti-Semitic comments led to widespead condemnation of the White House press corps dean.

Sam Stein of the Huffington Post has the story:

The abrupt retirement of Helen Thomas from her perch as the ranking member of the White House press corps was essentially accepted as a fait accompli by supporters and detractors alike after her controversial remarks urging Jews to leave Israel surfaced.

Indeed, if there was any defense made of Thomas's comments, it wasn't done persuasively or at an influential level. But that didn't stop the progressive community -- many hearing about her retirement while at the Campaign for America's Future conference in D.C. -- from collectively fretting on Monday about what the loss of her voice bodes for the day-to-day interaction between the White House and the Fourth Estate.

Her absence will be felt "significantly," said Ilyse Hogue, Communications Director of Moveon.org. "The burden will fall on the rest of the press corps to make sure the administration feels the need to be transparent about its plans to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan."

By Tim Graham | June 7, 2010 | 12:48 PM EDT

Via Politico, Hearst Newspapers columnist Thomas issued a statement today: "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon." 

Michael Calderone at Yahoo! News reports that a second half of the Thomas interview is yet to come from Rabbi David Nesenoff and his site RabbiLive.com, and the first half was delayed while the rabbi's 17-year-old webmaster son finished his finals: 

Although she's apologized, Nesenoff said Thomas should do more, and "the only way to fix it is to become a poster child for tolerance and non-hatred."

Next, Nesenoff said that in a day or so, he'll release part two of the interview, but was tight-lipped about what else Thomas said that day.

"Part two will be very interesting to watch," he said, adding that Thomas is in it "100 percent" of the time.