In a day when the most innocuous thing can quickly become political, a Doritos Super Bowl commercial has upset some people who want abortion to be an unrestricted right.
Note to NARAL: It’s bad when even the liberal media stop seeing eye-to-eye with you on abortion.
During their Monday broadcast morning news shows, ABC, CBS and NBC reviewed the Super Bowl 50 commercials from the night before. While a pro-choice group erupted over a Doritos “Ultrasound” ad that “humanized fetuses,” the networks heralded it as a “favorite” and online stories found it “hilarious.”
"Politics makes strange bedfellows" goes the old saying. In that case, Chris Matthews and Ann Coulter snuggled up under the sheets on tonight's Hardball. After a six-minute roll in the hay – Chris, you stallion! – Matthews thanked Coulter for being on her "best behavior" and gushed that she should come back on air sometime soon.
Five years ago this month, a great many Tea Party Republicans took office in Congress. For some on the left, however, that may not have been the worst political development of January, 2011. This coming Thursday, notes The Washington Monthly's D.R. Tucker, “marks the fifth anniversary of the bitter night…when progressive Americans, and indeed Americans of all political persuasions who value honor, truth, respect, intelligence and decency, were shocked to learn that MSNBC had decided to end Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
“What Keith Olbermann did for this country was profound,” declared Tucker in a post last Sunday. “He told the truth…He did more than just live up to the highest standards of American journalism. He did more than just stand up when so many around him stood down. Keith Olbermann kept our democracy safe.”
Once again, Rolling Stone has come under fire for its lack of journalistic ethics over actor Sean Penn’s recent interview with Joaquin Guzman – better known as “El Chapo” – and giving the drug cartel kingpin editorial approval of the article. The beginning of Penn’s article came with a disclosure - confessing that names had been changed, locations were unnamed, and that the world’s most famous prison escapee of 2015 reviewed and approve the article prior to publication. Yes, the same magazine that painted an innocent University of Virginia fraternity as a den of gang rapists had no problem publishing a sympathetic piece for real devil.
I know this is just going to leave you grief-stricken, so do try to soldier through the day, but, well, Al Jazeera America is closing its doors come April.
James Warren at Poynter MediaWire noted that last week, Bernie Sanders picked up the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America, a 600,000-member union that includes 26,000 members of the NewsGuild – representing “journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, digital start-up Truthout and the digital operations at many, but not all, big print publications, such as Philly.com.”
Warren protested: “For those who believe nearly all journalists not on the Fox News payroll must be knee-jerk lefties pushing an agenda, be informed that the Guild heeded a nearly reflexive tradition and abstained in its parent's endorsement vote.”
Speaking to a Wall Street crowd at the UBS Global Communications Conference on Monday, CBS chief executive Les Moonves gleefully cheered Republican 2016 contenders going after one another in the primary contest: “We love having all 16 Republican candidates throwing crap at each other. The more they spend, the better it is for us.”
Many products long not advertised on television now are commonly promoted during ad breaks. Writer Danielle Campoamor would like to add one more type of commercial to that list.
“Why is it that I never see an ad for abortion services?” wondered Campoamor in a Sunday piece. “Why are we willing to use women’s bodies in ads, but rarely see ads that would benefit women’s bodies?...Society has manipulated abortion and the way in which it is viewed, changing it from a medical procedure to an exhausted topic of debate.”
Rupert Murdoch is in a pickle, and the famously abrasive lefty writer Taibbi is loving every minute of it. In a Tuesday article for Rolling Stone, Taibbi portrays Murdoch as “desperate… because he senses his beloved audience of idiots” abandoning Fox News in favor of Donald Trump, “a onetime Fox favorite who is fast becoming the network's archenemy.”
Taibbi argues that Fox News must routinely dumb itself down in order to stay popular; Murdoch and Roger Ailes, he writes, “know they've spent a generation building an audience of morons. Their business model depends on morons; morons are the raw materials of their industry, the way Budweiser is in the hops business…[But] you have to keep upping the ante to make it work. Trump is…going to places now that make even Rupert Murdoch nervous.”
Word on the street is that ESPN is planning to lay off "200 to 300" employees in the coming months.
The go-to euphemism surrounding the impending layoffs, according to Variety's Brian Steinberg, is "the changing media landscape," primarily the "cord-cutting" phenomenon. In July, the Big Lead blog, in discussing Keith Olbermann's expected departure from ESPN, explained that "millennials are eschewing expensive cable TV bills and streaming everything online." While that might explain flat viewership or even a modest decline, cord-cutting is only a minor part of the problem. Someone needs to explain why ESPN's ratings have fallen by a stunning 30 percent in the past 12 months.
Appearing on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, former Meet the Press moderator David Gregory shared the inside story of his 2014 ouster from NBC: “Things happen in television news, we know that. It's a tough business....it’s just that it was handled in way that was unnecessary. NBC made a business decision which you can agree with or disagree with and it just didn't need to be handled that way....I don't miss NBC, I don't miss being there. It was just the wrong atmosphere for me.”