Media Business

By Matthew Sheffield | June 10, 2013 | 3:19 PM EDT

Of late, many left-wing media critics have been ostensibly interested in protecting the independence of journalism from hypothetical conservative media ownership. Unfortunately, as Howard Kurtz pointed out over the weekend, these people are remarkably cavalier when the left-leaning billionaires like Warren Buffett start buying up media outlets.

Another example of how such critics are not very sincere is one George Norcross, a man known within the Philadelphia area as a long-time Democratic donor, activist, and fundraiser. He also happens to be the co-owner of the region’s two largest newspapers, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Daily News.

By Matthew Sheffield | June 7, 2013 | 8:08 AM EDT

It’s hard to pity someone as smarmy and self-righteous as Jonathan Alter. Still, with all the bad luck that the left-wing pundit has faced lately, it almost makes you want to consider it. Well, ok, not really.

May has been a tough month for the MSNBC contributor. First, an anecdote from his latest book was proven beyond doubt to be an outright fabrication. Yesterday, he was revealed by radio host Don Imus as a conniving, two-faced jerk. Now his reporting is being denounced as “patently, provably false” by Fox News president Roger Ailes.

By Matthew Sheffield | June 6, 2013 | 11:10 PM EDT

Billionaire conservative philathropists David Koch and Charles Koch officially confirmed news reports that they are interested in getting into the media business through an interview with the Wall Street Journal and in a post on their website KochFacts.com.

In a statement, Charles Koch stated an important point about the brothers' intentions for media: to provide actual unbiased news to customers, an exceedingly rare commodity in America today, particularly at the local level where many regions of the country are served by a single newspaper which is not open to ideological diversity.

By Randy Hall | June 6, 2013 | 10:03 PM EDT

Liberals thought their fondest dream had come true on Feb. 29, 2012, when weekday radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified the week before to House Democrats in favor of forcing insurance companies to pay the full cost of contraceptives.

Democrats quickly urged sponsors to boycott the conservative icon's program, and that hurt advertising for the rest of the year. But Limbaugh's distributor -- Dan Metter -- said on Thursday that the radio host is not only drawing new advertisers, but he's also welcoming back a number of long-time sponsors.

By Ken Shepherd | June 5, 2013 | 11:58 AM EDT

In early 2012, after the breast cancer charity Komen for the Cure announced it would end its relationship with Planned Parenthood, the group quickly saw a 100 percent spike in fundraising. But alas, defenders of the nation's largest abortion provider and their accomplices in the liberal media, chief among them MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, struck back with a vengeance and the group eventually reversed itself under intense pressure from the Left. Ever since the epic Komen cave, however, the organization has seen faltering fundraising.

"Komen can't outrun Planned Parenthood controversy as race enrollment drops," the New York Daily News reported last September. Fast forward to today as the Lena Sun reported in the June 5 Washington Post that Komen is dropping "its signature 3-Day walk in Washington and six other cities next year, slashing the number of the fundraising events by half, as participation continues to drop more than a year after a funding controversy involving Planned Parenthood." By contrast, however:

By Noel Sheppard | June 2, 2013 | 11:08 PM EDT

Since practically its inception, NewsBusters has been informing readers that MSNBC is not a news network.

In an article to be published in Monday's New York Times, national media reporter Bill Carter actually asked if MSNBC is "being damaged by a perception that it is not really a news channel anymore."

By Matthew Sheffield | May 29, 2013 | 1:27 PM EDT

The owner of Newsweek, the troubled liberal weekly news magazine, has confirmed reports that it is trying to unload the money-losing operation even despite the fact that it jettisoned its print edition last year. In a letter to employees, CEO Baba Shetty and editor-in-chief Tina Brown confirmed that the parent company of Newsweek, InterActiveCorp, is trying to find potential bidders.

In the letter, Shetty and Brown claimed that Newsweek, which was sold by the Washington Post in 2010 for $1 and an assumption of outstanding debt, was going to become profitable by the end of this year. The confirmation of the efforts to sell the online-only magazine comes as no surprise considering that IAC president, leftist media mogul Barry Diller, stated last month that he believed "it was a mistake" to purchase Newsweek and that "I don't have great expectations" for its long-term success.

By Ken Shepherd | May 28, 2013 | 6:46 PM EDT

Last Tuesday, the Washington Post's Walter Pincus did his level best to dutifully defend the Obama/Holder DOJ's handling of the Associated Press phone records subpoena. Ol' Walt is back at it again this week, chastising the media for "circling the wagons" around Fox News correspondent James Rosen, who was virtually treated like a criminal by the Justice Department when he was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a leak investigation.

"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.

By Tim Graham | May 16, 2013 | 10:33 PM EDT

Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter described what happened at the annual Comcast shareholders meeting in Philadelphia when Tea Party conservatives stood up to ask about the dramatic left-wing slant of MSNBC.

On the webcast of the meeting, Tom Borelli asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "Why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary?"

By Liz Thatcher | May 14, 2013 | 1:21 PM EDT

“Assault on Wall Street,” directed by Uwe Boll and starring Dominic Purcell, takes the liberal agenda to a whole new level. Every possible liberal ideal – anti-gun, anti-capitalism, the evils of health insurance companies, crazy gun supporters – is depicted in this 1 hour and 39 minute movie, which was released on May 10 in limited theaters and on Amazon instant video.

Within the first ten minutes, viewers were introduced to evil Wall Street executive Jeremy Stancroft (John Heard) saying, “Our responsibility begins and ends with our partners and shareholders and that is it.”

By Matthew Sheffield | May 10, 2013 | 11:38 AM EDT

CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield and HLN anchor Nancy Grace gave eagle-eyed viewers some mild laughs following yesterday's verdict in the Jodi Arias trial as they appeared in a split-screen setup talking via satellite uplink even though they were seated right next to each other.

The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett and Philip Bump caught the "Anchorman"-esque bit of comedy and documented it with several animated GIF images showing various vehicles passing in the background from each anchor's camera.

By Ken Shepherd | May 7, 2013 | 5:52 PM EDT

How apropos that in the week before Mother's Day, the Lean Forward network is announcing hires for its website who have ties to Mother Jones, the far-left magazine that blessed the journalistic world with David Corn, himself a fixture at MSNBC as a frequent contributor.

"MSNBC.com is staffing up ahead of a major relaunch later this year," TVNewser's Alex Weprin reported last night. "The relaunched site will focus on the world of politics and the personalities that populate MSNBC’s programming. There will also, however, be plenty of political news and information."