UPDATE 15:50. Looks like exit polls in Italy may also overestimate left-wing strength at the ballot box just like American pollsters did for the 2004 American presidential election. After appearing behind in earlier exit surveys, center-right prime minister Silvio Berlusconi seems likely to win at this point.
Today's starters: Keeping with its tradition of political fairness and neutrality, Middle Tennessee State University is continuing its journalism conference (conference called: Self-Inflicted Wounds — Fact and Fiction in Journalism: Fabrication, Plagiarism and Confidential Sources)--kicked off earlier this week by an address from that paragon of objectivity Al Gore--with a panel discussion featuring Mary Mapes. The session is entitled "Rush to Judgment? The CBS Crisis." Any NB readers in the area?
The big media story of the day, as reported earlier by NB's Mark Finkelstein, is that Katie Couric is headed over to CBS. The NYT and LAT both have good good stories the deal and its implications. Why does Couric's leaving warrant attention, asks one blogger. Another says she won't watch "Today" if it hires "View" co-host Meredith Viera.
Today's starters: Hollywood now seems to be thinking that enough time has passed since 9/11 that it's now possible to make movies about it. Is America ready for such films? Writing in Newsweek, Sean Smith and Jac Chebatoris argue no. Anoniblogger American Barbarian (HT: Ace) says it's more a case of liberals wanting the public not to remember those gut-wrenching hours. In any case, London's Guardian has a roundup on which 9/11 films are coming down the pipe. For the lazy: Oliver Stone (who recently charged sites like this one with "slandering" celebs who speak publicly about politics) and Nicolas Cage team up in a movie about NYC police officers; the director of the Bourne Supremacy is releasing another about United Flight 93, the airplane that passengers crashed (the trailer for which some are trying to keep out of theaters). Two other less-promising films include one based on the story of former paper-pusher and Bush critic Richard Clarke, and one starring the execrable Adam Sandler.
In politics: Former House GOP leader Tom DeLay announces he's resigning from congress, while GOP Senate head Bill Frist tries to rehabilitate his image among the Washington elites. Meanwhile, Democratic representative Cynthia McKinney may start having to avoid the Capitol Hill police since there's soon to be a warrant out for her arrest.
Today's starter topics: Will the media turn on John McCain if he seems inevitable as the GOP nominee? John McIntyre makes the argument that it's already beginning to happen. Would that be enough to get him the nomination? I doubt it.
Following up yesterday's item about Justice Scalia allegedly flipping off the press: in a letter to the Boston Herald, the jurist denies doing anything obscene. Also from the follow department, OJR takes a look at charges that ESPN and the AP ripped off material from blogs.
Last: Sci-Fi channel offers fans a chance to create their own superhero TV show. That's scary enough but it gets worse when you learn that you can't win without submitting photos of you dressed as the character.
Starter topics: Washington Post says it shouldn't have implied pro-war blogger Bill Roggio was part of military propaganda operation even as it lauds anti-war reporter as "legendary." (HT: Polipundit) Did an AP reporter plagiarize a story from a blog?
Former Reagan press secretary Lyn Nofziger dies. Supreme Court allows libel suit against NYT by man who says he was defamed as 2001 anthrax mailer. In other SCOTUS news, it appears that justice Antonin Scalia flipped the bird at the media who questioned him about his objectivity on religious matters--shortly after he left church.
Starter topics: Mickey Kaus catches the L.A. Times deliberately editing out information about pro-illegal immigration protestors waving the Mexican flag at events. Apparently, liberal columnist Molly Ivins believes that only ex-reporters should be allowed to opine. "No one should be allowed to write opinion without spending years as a reporter," she writes.
WaPo's Howie Kurtz solves what he calls a "minor mystery" of who is behind FireDavidGregory.com. Turns out it was one of those nefarious NewsBusters, Ian Schwartz. Howie shouldn't take too much pride in his findings, though, since anyone could've discovered it doing a whois of the domain. Meanwhile, USA Today TV critic Peter Johnson tracks the speculation over whether Katie Couric will jump to CBS.
Non-media topics: Is marriage only for white people? And why are universities suddenly starting up courses in "porn studies?"
News, politics, and this week, NCAA basketball. But play nice, especially after reading this hilarious parody of Huffington's faux George Clooney blog post at Ace of Spades. Watch as Clay Aiken admits to... being a liberal.
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