In this edition: Why won't the MSM credit Raw Story and TPM?; EW says Olbermann wins; Deborah Howell speaks on the Domenech scandal; more on the media & Iraq; Knight Ridder sale fall out; Bush versus the media and the facts; newsworthiness a fluid standard; MSM plagiarizing Raw Story; the religious left wants (and deserves) airtime; Colbert getting more free media; The Week Opinion Awards (feat. Some bloggers you know); audience engagement with ads aired during news shows; ex-ABC Newser defends Abramoff; the media's coverage of Hispanics could use some fact-checking; Ted Turner blasts media, Bush and himself; Judy Miller finds some work; TV Guest Watch; Jill Carroll is free; Kyra Phillips says something stupid; Rep. Barton is a foe of net neutrality; and more...
Thoughts, and Then, the News
The media has been complaining about the Dems having no proposals or agenda. Dems put something out there, but the media ignores it. Nothing in some of the major media outlets. This past week, the media has largely ignored Murray Waas's bombshell story and the NYT British memo story. If this were the Clinton WH, the media would be all over these stories.
I'm disgusted with the number of idiotson the right who are slamming Jill Carroll for doing what she had to do to stay alive and get released. It's just sad when someone has to point out that Carroll isn't Iraq's Patty Hearst. Oh, and double jeers to Howard Kurtz for giving any credence to the thoughts typical of the right wing. A good roundup of it all here. Thankfully, the reaction on the right hasn't all been uniformly disgusting, but too many have expressed anti-Carroll sentiments.
Now for the news from the past week posted, April 3, 2006:
Note: I'm going to put a %%% next to things that are more interesting or go into things more in-depth.
Last week, over a three or four day period, there were four instances in which a mainstream media outlet took a story or scoop we (and by this I mean the two reporters who put out TPMmuckraker.com, Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) had first published and ran it as their own without crediting or mentioning that TPMmuckraker.com had originally broken the story.
Writing up or following up on a story and not crediting the news organiztion that first reported it is not a journalistic felony. It's more on the order of a misdemeanor or moving violation. But it is a breach. And mainstream news outlets, a few of which I've actually written for, don't seem to think it applies to blogs that are doing original reporting.
This evening I noticed that a writer for the Associated Press, Sam Hananel, wrote a story on Rep. Jim Ryun's (R-KS) questionable real estate purchase from the now-defunct U.S. Family Network, the nonprofit controlled by DeLay political advisor Ed Buckham and funded by clients of Jack Abramoff.
This is Paul Kiel's story. He's one of the two reporters for TPMmuckraker.com. He wrote about the purchase first late Monday afternoon. He followed up late Tuesday afternoon with another piece, based on interviews with DC area real estate appraisers, which suggested that Ryun got the house for as much as $100,000 less than its market valuation.
As the editor of the site I can tell you that the piece began with a tip. Kiel then reported the story. It was his story.
The fact that Kiel does his reporting and writing on a site that calls itself a 'blog' and orders its stories in reverse chronological order does not give Mr. Hananel the right to rip off Kiel's work or to run a story first reported by another journalist without crediting that journalist for their work.
Conventional news outlets frequently chide blogs for not doing any original reporting but rather feeding off the original reporting of the mainstream media. In many cases, the criticism is true. But if that is the criticism it behooves every mainstream media outlet to enforce their own standing policies and not allow reporters to rip off blog writers who are doing original reporting.
Knight-Ridder sale fallout
* McClatchy Rides on Population Growth Plan
* Knight Ridder Papers Draw at Least 3 Bids
* With focus on KR sale, Wharton B-School analyzes Newspaper industry
* Despite Obstacles, Guild Turns in Bid for 12 KR papers 3/28
* For Some In Philly, Bid For 'Inky' Tainted By Tierney's Catholic P.R. Work %%%
* WaPo's Kaiser has suggestions for new owners of KR's orphans
* Romenesko roundup for 3/28.
Credit Where It's Due
* Alan Colmes for actually taking Hugh Hewitt to the woodshed
* How Copley's Marcus Stern exposed corrupt ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham
* To Newsweek for properly crediting bloggers who figured out that a Kaloogian Iraq photo was really one of Istanbul
* To the NYT for declining private off the record meetings with Bush
* Investigative reporting award winners
* Colmes b-slaps Hannity, by bernardpliers A noteworthy occasion.
* At least WaPo's national political editor John F. Harris gets partial credit:
Post national political editor John F. Harris on the Ben Domenech flap: "I think getting some conservative voices [on the Post's website] is a good thing, but I did not see why they hired someone so young and without obvious credentials, journalistic or otherwise." He adds: "I think the most useful opinion blogs analyze and comment on the news from some well-grounded perspective. That is what Dan Froomkin does, and Dan is a long-time journalist. There's enough people on the web already just popping off from a strictly ideological perspective. I don't think washingtonpost.com adds much value by providing a platform for another."
Taking to the Airwaves
Radio show helps Iraqis Air Their Grievances
As host of the popular radio show "Good Morning, Orange City," [Oday] Kareem is blazing a trail in the hazardous but increasingly entrepreneurial post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Under the feared former leader, people could be beaten within an inch or two of their lives for complaining. On his show, Kareem encourages it.
Iraqis tuning in to his show, which station managers boast reaches 1.5 million listeners from Mosul to Baghdad, have taken up the new freedom to bellyache with relish. The call-in show, which airs Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., is filled with the workaday problems of men and women everywhere: getting along with in-laws, finding money to pay the bills, worries about the education system.
But in Iraq, these problems are overlaid with a near-chaotic security situation in which simple tasks like going to the market entail long delays at military checkpoints.
Battle of the Media Folk
* AUDIO: Alec Baldwin v. Sean Hannity. The only time I like Baldwin is when he hosts SNL and maybe when he takes on Hannity.
* Entertainment Weekly crowns Olbermann the winner in his feud with O'Reilly
* Carroll Reunited With Family in Boston I'm so happy for her and her family.
* Carroll's statement about what her captors forced her to do.
* VIDEO: CBS Evening News segment on Carroll
* Carroll calls her captors `criminals,' says she was threatened `many times'
* Carroll free; forced to make propaganda video. Jill Carroll updates from the CSM.
Journalists and Documentarians in Dangerous Situations
* Surviving is Also Part of the Job John F. Burns on reporting in Iraq.
* Gen. Zinni: "American media is being made a scapegoat" for Iraq failures
* Cox reporter: We are not just stuck in hotels in Baghdad
* Woodruff vows to return as anchor
* Israel suspects journalists of spreading bird flu
* Reporters in Iraq work around the limits of safety measures
* WaPo reveals new findings in death of NYT reporter
* Send in the Media Critics. Send Kurtz and other media critics to Iraq, and maybe then they'll get how tough it is to report from there.
* E&P: Congressional Candidate Slams Press Coverage of Iraq with Bogus Photo The Kaloogian photo of
* NBC's Brian Williams weighs in on the right-wing's media bashing re: Iraq. He notes that Woodruff was trying to cover `good news' in Iraq. FNC continues to blame the media for not covering the good news (of which there isn't much). It's sad that the difficulties of covering the war in Iraq have to be spelled out for a group of idiots that speak loudly on the right.
* The ABCNews WNT blog has all the latest on Woodruff & Vogt.
Journalists and Leak Investigations
* Drum on Larry Franklin and AIPAC leak
* CNN & Pierre Thomas ask SCOTUS to review privilege case
TV Guests Watch
* LKL invited two GOPers and two Dems to talk about immigration I caught a part of it, and Schultz and Rhodes did a good job. Kudos to LKL for putting some balance on this.
* Why does CNN keep polluting its airwaves with Hugh Hewitt? He's been everywhere on CNN. Recently, I've caught him on LKL, Anderson Cooper, and The Situation Room.
* Meet the Press guests for 4/2: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and retired Gen. Anthony Zinni. Why is McCain allowed to go on these shows solo?
* Late Edition guests for 4/2: Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox, Senate Maj. Leader Bill Frist, and Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Evan Bayh (D-IN).
* Hotline 3/30 noted that CSPAN's "Washington Journal" hosted Reps. Ric Keller (R-FL), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Tom Tancredo (R-CO). Two GOPers, one Dem.
* Hotline 3/29 noted that GOPer Mary Matalin was on all Today Show, Early Show, and GMA. No balance from any of these shows? Tsk, tsk.
* SCOTUS Justice Anthony M. Kennedy says editorial writers should read the decisions before writing editorials. Here, because there's no reason for the defensive headline "Kennedy's Assault on Editorial Writers."
* Chris Matthews takes his balls and goes home, by Blue in VA Too funny.
* Stu Rothenberg needs a little help in separating fact from fiction
* Greta Van Susteren's site curiously had only white females. After getting called on it, diversity appeared on her website.
* Rutten criticizes CNN (and Dobbs) for irresponsible coverage of immigration issue
* Neal Boortz: Rep. McKinney "looks like a ghetto slut"
* Richard Cohen writes about Iraq as though he had never been wrong about it
* Abramoff sentenced; ABCNews carries AP report that fails to mention Abramoff's party ID
* Aravosis takes down an AdNags article. I don't think it at all captures what the blogosphere is about, and I find it journalistically wrong for the article to mention a GOP attack site but not the Dem response to it.
* The Religious Left: We Want the Airwaves I've complained in previous MNM entries that the religious left is consistently undercovered by the national media. It's wrong, and it has to stop. ABC News is one of the worst offenders when it comes to tilting coverage of religious issues to the right; Jennings rightfully wanted religion coverage because of the importance of religion in our world. The problem is that in recent years, the coverage is basically that the only religious community is the far right-wing one. (More here). The UCC gets some support from the National Council of Churches USA, and Benen notes the hypocrisy of networks. %%%
* McNabb Redux: Limbaugh Trashes Golf Prodigy Michelle Wie
* Via Atrios. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez corrects the media about Hispanics. Related: National Association of Hispanic Journalists urges media to stop use of terms like "illegal aliens". Ever notice how very few correspondents and anchors on cable and network news are Hispanic?
* British memo disclosure gets little coverage from the rest of the media
* NYT repeats "half-baked Oreao allegation" from MD Demand a correction, folks.
* Ex-ABC News reporter Tim O'Brien writes leniency letter on behalf of Abramoff
* Right working the refs again. Do news organizations' hiring practices favor liberal writers? 1) How many right-wingers go into political journalism? One of the staunchest GOPers I know is interested in journalism, but doesn't want to report on politics. 2) Um, didn't the NYT a few months ago specifically hired right-leaning writers to report on conservatives?
* Bush holding off-the-record meetings with reporters. FishBowl DC follows up here.
Another reporter who had been invited to Tuesday's chat, but declined to be named, said it was obvious Bush was trying to improve his image in the face of dwindling public support. "It says to me they are trying to be more communicative," the reporter said. "It has not been a select group, he is having a few people through there."
Ron Hutcheson, a Knight Ridder reporter and former president of the White House Correspondents Association, said he had not been invited to a chat, but knew of several others who had. "He has done two of them," he said Monday. "I don't recall them happening before."
Hutcheson said it was likely part of the outreach aimed at improving support for the Iraq War. "He is personal and persuasive in the small group setting and they know that," he said of White House officials. "He used to do them during the campaign, come to the back of the plane and talk to reporters."
Hutcheson said Bush initially sought to speak off the record with reporters on Air Force One shortly after taking office in 2001, but most opposed the idea. "The consensus was that you can't do that now that you are president, be off the record," he explained. "Air Force One is a pool setting and you are obligated to share with the press corps what you hear. We always argue to be on the record."
Such concerns prompted at least one newsroom to consider declining participation in one of the chats on Monday.
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief, said he did not know if any of his staff had been to such a session. But he showed concern over where such discussions might lead. "If people are going to make small talk about kids and vacations, it is not a big deal," he said. "But when you get in to policy discussions, it can be."
* Charlie Gibson gets the facts wrong on McCain-Kennedy immigration bill
* VIDEO: Elisabeth Bumiller falsely claims BushCo isn't attacking the media's Iraq war coverage
* Why doesn't the media pepper the WH with questions about Norquist's continuing presence at the WH?
* The non-power of the press. They get treated like crap, but feel like they should report the crap that BushCo spits out. If only more WH reporters played watchdog instead of lapdog.
White House correspondent once was considered the premier job for journalism's best and brightest -- and a stepping stone to bigger things, as people like Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson parlayed their role into news stardom.
"It was the glamour beat; that's where you put your star reporter," says CBS NewsCBS News anchor Bob Schieffer.
With unprecedented message discipline and a dearth of free agents willing to divulge real information, the Bush administration has brought a new level of frustration to the beat. While the heady act of walking through the White House gates to work can sustain some reporters for a career, the cloistered atmosphere can be dispiriting.
"You don't get many scoops out of the White House -- no one does," says Fox News host Brit Hume, who was ABC News' chief White House correspondent during the Clinton administration.
Each White House manages the press corps with greater sophistication and efficiency, giving the truly ambitious a reason to look beyond the briefing room to make their mark.
"It's confining, both physically and intellectually," says ABC's Terry Moran, who left the White House beat to join "Nightline." "You're cooped up in a bubble all the time; they herd you like sheep. You're always focused on this one person and the administration. The president makes news by saying and doing things, so your stories are often, 'The president did this today.'"
So meaningless are the daily disgorgements from the White House that Schieffer says he's contemplated sending an intern there to take notes and sending the reporters to Capitol Hill, where there are 535 members of Congress, all with their own agendas and motivations to talk.
* Put this on your wish list. Eric Boehlert writes book that blasts press coverage of Bush years
* Kurtz called newspaper-sponsored Bush visit a "journalistic blunder"
* VandeHei's article on CW that isn't CW
* George Will needs to go back to science class and retake the unit on global warming
* The Domenech fallout continues. FishBowlDC rounds up the advice for WaPo.com's Jim Brady. Meanwhile, Deborah Howell tells another reporter: "I can't defend it. It's a f****in' disaster.", even though she had said earlier she wasn't going to comment on the situation. Domenech also is leaving his job at Regnery Publishing. Wonkette digs up some (maybe true?) dirt on Domenech's time at Regnery.
* Jack Shafer sort of defends Jim Brady, with the "well, he's not the only one" argument.
* Open Letter to Chris Matthews
* Open Letter to the Washington Post
* Open Letter to Tim Russert (See also: HuffPo's Russert Watch)
* Media Matters
* Morley Safer on being 60 Minutes' senior reporter
* After grilling Bush, Helen Thomas gets thousands of flowers
* Radio & Television Correspondents Dinner coverage: John Aravosis' report; FishBowlDC report; The Hollywood Reporter (mentions Woodruff winning the David Bloom Award for Excellence)
* Ann Coulter given 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct
* Judy Miller working on profile of Muammar el-Qaddafi
* DCist interviews TNR's Franklin Foer
* Ted Turner blasts the media, Bush and himself
* Charlie Rose undergoes open-heart surgery Get well soon!
* Newsweek Q&A; Lou Dobbs discusses immigration, objectivity, and the priorities of cable news
* The April 2006 issue of ELLE magazine profiles CBS' Lara Logan. Hotline summarizes:
he mag notes she is "the queen of the embed in both Afghanistan and Iraq, pushing the concept of the macho femme to a whole new level."
Logan: "If you've ever been next to a 50-cal when it's firing, it's unbelievable. You gotta know the sounds. Is it incoming or outgoing? I love it. The noise. The everything."
Logan, 34, is "tanned, fit, and possessed of a lissome figure that might put you in mind of Angelina Jolie, as it did to the soldiers from her embed gigs who nicknamed her Lara Croft." A SEAL commander, who remained anonymous for security reasons: "In that land-mine explosion when she got the hell nuked out of her ass, she was probably a cooler customer than I would have been"
* Nominees for The Week Opinion Awards
* National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award finalists include Mike Luckovich I hope Luckovich wins; he's so consistently clever.
* Garry Trudeau gets lifetime achievement award for Georgetown Univ. In the press release, Trudeau's focus on injured Iraq vets is noted.
* Dobbs' anti-immigration stance wins viewers, notes the NYT
News & Notes on Media orgs, Programming, Specials, etc.
* Sulzberger says jury still out on TimesSelect
* CNN's Chris Burns Apologizes to French Foreign Minister for Kyra Phillips' Remark
* Turner apologizes for `mistake' - losing control of CNN
* AAR returns to Phoenix 4/3
* Ombud: SacBee was right to run photo of dead Iraqi children
* LA Times on the allure of The Colbert Report Enjoyable article. %%%
* Boston Globe article about The Colbert Report and the Better Know A District series %%%
* Current TV expanding reach by 7.5M homes
* Nightline mixes it up to raise ratings; Show adopts notes from Koppel's playbook %%%
* Brian Williams notes that French protest video had naked keisters and other behavior that's "R-rated"
* CNN correspondent Lucia newman goes to Al-Jazeera International
* ABC suspends producer over Bush-bashing email
State of the Media, Trends, Research Reports, Innovations
* Grassroots journalism taking hold (but in print) %%%
* Ethnic media filling the gap %%%
* CW says that newspapers have to change to survive. What changes should be made? A look at what is being tried in the industry.
* New Yorker: Newspapers are in decline, but aren't dead (yet)
* Kinsley: The Twilight of Objectivity; How opinion journalism could change the face of the news
* Summary of sub. req. Ad Age article: "Six newspapers have been selected to participate in a wide-ranging experiment sponsored by the Newspaper Next project, which is charged with helping to invigorate the industry. Objective: Find better ways of doing ... well, practically everything. With newspapers getting battered from all sides, but particularly from the Web, the Newspaper Next initiative was unveiled earlier this year in an effort to stop the downward slide. This week the American Press Institute-sponsored project selected six papers (from among 18 candidates) to spend several months concentrating on fresh, previously untried methodologies on both the print and business sides. For example: The Record in Hackensack, N.J., and the North Jersey Media Group, will rethink its online efforts "from scratch" to deliver more information and community-engagement offerings for a wider range of users, including people with little interest in news itself. The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., part of Advance Publications, is working with a newsroom team on strategies to increase readership in a fast-growing suburb. Media General in Richmond, Va., plans to experiment with research techniques to gain new, unique insights into problems that Richmond businesses can't solve with today's advertising programs. Results of these experiments will be reported toward year end."
* New broadband bill draws fire Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are all unhappy with Rep. Joe "Big oil" Barton (R-TX), because he's unconcerned with net neutrality.
* Senate Judiciary Passes Court Camera Bills
* My Space exec: Teen users promote brands This is an article focused mostly on commercial aspects, but My Space could be useful in political organizing, right?
* Ad Age article on audience engagement to advertisers. Audiences engage more with ads aired on news channels (well, "news" when we're talking about FNC) than those aired on entertainment channels.
* Ever wonder what makes something newsworthy? Well, it depends
Cable TV news viewers, in particular, see an unending blur of snippets about geopolitics, pop culture, runaway brides, diet fads and now March Madness college basketball. TV news executives had better reach for the Maalox, because there's actually some merit to your viewers' bile and spleen.
A recent study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, affiliated with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and funded by Pew Charitable Trusts found that news outlets are covering fewer stories, with cable's offerings being the "shallowest."
Indeed. Case in point: The TV coverage of how the judge in the Saddam Hussein trial yanked cameras from the courtroom was, yes, "shallow." The cable networks mostly showed only short clips of the trial, centering on outbursts from the defendants. The coverage took a turn for the worse when in mid-March the judge ordered the TV cameras turned off.
In that not-for-attribution conversation, the anchor rolled her eyes and told me, "That's what the producers want," referring to the endless coverage about the runaway bride. The anchor, too, thought it was overkill. But the public loved it, apparently. Otherwise there wouldn't have been so much coverage.
So think about the cable news networks, in particular, and how they are committed to feeding a hungry 24/7 beast of an audience. And think about an audience that wants to be not only informed but entertained. And that's a tough balance to attain. Viewers, indeed, glom on to to the runaway bride, but they bitch and want to know more about Iraq. A tall order.
Given the goal of both network and cable TV news to inform, entertain and hold viewers-and given the news operations' relatively small budgets-maybe we're all being incredibly unrealistic about what we expect to hear about what is really happening in the world.
But news operations today lack both the time and money to spin such rich tales. And that's the point. Neither of my two journo sources wanted to go on record about what was appearing on their respective airwaves. Can you blame them? Newsie: Actually yes, because few put in the effort to do in-depth tough reporting.
Ratings, Circulation, & Ad Revenue Strength
* New NAA Study: Newspapers' Online Audiences Growing Rapidly
* Clark's podcast is #1 political podcast
* Q1 Sunday Talk ratings here. MTP on top, but others gain ground.
* Sunday Talk Ratings: "For the week of 3/26, NBC's "Meet the Press" won with a 3.0 rating/9 share and 4.072M viewers. Both CBS' "Face the Nation" and ABC's "This Week" had a 6 share, but "Face" had a 2.1 rating and 2.968M viewers, while "This Week" had a 2.0 rating and 2.655M viewers. "Fox News Sunday" came in with a 1.0/3 and 1.315M viewers (Hotline sources, 3/30)."
* First Quarter Cable Ratings: TVNewser ranks the various cable news programs. O'Reilly had FNC and all of cable news' #1 show. He's followed by Hannity & Colmes. LKL was the #1 show on CNN (followed by Anderson Cooper 360 and then, Lou Dobbs). Keith Olbermann was #1 on MSNBC; Rita Cosby was #2 on her channel. TV Newser also posts handy charts comparing this year's Q1 ratings and last year's ratings for the five cable news channels: 25-54 demo and Total Viewers.
* MSNBC press release highlighting Countdown's Q1 victory over Paula Zahn Now in the 25-54 demo
* Nany Grace averages 581K viewers a night
* The Chris Matthews Show is #2 public affairs show in households for week ending 3/26.
* 60 Minutes 3/26 had high enough ratings to be Nielsen's Top 10. That edition of the show featured an interview with Tiger Woods.
* Morning Show Wars (week of 3/20-3/26): Today beats GMA by 1.3M viewers
* Today Weekend Edition beats Weekend GMA in Q1 ratings
* Evening network news ratings: NBC claims Q1 victory; CBS Evening News gains 500K viewers in one quarter
* Leno generates biggest Q1 win in three years, while Jimmy Kimmel Live shows gains.
* Dateline 3/26 ratings increase with Schiavo interview. 9.5M watched.
* Michael Eisner's CNBC show ratings stink
A Programming Note
Everyone knows who the top right-wing radio talk show hosts are, and everyone knows about AAR. I thought it'd be a good idea to highlight some lesser-known progressive talkers. I want to feature some lesser-known lefty talkers. If you know of any local progressive talkers, please email me with the info. Thanks. We can't build a VLWC if we don't know where to go support `em.
Media News Monday is a compilation of media news from the past week posted on Monday. Media is an integral part of politics, and I think that it's important to get to know media and media innovation in order to forecast future ways of campaigning, targeting voters, and disseminating information. If any of you are interested in campaigning, this weekly diary may help you with ideas. It is also important to keep up with right wing corporate media (RWCM) news. If you have any media news to add, please do so. For more RWCM watch & Media News: Penndit's News, Media News, and RWCM Watch Links. I get the advertising, public relations, targeting voters information, and media research from a variety of sources other than the links above. Cross-posted at Penndit and My Left Wing. For previous editions, search my diaries or Penndit.
If you like this diary and don't want to miss, consider subscribing. Thanks!