Tag Archive for Media News

The Real Reason Everybody Hates Chris Brown That Is Its Not Why You Think

Because clearly enough people haven’t weighed in on Chris Brown’s Good Morning America meltdown last week, I’ve decided to add my voice to the fray. The only real insight I have to offer on this debacle is a tip for Chris Brown’s new publicist, since he recently parted ways with his old one. (Apparently alienating the reporters and crew of a major national news program can make publicists feel less inclined to work with you. Who knew?)
Here’s a heads up to whoever is helming Brown’s new PR team: Those of us who are former fans of Chris Brown, but now can’t stand him, don’t dislike him for the reasons you think we do Read more

When News Misinforms

It was June of 1967, a few hours before the outbreak of the Six-Day War, when my father sent us to Jericho away from the battlefront to stay with my grandmother. Back then, we did not have a television, and I remember huddling in the “radio room,” as my grandmother called it; I would later refer to it as the “war room.”
This was where we’d spend most of our time during the war, away from the broken glass caused by Israeli fighter-jets racing through the sound barrier listening to the Egyptian broadcast “Sawt El Arab” or “Voice of the Arabs.”
“Report number 42,” the announcer would say, and through the crackling sound of my grandmother’s ancient shortwave radio, we would all strain to hear the war updates.
“The Egyptian forces have repelled the Zionist army… the Jordanian army advanced to Jabel el Mukaber.”
I believe that it was on the second or third day of the Six Day War, as we were listening to these victorious reports, that we felt a rumbling throughout the house Read more

CNN Special Unwelcome The Muslims Next Door

The CNN In America series is some of the best television out there. It frequently takes us into the lives, the hopes and dreams of ordinary, everyday Americans — African Americans, latinos, gays and now Muslims — who to date have struggled in gaining full acceptance into the American family. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door,” which debuted last night on the network and which encores on Saturday April 2 at 8:00 p.m., is no exception. Provocative, engaging, and at times disturbing, the special is the kind of necessary television that continues to challenge us to examine who and what we are as a country Read more

A 21st Century Guide to Putting Digital Media and Political News in Perspective

As a former newspaper executive turned Internet entrepreneur, I always chuckle when I get emailed a humorous list called “The Easy Guide to Keeping Newspapers and Political News in Perspective”.
Three times in the past week I was sent this guide (which was developed many years ago and is “reprinted” in italics below). Perhaps my friends are increasingly nostalgic about newspapers. Or, maybe I am the only person that my friends know who was ever involved in the newspaper business Read more

Finally Integrity Lawrence ODonnell Criticizes His Networks Owner GE for Paying No Taxes

On his MSNBC program, The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell spent an entire segment criticizing his show’s part-owner, General Electric, for paying no income taxes on over $5B of profits in 2010. He went even further by attacking the loopholes written into the tax code, many of them sponsored by GE’s lobbyists, that allowed such an egregious outcome to have occurred. He railed at GE’s stable of 975 tax lawyers and accountants, producing such a long and complicated tax return that the understaffed IRS could never mount an effective investigation.
Now, that is integrity writ-large, for which O’Donnell should be recognized and applauded. It is rather pathetic that integrity has become such a rare commodity in our public discourse that it is now a special event, worthy of praise and recognition Read more

The Triangle Fire and the Media 100 Years Later

After the smoke cleared on March 25, 1911, the sidewalks surrounding the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory were covered in blood. The coffined bodies of the 146 dead — mostly Irish, Italian and Jewish factory workers — lined the morgue pier. Firefighters found 14 engagement rings on the charred factory floor, where they had fallen from lifeless fingers.
Hours earlier all hell had broken loose Read more

Why Radio Will Live on

Imagine that you’re on the bus going to work. As you pass a particular building, your phone asks you if you’d like to hear a radio story about an event that happened there.
Then you get a text on your phone from a different station asking you to write back if you’re stuck in traffic. The station uses the information to create a real-time traffic map on its website.
Then a Twitter message asks, since it’s the 8th day of the month, for you to vote on which of three composers’ 8th symphonies you’d like to hear at lunchtime on the local classical music station.
This is the future of radio.
I sit on the Community Advisory Board of New York Public Radio, and we just held an event about what’s in store for the medium of radio Read more

Do You Call Them Latinos or Hispanics

The U.S. 2010 Census reported that there are now 50.3 million U.S. Hispanics. Sadly, this ever growing populace is destined to flail about, because according to a Pew Hispanic report, Latinos feel leaderless.
The Pew center asked U.S Read more

Lockboxes and Lunchboxes Krauthammer vs Social Security

Charles Krauthammer wants you to know two things: There’s no “lockbox” for Social Security and there’s no such thing as a free lunch. He’s wrong about Social Security, but first things first: Let’s do lunch.
Here’s Krauthammer last Thursday, rebutting White House Budget Director Jack Lew: “There is no free lunch.” And here’s Krauthammer in 2004, in a piece called “Tax and Drill”: “There is no free lunch.” And in 2009, writing about the health care bill: “…(I)n medicine, as in life, there is no free lunch.”
And here’s Krauthammer in June of 2007, saying that politicians will never support a gas tax because it would be “too honest and open an acknowledgment that there is no free lunch.” He says in the same piece that ethanol is “another free lunch,” and bemoans Congress’ desire to “perpetuate the fantasy of the tax-free lunch.” (The piece was called “The Tax-Free Lunch.”)
Then there’s Krauthammer on Bill O’Reilly’s show last year, discussing Obama’s budget: “It’s all good stuff, but as you know and I know, there’s no free lunch. ” And in March of 2010, sarcastically lamenting the “disagreeable absence of a free lunch.” (The name of that piece was “No Free Lunch,” in case you’re wondering.)
There may be more Krauthammer “free lunch” references out there, but I have to stop. I’m getting hungry.
Oliver Twist’s Pay Stub
Good thing Krauthammer wasn’t around when Oliver Twist said “Please, sir, I want some more.” His near-echolalic repetition of the free-lunch mantra seems more than a little obsessive Read more

Jon Stewart Not Intimidated by the Lobby

For several years now Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show has shown himself to be the only major media figure to fearlessly challenge the official “line” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Repeatedly, he has slammed the occupation and has even mocked the pretensions of AIPAC which (along with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee) works hard to keep media figures, like Members of Congress, from addressing the conflict in an honest way.
Last night, Stewart did it again. He and Daily Show correspondent John Oliver did a routine in which they described America’s hypocrisy in addressing human rights disasters (like the one in Libya). Their point was that in order to get U.S Read more

Why Stephen Colbert Fears Me

At first I didn’t put all the pieces together.
Why wouldn’t he return my calls?
After all, in January alone he’d had Jane McGonigal, Michael Lewis, Amy Chua, Sherry Turkle and even Chris Matthews (who DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A BOOK). Hey — I’ve got a book too!
But still, no invite.
As the pattern developed, my first thought was — our nations are in competition. Curation Nation vs Read more

Sexism in the Marijuana Trade

I’ve been a part of the marijuana movement since I started working for High Times in 1989. Though High Times is predominately run by a number of women at the top, the magazine is a boy’s club, edited primarily by men. High Times caters to a predominately male readership. That’s why the magazine has featured photo spreads of Playmates, Penthouse Pets and porn stars Read more

Why Winston Churchill Could Tweet but Francis Bacon Couldnt

In honor of Twitter’s 5th birthday today!
Public speakers have been using “sound bites” for decades. A trend has been emerging, long before the “birth” of Twitter five years ago. According to R. J Read more

The Japanese Emergency and Hyperlocal Governments

March 2011 will always mark a powerful event in our lives. Japan experienced an unprecedented triple disaster, the uber-powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake, then the historic sized tsunami, then the still ongoing nuclear disaster, with a near miss on that one looking more and more likely.
But we also saw the growing up of the social media around government 2.0, emergencies, and crisis. Look backward two years — Chile, Haiti, Argentina, New Zealand — each of these natural disasters were powerful, destructive and historic Read more

The More You Watch the Worse You Feel

As if the triple whammy of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster weren’t enough to enthrall and terrify us, the war in Libya is now providing cable news viewers a fresh hell to follow 24/7.
But wait, as they say in the infomercials — there’s more. In Bahrain, Saudi tanks and troops are violently cracking down on pro-democracy activists; in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is moving toward power; in Yemen, security forces, firing from the rooftops, have killed scores of demonstrators; in Syria, troops are shooting into crowds of protesting civilians; and last week’s news from Israel and the Palestinian territories was enough to make anyone rage and wail.
Feeling overwhelmed yet? In Madison, Wisc. and other state capitals, Republicans are demonizing public employees, stripping workers of their rights and using deficits as an excuse to transfer wealth from the middle to the top Read more

Why Social Media Wastes Leaders Time

They called it the Snowpocalypse. When the East Coast was slammed by a massive storm this past winter, Newark Mayor Cory Booker hit the streets, coming to the aid of stranded residents and literally shoveling out a transit bus. But tales of his derring-do weren’t just transmitted by the media or word of mouth. The tech-savvy mayor also blasted out news of his exploits and engaged directly with constituents via Twitter, earning widespread plaudits Read more

Friday Talking Points From Japan to the Shores of Tripoli

Normally, I begin these articles with a few words on the most amusing idiocies of the week, served up by both the political world and the media universe. This week, however, we have two very serious subjects to tackle (although I will slip a little media-bashing in at the end, I promise) — our next war, and the nuclear crisis in Japan.
It looks like we’re about to enter our next war, which could begin literally at any moment (the bombs have not yet begun to fall, as I write this). We’re already militarily involved with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, so Libya will actually be the fifth country America’s military will be engaged with. Whether this will turn out to be a good idea or not is an open question, but within the next day or so we’ll be patrolling the “no-fly” zone, with United Nations approval Read more

Ogilvy Mather Chairman Sees Uptick in Ad Spending

Marketers are ready to spend money in 2011, buoyed by the economic turnaround that’s finally reaching the advertising business, said Shelly Lazarus in an exclusive interview with Beet.TV.
The chairman of Ogilvy & Mather spoke to Beet.TV at the Bloomberg Media Summit. She told us that clients are feeling “more optimistic about their business.” She added, “They’re asking more questions and taking more initiatives.”
They’re also boosting their budgets, including in online media and video, but she cautioned that budgets are still somewhat tentative and only being created on a monthly or quarterly basis, not a yearly basis yet.

read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com

Parsing Our Partnership

Like many of my colleagues, I began my career at a local paper (Louisville in my case) covering local news: the police (we called our outpost at headquarters “the cop shop”), the board of aldermen, the zoning commission and, my favorite, the Metropolitan Sewer District.
The MSD sounded obscure but was a big local deal. Concerns were growing about pollution in the Ohio River, and the MSD had a controversial plan to extend sewer lines (and hefty fees to pay for them) into flood-prone suburbs where septic tanks worked poorly.
I did a story for The Courier-Journal calculating the full cost of the new sewers for homeowners. It was a big number, especially for folks in the blue-collar, semi-rural neighborhoods in question.
The guys at MSD weren’t pleased.
But they also knew that our paper was a key player in the community — a partner, if you will. The story prompted them to clarify their plan, change some things about it, and try to move forward in their own interest, but also for the sake of a city.
I mention the old days for two reasons.
One is because of the pride all of us take — and the great opportunities all of us see — in AOL’s Patch.com becoming part of the Huffington Post Media Group Read more

On Political Talk Shows Liberals Cant Finish Their

Does it ever seem like the liberal guests on political talk shows talk less and get interrupted more?
The halting, dominated liberal pundit is something of a cliche in pop culture, from the fake cable segments on 30 Rock to those subversively accurate Tom Tomorrow cartoons. Even putting aside Fox News, which just added to its in-house stable of repentant Democrats by hiring former Sen. Evan Bayh, the more balanced debate shows tend to book more conservative guests, as Media Matters has documented, and then give the liberals a harder time.
I was thinking about this while watching the most recent McLaughlin Group, which pioneered today’s political talk Read more

Reading the Pictures TIMEs Meltdown Cover Insight or Working Japanese Stereotype

It’s a bold and impressive move to run one photo containing no accompanying detail of an incredible, and detail-stunning series of cataclysms on TIME’s Japan Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Disaster cover. Going that route, it throws all the weight on the emotional response of the population, otherwise notable in the West for the more opaque Japanese mind.
What I’m wondering, though — given how I’m seeing an accelerating number of similarly high profile photos (1, 2) in the U.S.

read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com

Post Plagiarism Case What Was Sari Horwitz Thinking

I’ve dug into plenty of plagiarism incidents involving reporters over the years, but I’ll confess that I’m totally stumped by the case of Sari Horwitz.
Yesterday, the Washington Post issued an apologetic statement saying that two articles in the paper about the Arizona shooting rampage “contained substantial material that was borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from the Arizona Republic newspaper.”
The Post’s apology didn’t name the offending reporter or say what her punishment was. But it turned out to be Sari Horwitz, and she was suspended from the paper for three months.
Who is Sari Horwitz? Well, here’s the puzzling part. She is no Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair — no young and green would-be hotshot reporter in a hurry. Nor does she resemble Janet Cooke, the Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981, only to have the article turn out to be a fraud Read more

Why Fox News Wont Stop Bullying NPR

In the wake of the James O’Keefe smear campaign against NPR, which arrived in the form of dishonestly edited undercover tapes (does O’Keefe know any other form?), public radio host Ira Glass expressed dismay that nobody was “fighting back” against the right-wing attacks. “I find it completely annoying, and I don’t understand it,” said Glass.
Instead of fighting back against the right-wing attacks led by Fox News, NPR hit the panic button last week. It prematurely condemned a colleague and got busy “rolling bodies out the back of the truck,” as the New York Times’ David Carr put it, referencing the public sacking of CEO Vivian Schiller and senior fundraiser Ron Schiller, who was featured in the O’Keefe tapes. Both were made sacrificial lambs for the O’Keefe stings; lambs that were sacrificed before the full truth about theunethical tapes were revealed.
Note to NPR: If you don’t stand up, the bullying is never going to stop.
It seems obvious that Fox’s odd, deeply personal hatred for the venerable news institution comes from the very top Read more

Egyptian Media Takes on Mubaraks Narcissism

Egyptian media are having a field day ripping into ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his family and cronies, with state-run news organizations doing an about-face from traditional kowtowing to authority.
Coverage has ranged from serious to ludicrous, and, given Egyptians’ noted sense of humor, downright hilarious.
Yosri Fouda, a former investigative journalist with Qatar’s Aljazeera and host of a show on Egypt’s On TV, aired a picture of Mubarak wearing a pinstripe suit with his name sewn into the stripes.
Hosni Mubarak’s suit (Abu-Fadil)
Fouda, whose show is entitled “Akher Kalam” (The Last Word) brought an expert into the studio to analyze Mubarak’s state of mind.
The camera zeroed in on the garment to show vertical letters.
Hosni Mubarak’s suit with his name woven into the pinstripes (Abu-Fadil)
“The stripes in the suit have the name Hosni Mubarak woven in English and repeated throughout,” Fouda said, adding that he had noticed it when the photo was enlarged.
The demonstration would have been unthinkable when Mubarak was in power.
Yosri Fouda discusses Mubarak’s pinstripe suit (Abu-Fadil)
Asked for his opinion, the guest said Mubarak’s expression and the suit he wore reflected an attitude of dismissiveness, superiority and narcissism.
“A person who writes his name on his suit indicates self-importance, and that only comes when he feels he’s got absolute power and represents Egypt — there’s no Egypt, I’m Egypt,” the expert said.
It also signified that person had been in power too long and was one with his chair, the expert explained.
Interestingly, On TV is privately owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who benefited under the Mubarak regime and whose businesses have cashed in on deals in North Korea.
When the Egyptian revolution first broke out, the opposition paper Al Wafd reported a number of rich Egyptians had prepared their private jets for a hasty exit and that Sawiris had fled to Dubai, but he denied it and subsequently made several media appearances from Cairo.
Sawiris told an interviewer defensively last month: “Not all businessmen are crooks.”
Meanwhile, state-run newspapers like Al Ahram have also jumped on the bandwagon of dissecting the Mubarak regime’s misdeeds.
This week’s youth supplement published an article entitled “Al Fasad Fi Hemayat El Hanem,” (corruption under her ladyship’s protection), in reference to former first lady Suzanne Mubarak (ne Thabet) who was known derisively as Marie Antoinette or Lady Macbeth.
Suzanne Mubarak’s family corruption uncovered by Al Ahram
The piece said Egypt’s January 25 revolution had terminated the empire of her first cousin and Consultative Council member Mustafa Thabet from the Upper Egypt Menia district town of Matay, where demonstrators had apparently set his fancy villa on fire.
The townspeople considered Thabet a tyrant who had terrorized them for years to the point they feared retribution and a return of the old regime if they spoke ill of him, the paper said.
Thabet’s council seat had been a family monopoly — his father had held it before him — and trouble began in Matay when Bahaa Mohamad Ismail of Egypt’s Channel 7 considered running for the same seat last year.
At first Ismail hesitated, given Thabet’s bad reputation, but the former decided to forge ahead, only to begin encountering obstacles such as being forced to pay 1,800 Egyptian Pounds ($330) promotional insurance to the district when the real fee was 1,000 Pounds ($181) — a burden in a relatively poor region.
Further pressures and threats against Ismail and his family, as well as harassment of other candidates “who dared run against ‘the lady’s cousin’, convinced him to withdraw from the race,” the report said.
The Consultative Council was for years the fiefdom of Mubarak loyalist Safwat Al Sherif, who headed the body that rubber-stamped executive decisions.
Safwat Al Sherif (Abu-Fadil)
The octogenarian Al Sherif had served as information minister under Mubarak and was a holdover from the days of predecessors Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The new head of the (discredited and former ruling) National Democratic Party ousted former information minister Anas Al Fiqi (another Mubarak partisan), and accepted Al Sharif’s resignation from the ranks, according to Al Ahram.
The paper’s post-revolution coverage has been a far cry from its historical role as chief cheerleader for the regime and the ruling party.
In January Al Ahram’s journalists issued a statement calling for the resignation or removal of Mubarak from power and disavowed their executives’ decisions to besmirch the demonstrators and write falsehoods about the revolt.
So beholden to the regime were the publisher and top editors that in October 2010, the paper photoshopped a picture of Mubarak to show him walking ahead of President Barack Obama at the White House Read more