Category Archives: The Media

When Poverty Isn’t News

My brother’s Neiman Reports article It Can’t Happen Here: Why is there so little coverage of Americans who are struggling with poverty? throws down the gauntlet:

Nearly 50 million people—about one in six Americans—live in poverty, defined as income below $23,021 a year for a family of four. And yet most news organizations largely ignore the issue. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism indexed stories in 52 major mainstream news outlets from 2007 through the first half of 2012 and, according to Mark Jurkowitz, the project’s associate director, “in no year did poverty coverage even come close to accounting for as little as one percent of the news hole. It’s fair to say that when you look at that particular topic, it’s negligible.”

This clearly has intrigued NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan who writes A New Focus on Poverty Raises a Question About Times Coverage. And the NY Times is surely better than many on this issue.

Posted in Dan Froomkin, The Media | 5 Comments

Talk Radio is as Real and Honest as Professional Wrestling?

Continuing today’s theme of me discovering things everyone else already knows, I just learned that there’s an entire industry devoted to providing actors to be fake call-in guests to talk radio shows. If I read Daily Kos more regularly, I would have learned this back in July.

Of course, just because some programs do it, doesn’t mean all do, or even that any given one does it. But enough do it to support a business model providing the fake callers.

Posted in The Media | 6 Comments

This Is Good

The five states of grief in the Fox News universe cartoon by Nick Anderson.

Posted in The Media | Leave a comment

Romney Lights Small Fire Under Bridge With Media (Updated)

Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.

Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.

Romney has a history of delivering different messages to his donors when reporters are not present to hear them. At a closed-press fundraiser in Florida this spring, reporters from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, without Romney’s knowledge, overheard the candidate outline new tax policy proposals and suggest that he might dramatically downsize the Department of Education and eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

— The Washington Post, Romney bans media from Jerusalem fundraiser, violating pre-established protocol.

If he keeps this up, the press could turn on him. After all, this is the in-the-tank Washington Post and they’re suggesting he’s two-faced.

UPDATE (7/29): They caved: Romney campaign changes mind, allows press into fund-raiser. Bad move– now the press are going to say Romney’s weak. Cf. Romney Starts Another Painful Week.

Posted in 2012 Election, The Media | 1 Comment

Inteviewed by NBC 6

I may be on the local news NBC 6 at 5 and at 6 tonight as I was just interviewed by Ari Odzer about the Supreme Court’s decision this morning on the Affordable Care Act.

We did a standup outside my house. It was very hot, and if you have high definition I’m sure you’ll see me sweating a river.

Posted in The Media | Leave a comment

The Incredible Sinking Economist

In The Economist fails the Turing Test again, the estimable Henry Farrell pokes at the Economist’s gormless and unpersuasive attack on François Hollande. Here’s part of Henry’s takedown:

I’ve no idea what Hollande is going to be like (except that he’s certainly going to be disappointing). But I do know that this is one of the most exquisitely refined examples of globollocks that I’ve ever seen. It’s as beautifully resistant to the intellect as an Andropov era Pravda editorial. A few more years of this and the Economist won’t have to have any human editing at all. Even today, I imagine that someone with middling coding skills could patch together a passable Economist-editorial generator with a few days work. Mix in names of countries and people scraped from the political stories sections of Google News, with frequent exhortations for “Reform,” “toughminded reform,” “market-led reform,” “painful reform,” “change,” “serious change,” “rupture,” and 12-15 sentences worth of automagically generated word-salad content, and you’d be there.

It’s gotten harder and harder to resubscribe to the Economist. I started having doubts back in 2004, they got worse in 2006. I thought maybe it had improved a bit in the past year, but this right-wing-relfex hatchet job on Hollande (in support of the economic and social barbarian Nicolas Sarkozy) may finally get me to drop the thing, even if they pass the Albania test. And I’ve been a subscriber continuously since the late 70s or early 80s, and was a regular reader even farther back than that.

But frankly, I don’t even read it regularly any more except for the special sections, the science coverage, and the book reviews.

PS. Don’t mistake me for a fan of Hollande. I’ve seen his puppet on Les Guignols de L’Info too often to ever be that.

Posted in Readings, The Media | 1 Comment

Quoted in Palm Beach Post Article on Guantanamo

I have a minor cameo in a Palm Beach Post article today, Ethical debates intensify as Guantanamo Bay detention center turns 10 by John Lantigua.

Posted in Guantanamo, The Media | Leave a comment