Jan
23
2012

Rooting for Newt?

To me, the most interesting observation after the South Carolina primary came from New York magazine reporter and regular TV pundit John Heilemann, who said this on MSNBC (h/t Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars): Gingrich is going to get so much free media attention over the next few days. It is going to be wall to wall Gingrich, and I think it is fair to say that, in some ways, the “liberal media,” as Gingrich would put it, is kind of rooting for Gingrich right now. They want this–they/we, want this race to go on, so he is gonna […]

Aug
16
2011

If Bachmann Is Gasping for Media Oxygen, What Do You Say About Ron Paul?

One of the strangest comments post- Iowa straw poll came from reporter Kelly O’Donnell on NBC Nightly News (8/14/11): Both Pawlenty’s exit and Perry’s launch consumed political oxygen that typically would have gone to the straw poll’s actual winner, Congresswoman Bachmann, who appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows, including Meet the Press. I’m having trouble imagining how someone could put those two thoughts together. Bachmann was merely on five national TV shows Sunday morning. That’s being overshadowed? If that’s oxygen deprivation, one has to wonder what you’d call the media treatment of Ron Paul, who finished one percentage […]

Aug
09
2011

Politico’s ‘Obama to Destroy Romney’ Piece Is, Well, ‘Weird’

There’s a lot of chatter–and presumably more to come–about this Politico story today (8/9/11): Obama Plan: Destroy Romney By Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin August 9, 2011 04:29 AM EDT Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early-stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee. It’s a safe bet that the Obama campaign, being a political campaign, will engage in some pretty rough stuff. But this piece makes it sound like something terrible […]

Jun
21
2011

‘We Are a Profit-Driven Industry’

“I mean, we are a profit-driven industry. And if you want the most eyeballs, you have to go with the thing that people are most talking about. But if you’re trying to do a quality program, then maybe you have got to go with Iraq and Iran.” —Politico‘s Julie Mason, explaining the amount of coverage of Anthony Weiner (CNN, 6/19/11) UPDATE: Jim Romenesko reports that Gannett will be laying off 700 employees: That’s about 2 percent of the workforce, according to Gannett US Community Publishing division president Bob Dickey. ‘The economic recovery is not happening as quickly or favorably as […]

Jun
14
2011

The Press Plays Water Guns With the Bidens (Again)

Seriously, another one of these? Like last year, maybe some of the reporters involved find it valuable for the people they cover to get to know them on a more personal level, away from all the tough questions and dogged investigations.

Jun
03
2011

Politico Uses Anonymous Sources to Attack Hersh…for Using Anonymous Sources

Seymour Hersh reports in the New Yorker (6/6/11–subscription required) that there is s virtually no evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program, despite huge efforts on the part of the U.S. to prove otherwise. Though Hersh’s findings do not contradict the past two National Intelligence Estimates, they do fly in the face of long-held official and corporate media views. Corporate media routinely treat the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program as a matter of fact. New York Times reporter Michael Gordon has done it at least twice (2/24/03, 10/19/04), in one case suggesting that a U.S.-friendly regime in Iraq might pressure […]

Feb
07
2011

Politico and Centrist Media Bias (22 Years Late)

One of the supposed attractions of the news site Politico is that every so often they give you a peek behind the media curtain, trying to explain how Beltway journalism works. So they don’t just obsessively cover Sarah Palin–they explain why they obsessively cover Sarah Palin: “For the media, Palin is great at the box office.” John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei offer a similar piece (2/7/11) that takes aim at thesupposed turnabout in Barack Obama’s political fortunes after the midterm election. Part of the answer is thatthe White House is doing things they know the media will cheeron asa […]

Sep
30
2010

Why ‘Congress Has Cooled on Colbert’

Politico has a story about how congressmembers and their staffs are avoiding the Colbert Report that contains this anecdote: “My experience with that show is like herpes. It never goes away, and it itches and sometimes flares up,” said a former aide to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, after his boss appeared on the show in 2006. The conservative Georgia Republican, co-sponsor of a bill requiring that the 10 Commandments be displayed in Congress, was skewered by Colbert in a segment of “Better Know a District” for appearing to be able to name only three of the commandments. The episode has “haunted” […]

Jun
24
2010

Media, Access and McChrystal

The Runaway General: Michael Hastings' Rolling Stone piece on Stanley McChrystal

There’s been a discussion (some of it neatly summarized on the Daily Show) of elite journalists’ reaction to the explosive comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staffers to Rolling Stone freelancer Michael Hastings. One admission came via a Politico story, captured by NYU’s Jay Rosen (6/24/10): And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks. Rosen notes that this line in the Politico piece was subsequently removed, perhaps because it revealed too much: […]

Jun
09
2010

Political Eras Are Getting Shorter and Shorter

Three weeks ago, under the headline “Activists Seize Control of Politics,” Politico (5/19/10) was reporting that U.S. politics may have changed forever: The 2010 electorate has swallowed an emetic–disgorging in a series of retching convulsions officeholders in both parties who seem to embody conventional Washington politics. The anti-establishment, anti-incumbent fevers on display Tuesday are not new…. What’s now clear, in a way that wasn’t before, is that these results reflect a genuine national phenomenon, not simply isolated spasms in response to single issues or local circumstances…. This is a stark and potentially durable change in politics. The old structures that […]

Jan
20
2010

Politico’s Allen Warns Democrats Against GOP’s Winning Strategy

digby (1/19/10) spotted a telling moment on the Ed Show (MSNBC, 1/19/10), when host Ed Schultz asked Politico‘s Mike Allen “what’s the next move for progressives” if the Democrat lost in the Massachusetts Senate race. Allen’s response: I would remind you that when Republicans started to eat each other up, we talked about how it wasn’t very smart. I think a lot of people will make that point about Democrats as well. digby’s rejoinder: OK. Eight or nine months ago, the villagers were all saying that the Republicans were eating at each other and that it wasn’t very smart. And […]

Oct
19
2009

Know Your Enemy

Politico (10/14/09) published a list of top topics on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, based on a search of Nexis transcripts since the show’s January 2009 debut. It’s instructive to look at the placement of some individuals, groups and places in the news as an indication of Beck’s sense of whom and what his audience should be informed about: ACORN: 1,224 Van Jones: 267 SEIU: 259 Afghanistan: 97 Iraq: 95 Valerie Jarrett: 52 Mark Lloyd: 50 Al-Qaeda: 50 Bill Ayers: 46 John Holdren: 43 Jeremiah Wright: 42 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 41 Osama Bin Laden: 40 Taliban: 38

Sep
16
2009

How to Spread Misinformation

The Drudge Report (9/16/09) is featuring this headline (in scary red type): Obama Admin: Cap And Trade Could Cost Families $1,761 A Year… The link goes to a CBSNews.com post, which declares: A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration’s estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year. Well,there’s one problem: $1,700 is the upper estimate. The second, far more importantproblem: This was an analysis based on a plan […]