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Study links sense of humor, survival
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Laugh and the world laughs with you. Even better, you might live longer. Adults who have a sense of humor outlive those who don’t find life funny, and the survival edge is particularly large for people with cancer, says Sven Svebak of the medical school at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Conversely, anger causes heart attacks, which cause death.  I include this headline in the Media section to make the point that media content can be a life and death matter.

House Approves 3 Press-Friendly Bills: Veto Coming?
The House Wednesday passed three bills to open government records to the press and public, brushing aside White House opposition, and in one case, a veto threat. The measures highlight the media-led Sunshine Week.

Fitzgerald says no to CIA leak briefing
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald declined Wednesday to brief members of the House Oversight Committee who are investigating how the White House dealt with the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity to reporters in 2003.
We won’t hear from Fitzgerald at tomorrow’s House Oversight Committee hearing.  There’s still no C-SPAN schedule for tomorrow.

Andrea Mitchell’s Prime Time Lies
Because Joe Wilson repeated what she told him, Andrea Mitchell got placed in the middle of two Washington scandals: one at the White House and one at NBC. The White House scandal had to do with dishonest intelligence. The NBC scandal had to do with Mitchell’s dishonest reporting. Now Mitchell’s lies are catching up with her and her bosses at NBC News.

The ‘Mr. Fix-It’ Factor
How can you tell the White House is in low water with the press? When reporters start to recast their glowing coverage of George W. Bush, in effect re-writing history. Here’s Howard Fineman in the current issue of Newsweek: “At Harvard Business School, George W. Bush was what they called a ‘skydecker’—a guy who sat in the top back row of the lecture hall to minimize the risk of being called on.” But turn back to Newsweek’s December 25, 2000 edition, where the magazine was trying to shore up the public image of Bush after he lost the popular vote and was placed in office by the Supreme Court…

Canadian Film Crew Lectures Fox News Host on Truth-Telling
Martha MacCallum, host of Fox News’ “The Live Desk,” got more than she bargained for Tuesday (March 13, 2007) when she interviewed a pair of Canadians who made a film critical of U.S. film-maker Michael Moore. Instead of a hit-job on Moore, MacCallum got a lecture on the need for American news media to stop the lies and tell the truth to the American people.

Fox News Can’t Take A Punch
Fox News is still fighting the last war. Busy arguing that it truly is fair and balanced, execs there haven’t noticed that, thanks to the Nevada debate showdown, the real question now on the table is not about Fox News’ fairness. It’s about whether or not Fox News is a legitimate news crew. That’s precisely where Roger Ailes does not want this media branding debate to go.

Air America’s Invitation
Tweaking the Fox News Channel, the president of liberal Air America Radio [Tuesday] morning sent a letter to the chairmen of four state Republican parties, offering to host and broadcast the state parties’ upcoming presidential debates… The Nevada State Democratic Party dropped plans for Fox to broadcast an August debate after furious pressure from online activists, a move that drew attacks from Fox and the label of “Stalinist” from one Fox News commentator, Mort Kondracke. “Should you accept Air America’s offer, Republicans would both embrace free debate and stick it to Stalin at the same time,” [Air America President Mark] Green wrote.

Radio Veteran Named Top Programmer at AAR
A key position on the new management team of Air America Radio was filled today with the announcement that veteran talk radio executive, David Bernstein, will join the network as vice president of programming. AAR, which has been criticized for not hiring enough people with a radio background, went with experience in bringing on Bernstein, who has been in the radio business for 32 years.

Coulter book coming in October
NEW YORK – While conservative pundit Ann Coulter has been dropped by several newspapers for using an anti-gay slur regarding Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, she remains in good standing with her book publisher.

Framework Set for ‘Broadcast Flag’ Copyright Control to Go Global
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2007 – The Electronic Frontier Foundation on Tuesday released a paper about the entertainment industry’s move to take copyright controls global… EFF’s report documents the extent to which the DVB consortium has signaled its assent to copyright control technology. EFF called these a series of “unparalleled restrictions” on consumers’ rights to enjoy lawful digital content. These include “enforcing severe home recording and copying limitation,” “imposing controls on where you watch a program” and “dictating how you get to share shows with your own family,” according to EFF.

Is Google Changing Its Position on Net Neutrality?
Is Google, the foremost corporate advocate of net neutrality, doing a big fake? Have they succeeded in making everyone believe they will stand up to the Bell companies, even as the company cuts deals to become the preferred provider on a carrier’s network? It sure sounds like it, listening to some recent public comments from one of the company’s top policy execs.

Viacom Gets Support From Media Rivals Against YouTube
March 14 (Bloomberg) — Viacom Inc.’s legal effort to stop Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing site from posting copyrighted materials drew support from media rivals such as Time Warner Inc. Viacom, owner of MTV Networks, said yesterday it is seeking $1 billion in damages for almost 160,000 clips it said were posted to YouTube without permission. New York-based News Corp. said companies are justified in asserting copyright claims, while Time Warner called on YouTube to clean up the site.

NBC to offer on-demand mobile television service
NEW YORK (Reuters) – NBC Universal said on Wednesday it would let viewers buy full-length, prime-time television shows such as “The Office” and “Heroes” on-demand to play on mobile phones, a first for the United States.

ComScore adds `visits’ to site measures
NEW YORK – The online measurement service comScore Media Metrix has come up with a new way of measuring Web traffic as new technologies increasingly make one of the current industry yardsticks less meaningful.

Microsoft to buy voice recognition company Tellme
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp. said on Wednesday it will buy privately held Tellme Networks Inc., a speech technology company, to bolster its communications push and enhance searches over mobile phones.

Glide Promises To Make Any Phone An iPhone
TransMedia’s latest software offers the potential to access more files than the iPhone and the chance to work with wireless carriers beyond AT&T.

Calling all rebels! Video game market opens wide
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A deceptively simple video game called “flOw,” in which players control the feeding and evolution of an aquatic organism, is making waves in the $30 billion market better known for fictional blood and bullets.
There’s no reason why video games can’t be fun, informative, and educational.

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