Permanent link to MTA daily media news
Scare Tactics: Despite Lacking ‘Specific Information,’ Townsend Claims Al Qaeda May Target 2008 Elections
The 2008 elections are still a year away, but this morning outgoing Homeland Security Adviser Frances Fragos Townsend told CNN that al Qaeda may target the presidential elections. She said that while there is currently no “specific information,” “we know that Al Qaeda views these periods as being a particularly vulnerable period.”
Click through to watch the video.
More Scare Tactics: Bush Administration Stokes Fear Of Massive Army Layoffs To Force Congress To Drop Redeployment
The Bush administration is threatening that it will issue furlough notices to up to 150,000 civilian workers at military bases in mid-December if Congress does not approve unrestricted Iraq funding immediately. As part of this campaign, the Pentagon is distributing a document warning that the Army may cease to function if it does not receive the funds now… In [Tuesday] morning’s White House gaggle, spokeswoman Dana Perino admitted they’re making civilian employees fear for their jobs as a way to “remind Congress” to pass a bill, despite the fact the funding has passed the house and is being blocked by Republicans in the Senate.
Click through to watch some highlights of Rep. John Murtha’s press conference explaining how ridiculous the White House’s threats are.
Military Says Bonus Letter Was A ‘Mistake’
A KDKA investigation is getting national attention and results for a wounded soldier from Mt. Lebanon and perhaps thousands of others. The Army ordered Jordan Fox to return thousands of dollars in bonus money because his injuries prevented him from completing his tour. When in Iraq, Fox survived machine gun battles and a roadside bomb that knocked him unconscious and blinded him in his right eye.
If not for this television station’s investigation, would this man have had to pay the money back? How many more cases like this are out there?
Hillary-Backer Carville Set To Appear On Sunday’s Meet The Press — Without Any Obama Or Edwards Backers (by Greg Sargent at The Horse’s Mouth)
Well, guess who is now set to appear on Meet the Press this coming weekend? Hillary supporter James Carville, of course. The network has just confirmed to me that Carville is one of the guests set to appear this Sunday. The other guests, as of now, are Bob Shrum, Mary Matalin and Mike Murphy — which is to say, no backer of any of the other Dem candidates.
Fact Check: Health Plans Of GOP Cancer Survivors Won’t Cover Cancer Survivors Like Themselves
Last month, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani began running radio ads in which he used his experience as a survivor of prostate cancer to bash government provided universal health care plans… Giuliani says he prefers a “free market” approach that uses tax incentives to encourage Americans to enroll in private health plans. But, as the Los Angeles Times reports [Tuesday], Giuliani’s plan would be unlikely to cover cancer survivors such as himself… Along with Giuliani, the plans of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), who also are both survivors of cancer, would likely exclude Americans such as themselves.
Self-Inflicted (by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo)
Hmmm. This could get very sticky for the Mittster. There’s been some weird circumstantial evidence suggesting that the candidate with the most connections to the firm behind those anti-Mitt, anti-Mormon push-polls was none other than Mitt himself. Now the campaign is furiously denying that he was push polling himself.
Push Polls, Grammar and Usage Edition (by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo)
A few folks in the polling and campaign business have noted that these Romney “push-polls” really aren’t push polls in the classic sense. According to the reporting they lasted roughly 20 minutes. Or if they are they’re being done in an exorbitantly expensive way. A push-poll has to be made to really large numbers of people to have any effect. So to be cost-effective, they need to be really quick. And they can be since you’re usually trying to convey only a short-snippet of information. So, “I’m doing a poll. Would you be less likely to vote for Tom Tancredo if you knew he kept a harem of giraffes?” Done, end of message.
Time rejected Rove as a columnist.
Radar reports that, prior to securing a spot as a Newsweek columnist, Karl Rove approached Time magazine for a job. Time, however, rejected Rove as “essentially like an unindicted coconspirator in a whole host of felonies”.
Alberto Gonzales Heckled At University Of Florida Speech
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales delivered his $40,000 speech at the University of Florida last night. Gonzales’ first stop on a nationwide college speaking tour got off to a very rocky start, as he had to endure shouts of “criminal” and “liar” throughout his speech.
Click through to watch some video of students standing on the stage with hoods over their heads. People we disagree with have a right to speak, too. Demonstrating OUTSIDE the facility and inviting speakers to counter those we disagree with is a better way to go.
The Liberals Made Them Do It (by digby)
Guess whose fault [the housing meltdown] is [according to the American Spectator]?… “One of the biggest liberal criticisms of the market was that low-income people — particularly blacks and Hispanics — were excluded from ownership through ‘blackballing,’ ‘red-lining,’ and other forms of discrimination. So the banks and mortgage markets responded. They invented ‘sub-prime’ loans for high-risk customers and tried to spread the risk by bundling them into broader financial instruments. Eventually the market became overextended and we’re all suffering the consequences.”
U.S. Media Poodles
Compiling a long list of U.S. hostilities in which “after laying the big flagstones on the path to war, mainstream U.S. media outlets resolve[d] to be more independent next time,” the author and Media Beat critic [Norman Solomon] sees fit to quote Mark Twain’s quip that “it’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.” While “superficial self-critiques have become periodic rituals at big news organizations, the basic and chronic failures to engage in independent journalism routinely elude serious examination.”
Media Matters for America headlines
AP Lawyers Will Go to Iraq Next Week to Defend Photographer — Press Group Raises Concerns
“I have no reason to think the Iraqi court system will be anything but fair and impartial,” AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told E&P a day after charges were announced against Bilal Hussein. “But they can only be impartial about what is presented to them. If one side has evidence and the other side doesn’t know what it is, how can we defend Bilal?”
The Twitter Disaster (by Steve Outing at Poynter Online)
[H]ere’s what you do next time a BIG story hits: As you send your reporters out to cover the story, get them to post short bits of news (limited to 140 characters) to a Twitter feed that either you’ve set up for this story, or that you keep ready for significant breaking news. With reporters filing short bits from their cell phones, you’ll be able to offer your audience new information even faster than you could with a breaking-news blog. “Rescue crews just pulled a body out from under the 12th Street Bridge.” “Police are chasing an apparent suspect on foot near the downtown library.” Feed this to your site and to subscribed cell phone alerts. Urge your readers to “follow” your breaking-news Twitter stream from their own Twitter accounts.
NAA: Online Grows, But Newspaper Ad Revenue Continues to Slide in Q3
Newspaper online advertising revenue grew 21.1% to $773 million in Q3 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Newspaper Association of America. In Q2 the organization said that online revenue increased 19.3% to $795 million.
An interesting patent was granted to Google on November 8, titled “Customization of Content and Advertisements in Publications.” A number of blogs picked it up and speculated that Google may soon begin to offer users the ability to create customized, printed magazines from Internet content. And print ads included in the magazine would be customized, too. The speculation doesn’t appear to be far off.
Time Inc. to Build Digital Brand Through Features, Content
While acknowledging its magazines’ online sites are unmatched in scale by other popular Web sites, Time Inc. is trying to build its digital brands’ stickiness through new features and content… Among other initiatives, People.com has been adding online video while social networking features will be showing up on other Time Inc. sites.
ABC Pays their Internet Writers (by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins at Mashable)
ABC, we learn [Tuesday], pays its writers for Internet work, whereas not surprisingly NBC doesn’t. If there’s one thing we can be thankful of this season, it is that the Writer’s Guild of America strike is allowing us a rare glimpse into the mundane details of who gets paid for what in terms of Old Media creations.
News without the nonsense
IT IS PROBABLY the world’s best-funded television news operation, and it has a team of experienced professional reporters. Yet after a full year on air, Al Jazeera English remains unavailable to most Americans. Given constant public criticism about the media in the United States, in particular the decline in television news standards, it is surprising that Al Jazeera English has had such a hard time breaking into the market. But cable is king in the United States, and most cable providers have been reluctant to take on the new station.
Facebook – The New Big Brother? (by Ari Rabin-Havt at Open Left )
On Saturday night I used Fandango to purchase the tickets for the movie Michael Clayton. Then on Sunday, I looked at my Facebook feed and saw this: “Ari bought Michael Clayton on Fandango. 5:25PM” Having your privacy violated is a strange feeling… If the producers of Michael Clayton, without permission, decided to send post cards to the friends of everyone in the theater saying “XXXX saw Michael Clayton this weekend” there would be a massive outcry. This is essentially what Facebook (and Fandango) did as part of their new “Beacon” advertising program. Under Beacon, third party sites pay FaceBook to use its members, without permission, as their corporate spokespeople.
John Aravosis at AMERICAblog says, “Kind of creepy if you consider that Ari could have told his fiance that he was working late that night while Facebook said otherwise (he didn’t, but I’m just saying). Or how about if Ari kept buying tickets to gay films, would that have been an interesting fact for Facebook readers to know about, let alone Ari’s fiance?”
Town may criminalize online harassment
The MySpace-fueled suicide of Megan Meier will take another twist tonight when officials in her home town vote on whether to make online harassment a local crime.
Amazon sells own gadget to boost e-books
NEW YORK – Amazon.com Inc. is hoping to invigorate a nascent market for electronic books by introducing its own e-book reader with free wireless connectivity. Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the online retailer spent three years developing the Kindle reader, which the company is selling online for $399.
Kindle? (by Jeff Jarvis)
I’m not getting [Amazon’s digital reader] Kindle in both senses of the verb — not buying and not understanding, both as a device and as a model. I was approached to add BuzzMachine to the blog available for sale on the device but didn’t pursue it because I don’t see the sense in selling this blog when it’s available on the web for free. Oh, I’d love to think that I could sell it — nothing against money; though I’m often accused of it, I’m not arguing that content should be free but that it just is. But if this content is available here for free, why would and should someone buy it on a different device? Why shouldn’t that device just bring me the internet? The iPhone does.
High-tech gadgets for TV, movie lovers
TV lovers have never had it better. You don’t have to stay glued anymore to the boob tube just to catch a favorite show. You don’t even have to be home to watch.
Rise of Out-of-Home Video Sparks Metrics Push
Individual Firms Take First Steps, but Creating System for Industry Is a Tall Order
Making Social Connections and Selling Cookies
Pepperidge Farm is creating a Web site devoted to social networking and targeted at women who are looking to improve their social lives.
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