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Presidential coffers set to boost ad spending
Political campaigns likely will spend more than $4.5 billion on ads and marketing in the 2008 election season, a 64% leap from 2004 — the last cycle with a presidential race — research and consulting firm PQ Media says in a report out Thursday.
Please don’t ever forget that most of the money donated to political campaigns, including those for Democratic candidates, ends up in the pockets of the very media moguls who pay their employees well to say derogatory things about Democrats and to puff up Republicans. We’re paying for our own destruction.
MoveOn.org Shouldn’t Attack Petraeus BUT Bolton Can Smear Entire National Intelligence Establishment? (by Steve Clemons at The Washington Note)
When MoveOn.org ran full page ads just before the Congressional testimony of General David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker with huge headlines saying “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”, John Bolton’s fellow travelers went great lengths to condemn Move On for its lack of appropriate respect for dedicated national security leaders… But in [Thursday’s] Washington Post, John Bolton — who in addition to his own State Department team was infamous for trying to mine raw intelligence and manipulate it towards political ends — essentially accuses the entire national security intelligence establishment of betraying American interests in the 2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate.
Will there be outrage?
Washington Post’s ‘fair and balanced’ op-ed page.
Gracing the Washington Post’s opinion page [Thursday] are two former Bush administration officials, two movement conservatives and a journalist-turned-columnist warning that “47 million uninsured” isn’t “our biggest health-care problem.” Hardly anyone’s idea of balance. Here’s how the page is advertised on the frontpage of the Post’s website:
This week Joe Klein authors Time’s front cover story on Iran, titled, “Iran’s Nukes: Now They Tell Us,” in reference to the recent intelligence revelations that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. [Thursday] on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Klein cheered President Bush’s response to the NIE, stating that it was “an amazing moment of candor by the United States”.
If candor = lying, that is.
White House On Bush’s Iran Lie: It Depends On What The Meaning Of “Was” Is (by Greg Sargent at TPM Horse’s Mouth)
Perino confirms … that the President was in fact told that the new intel might be saying that the nuke program was suspended. But she says Bush nonetheless wasn’t lying. How is this possible, you ask. Well, the White House’s absurd spin now is actually that Bush’s phrase “he didn’t tell me what the information was” actually meant, “he didn’t tell me what the specifics of the information were.” In other words, it depends on what the meaning of the word “was” is.
Neocon Job (by Keith Olbermann)
We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.
Intel report sinks CNN Iran special
HOLLYWOOD — The latest National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program four years ago has claimed one casualty: CNN has postponed speculative documentary “We Were Warned — Iran Goes Nuclear.”
What the hell is a “speculative” documentary? If it isn’t presenting facts, doesn’t that make it “fiction”?
God on Huckabee’s side? (by Jeff Jarvis)
Incredible that this has gotten next-to-no coverage but at Falwell’s Liberty University, Mike Huckabee claimed divine providence as the reason for his rise in the polls.
Click through for a link to the video.
THEY COULD TELL US THAT—BUT THEY WON’T: (by Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler)
[W]hat Atrios said is perfectly accurate; the re-emergence of [the Mike Huckabee/Wayne Dumond] story gives the press a chance to tell you how “bat-shit insane” the Clinton-haters were in the 1990s. But let’s note an obvious point: The press corps isn’t going to do that! You simply won’t see the mainstream press corps exploring that part of the story… They won’t take the chance to tell that story because they were up to their ears in the lunacy too—and still are, right up to this day.
Subprime Solution to Mortgage Mess? (by Dean Baker)
It is unfortunate that most reporting on the rash of foreclosures in the mortgage market continues to focus on the mortgages as the source of the problem. This is leading to seriously misguided policy, since the core problem is falling house prices, not resetting mortgages… The reason that subprime borrowers are defaulting in large numbers is that prices are now falling so that they have no equity to borrow against… These people will obviously not be aided by a freeze on resets. Neither will the people whose mortgage has already reset. And of course the people who [took] out fixed rate mortgages will not benefit either.
Foreign Aid: What Does It Cost? (by Dean Baker)
Polls consistently show that the public hugely overestimate the share of the budget that goes to foreign aid. This is partially due to the fact that news reporting rarely places spending numbers in a context that is understandable to their audience. Almost no one can assess the importance of a $4.8 billion appropriation over an unspecified number of years.
Media Matters for America headlines
Tribune Challenges FCC Cross-Ownership Rules
Publisher Files Appeal Charging Policy Is Unconstitutional
Seattle city attorney drops demand for reporters’ sources
The city attorney subpoenaed three Seattle Times reporters last month asking that they answer written questions about their sources for a police misconduct series. He’s dropped the request. Times executive editor David Boardman says the paper never had any intention of giving up the information.
Reporting Iraq Is Harder than it Looks (Think Again by Eric Alterman, Center for American Progres)
Many of the best accounts of Iraq from reporters struggle with boiling down death and devastation while acting as their own security detail.
What happens when papers don’t supervise unpaid bloggers
Sharon Gray, an unpaid blogger for billionaire Philip Anchutz’s San Francisco Examiner, created the appearance of being an unusually prolific investigative reporter and photographer, when in fact much of her work was taken from elsewhere on the Internet, writes Matt Smith. “Gray’s unsupervised, unpaid efforts may actually provide a glimmer of hope to us paid news hacks by showing that free isn’t always a bargain.”
The same is true of unsupervised or poorly supervised “real” journalists.
Rove auctioning his memoir for ‘millions.’
Former White House adviser Karl Rove is “shopping a memoir in an auction that will kick off today and likely result in a seven-figure payday. How much Rove’s memoir will go for is still unclear, but one publisher predicted $3 million. Ashbel Green, a senior editor at Alfred A Knopf, said that Rove lacks the “personality” to fetch “the multimillion-dollar contracts of former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan or former President Bill Clinton.”
Newspapers Must Grow Digital Fast Enough to Offset Print Declines
At UBS Media Conference: New York Times, Gannett, McClatchy, Washington Post
Laffoon: Ink on paper will be with us for some time, but…
Newspapers will become intensely local, predicts former Knight Ridder corporate relations veep Polk Laffoon. “Large regional newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times will not be able to sustain the levels of excellence that marked them for a generation. Readers eager for in-depth national and international news will increasingly look to a handful of publications, some of them ‘national’ newspapers, some of them magazines.”
Customized Print Papers: Possible Today (by Amy Gahran at Poynter Online)
What if, instead of relying on larger, centralized printing plants and expensive transportation networks for physical distribution of printed papers, newspapers (even big dailies) instead relied on much smaller, more geographically distributed printing plants closer to the papers’ final destinations? With sharp increases in energy and gasoline prices projected for the foreseeable future, as well as mounting pressure on all industries (including newspapers) to cut carbon emissions, maybe the economics of more widely distributed printing and delivery systems might look even better — while also offering the revenue opportunities of customized print editions.
Ten years in prison for ex-mogul Conrad Black?
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Conrad Black, once one of the world’s most powerful press barons but now a convicted felon, will likely be sentenced on Monday to no more than 10 years in prison, legal analysts said.
Murdoch Said to Have Plan for Shake-Up at Dow Jones
The departure of Richard F. Zannino, Dow Jones’s chief executive, was announced Thursday, a week before News Corporation is expected to take control of the company.
Didn’t Murdoch say he wouldn’t make any changes?
Tribune to use $500M in available cash to reduce borrowing
This latest evidence that the long-pending $8.2 billion buyout is about to close sent Tribune’s stock up 8% Thursday morning.
Commercials loads are down. So is pricing.
[Inside Radio:] BMO Capital Markets analyst Lee Westerfield says their survey of top ten metros finds spot time decreased 3% in November, due to “erosion in radio advertising demand.” But while ad levels were cut, so too were rates. The survey shows ad pricing declined by 1% last month compared to rates paid a year ago.
Strike Costs Become Test for Hosts of Talk Shows
The strike by the Writers Guild has become a serious financial drain for most late-night hosts because they have stepped in to pay the salaries of their nonwriting staff members.
Report: Big cuts coming at NBC News, MSNBC; CNBC safe
Peter Lauria hears the cuts will come down this week or next, and will be weighted evenly between NBC News and MSNBC. CNBC staffers won’t be affected because NBC boss Jeff Zucker wants the network to be at full strength to compete with Fox Business Network.
ESPNU Gets It. Citizen Journalism Empowers College Sports Fans. (by Kristen Nicole at Mashable)
ESPN is going all out in an effort to continue to ramp up its online presence. After announcing ScoreCenter, a centralized online destination for sports scores from every stadium and arena across the globe, ESPNU is now looking to students, professors and athletic departments at 20 different universities to help with sports coverage.
Get your geek on
2007 Online Journalism Award winner LiveScience.com keeps it fresh for the “intelli-curious” set.
Dennis taps into Facebook craze
Facebookers of the world who while away their waking hours on the social networking website poking friends and playing Scrabulous can now read all about it – in a Facebook magazine. Dennis Publishing is getting in on the Facebook craze by launching a “bookazine” – a magazine/book hybrid – about the networking website.
Coke Promotes Itself in a New Virtual World
Coca-Cola has set up shop in a virtual world called there.com, creating an island shaped like a Coke bottle where fans can hang out and soar around.
Watching What You See on the Web
The newer form of behavioral targeting involves placing gear called “deep-packet inspection boxes” inside an Internet provider’s network of pipes and wires. Instead of observing only a select number of Web sites, these boxes can track all of the sites a consumer visits, and deliver far more detailed information to potential advertisers.
JetBlue Testing In-Flight Email Access (by Kristen Nicole at Mashable)
Tuesday morning … a [JetBlue] plane, dubbed BetaBlue, will fly from New York’s JFK International Airport to San Francisco, offering passengers access to email and instant messaging functions while in the air… JetBlue has teamed up with both Yahoo and BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion to grant passenger access to these lightweight Internet options. It’s a step in a great direction, but any offerings beyond this will go against FCC rules, which are particularly stringent when it comes to in-flight communications.
AT&T flings cellphone network wide open
NEW YORK – Starting immediately, AT&T customers can ditch their AT&T phones and use any wireless phone, device and software application from any maker – think smartphones, e-mail and music downloading. And they don’t have to sign a contract.
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