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Permanent link to MTA daily media news

A Nuclear Surprise Puts Iran in the News: December 2 – 7, 2007
For most of the year, the American media have been far more preoccupied with the war in Iraq than with growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran. But last week, a new intelligence report sparked a heated debate over policy toward the leadership in Tehran.

Entrepreneurial lessons (by Jeff Jarvis)
I’m trying to catalogue some of the lessons I learned in my entrepreneurial journalism course at CUNY… To my amazement, every single one of the students said they wanted to start these businesses; I was hoping one or two might be so ambitious and independent. Now, of course, real job offers with real salaries will properly distract some of them… It is a lesson to the industry: Give this kind of talent an opportunity to invent and innovate and they will. But we need an incubator. These businesses need ongoing advice and nurturing, most do.
Progressive media need to learn the same lesson.  It’s a pretty closed environment.  You almost have to be a white male graduate of an Ivy League college living in D.C., New York, or San Francisco to get any traction.

White House stays quiet on CIA tapes
White House lawyers have advised President Bush’s spokeswoman not to answer specific questions about why the CIA destroyed tapes of terror suspects under interrogation, as Congress seeks answers about the matter.

WHO KNEW?…. (by Kevin Drum at Political Animal, The Washington Monthly)
Let me get this straight. The White House had been in the loop for two years. The CIA had received letters from both the Justice Department and congressional leaders arguing that the tapes shouldn’t be destroyed. The CIA’s top lawyer had been involved for the entire time. And yet we’re supposed to believe that, in 2005, a mid-ranking agency lawyer suddenly decided the tapes could be destroyed and the head of the clandestine branch then gave the order to do so without anyone else being involved? Really? Does anyone actually believe this story?

Mythbuster: Senators and Representatives Could Have Spoken Out On Waterboarding: the Constitution Protects Their Right to Speak Out Without Fear of Legal Consequences (by Michael Froomkin, Professor, University of Miami School of Law, thanks to Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars)
Thanks to the Speech and Debate Clause there was a way for any Senator or Representative who wanted to blow the whistle to do so in a way that involved no risk of jail or fines… Thus, it would have been possible for Rep. Harman, or Senator Rockefeller, or the others allegedly briefed to go to the floor … and denounce the Bush administration’s determinate to torture helpless captives in secret offshore detention facilities.

WaPo’s Ignatius deems Bush’s NIE lie ‘a non-story.’
Last week, the White House conceded that President Bush had been informed in August that Iran’s nuclear weapons program “may be suspended,” despite his earlier claim that he didn’t have “the information” until November. On the Chris Matthews Show this weekend, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius claimed that Bush lying about the National Intelligence Estimate was “a non-story.”
Click through to watch the video.

Perino: I Got Nothing For You on Libby
With Scooter Libby’s appeal abandoned, the White House can finally talk about the Plame leak, right?
Wrong.  Click through to watch the video.

Pundits Lavish Tons Of Attention On Rudy’s “Cackle” (by Greg Sargent at TPM Horse’s Mouth)
Okay, admittedly, that hasn’t happened yet. But surely it will, right? After all, every pundit in town surely watched Rudy Giuliani’s interview [Sunday] on Meet the Press. If you saw it, you couldn’t help but notice that Rudy giggled…and giggled…and giggled some more… Those of you with long memories will recall that a couple months ago D.C. reporters, commentators, pundits and talk-show hosts went absolutely bonkers for days and days over Hillary’s far-less-surprising “cackle” in interviews, relentlessly lampooning her allegedly phony outbursts of hilarity… At any rate, brace yourself for wall-to-wall pundit dissection of Rudy’s laugh… …it’s coming any second now, I tell you… …any second now…

New Health Care Ad: If Dick Cheney Didn’t Have Government Care, ‘He’d Probably Be Dead Now’
In Iowa [Monday], 10 newspapers are running a full page ad advocating for a single-payer health-care bill, highlighting the fact Vice President Dick Cheney has benefited from his government-provided coverage. “If he were anyone else, he’d probably be dead by now,” the ad claims. Cheney, as the ad notes, has a long history of health problems… The ad, which is sponsored by the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, argues that without his government-provided health care, Cheney’s recent heart problems would have been “a death sentence”.

FRC ties Colorado shooting to ’secular media.’
In its Action Update today, the Family Research Council (FRC) partially cast blame for the tragic shooting at a megachurch in Colorado yesterday on “the secular media.” In the e-mail, which was sent under the name of FRC Action President Tony Perkins, the group says it’s “hard not to draw a line between” the shooting and “hostility” by “some in the secular media toward Christians”.

Bubble denial (by Paul Krugman)
So how come the housing crisis has come as such a surprise to so many people? Part of it was the usual bubble psychology. Economists like to cite Stein’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” I think it needs to be paired with another law — let’s call it Glassman’s Law — along the lines of “If something unsustainable goes on for a while, there will be people claiming it can go on forever.” But I also think bubble denialism was to an important extent political… [W]hen I began writing about housing, I got a lot of mail from people claiming that I was only saying that there was a bubble because I hated Bush. Honest.

Pranksters laugh after news sites fall for bogus Trump tale
A story about Donald Trump leaving a $10,000 tip was fabricated by Co-founder John Resig says of the hoax: “How many people get on the front page of Fox News with a story that doesn’t contain one single ounce of truth?” Arianna Huffington, whose site linked to the story, says: “Let’s remember, this wasn’t a phony story about aluminum tubes put on the front page of the New York Times; this was a fun, positive story” that passed the sniff test because it “fit the Trump MO of tireless self-promotion.”

Media Matters for America headlines

MSNBC’s Brzezinski praised Huckabee as “honest” despite his documented deceptions in response to AIDS controversy

Reporting that Romney “asserts his firm belief in the separation of church and state,” Wash. Post did not note attack on “religion of secularism”

Hannity falsely asserted that Murtha “has gone to the other side” with his recent troop surge comments

Ignoring researcher’s caveat, WSJ’s Henninger claimed stem-cell controversy “[b]asically [...] is over”

Fox News Watch announcer teased NIE discussion by referring to “Iran’s nukes”

“[K]ey bit of context” Sac. Bee public editor accused Media Matters of omitting was in original item — in bold

CNN did not challenge Southern Baptist Convention’s Land with website’s listing of Mormonism as cult

The aggregated newspaper (by Jeff Jarvis)
Why shouldn’t newspapers across the country — which have pretty universally bad business sections — do likewise for national and international business news? Why couldn’t ESPN provide them with national sports? People magazine with celebrity news? Prevention with health news. And so on and so on with brands and content from Consumer Reports to TMZ. It also makes sense for chains to centralize the editing and production of commodity news. This is more than syndication: buying a piece of content. This is a form of outsourcing — you take care of that so I don’t have do (and so I can concentrate on my real value — hint: local)… Do what you do best and link to the rest.

Most newspaper anecdotal leads just waste readers’ time
People read papers so they don’t look stupid for not knowing what’s going on. “And that makes the anecdotal lead all the more pointless and vexing,” writes Will Shuck. “If we’re just trying to gather enough facts to hold our heads high in the workplace, we want those facts as quickly as we can get them, not tucked away under a haze of analogy.”
I agree.  I want the who – what – when – whore – how approach.  At USA Today, sometimes you have to read through half of the article before they get to the specifics.

Alt-weekly publishers now sound like newspaper chain CEOs
Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason once said that investigative reporter John Conroy deserved a Pulitzer. How does Eason now explain letting go of Conroy and other three other veteran writers at the Chicago Reader? “It is a competitive world out there and we are doing what we can to make sure we are putting out an excellent paper in the communities we serve.”

Conrad Black Gets 6 1/2 Years in Prison
Conrad Black, the convicted felon and former press baron, listened Monday as U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve handed down a 78-month sentence in Chicago today, saying, “No one is above the law, and that principle includes you.” Black will be allowed to remain free on $20 million bond, and must report to jail within 12 weeks.

It doesn’t make sense to put Black behind bars, says prof
If Conrad Black’s holdings were turned into cash and distributed among the people he’s said to have victimized, it could do more good than shutting him up at public expense, says Reginald Stackhouse. “Why spend $87,000 a year to imprison someone when it would cost next to nothing to turn his possessions into millions that could benefit the injured parties in this case?”
I say take back the money he stole AND put him in prison.  Maybe that will stop other fraudsters.

Talk show host Ward charged with Internet kiddie porn
Ward’s attorney, Doron Weinberg, said Thursday that for the past three years, he and other attorneys have been trying to convince the federal government that Ward is not a sexual predator, that he was simply doing research for a book on hypocrisy in America and was not engaged in anything more.
Are you still wondering why librarians don’t want to give the government information on what we read?

The ‘Lion of Left’ De-clawed by Feds (by Barooosk at Talking Radio)
One has to wonder, why the feds waited three years to pursue this matter. Despite the virtual zero tolerance policy that has characterized enforcement of child pornography law enforcement, there have been exceptions provided to journalists. Writing in Counterpuch, Debbie Nathan cites the case of Kurt Eichenwald, a former New York Times reporter, who was not prosecuted after downloading more child pornography than what Ward is being accused of doing… Meanwhile, it’s going to be awhile before we hear the ‘lion of left” on the radio again. Ward’s next court date will be in January. In the meantime, he has been suspended, with pay, by KGO.

Bush League Justice (by Dan Abrams)
Bush League Justice is a series (airing Monday-Thursday at 9 pm on MSNBC) that stems from my increasing frustration and outrage over how the Bush administration has politicized the usually apolitical Justice Department… As we will show the week of December 10, they have regularly circumvented Congress, and decimated some of the most fundamental and cherished principles that define justice in this country.

Rachel Maddow gets MSNBC tryout.
Progressive talk radio host Rachel Maddow “taped a pilot” recently for MSNBC, in which she teamed up with MSNBC prime time VP Bill Wolff. Maddow currently makes “irregular appearances on MSNBC.” According to TVNewser, there is “no word on if the pilot is being considered ready for take-off.”

NBC Paying Back Advertisers (video)
NBC is paying back advertisers due to the writers’ strike.

Freelancers Walk Out at MTV Networks
Scores of workers from MTV Networks walked off the job Monday afternoon to protest recent changes in benefits.

Study Shows Ron Paul Brigade is Actually Effective (by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins at Mashable) [Monday] published a study showing the levels of engagement each candidate in the race was achieving with the various presences each candidate has not only at their own campaign websites, but the individual social media presences scattered across the web as well. Who was the big winner? I’ll give you a hint: his initials start with Ron Paul. Gets Serious About Privacy With AskEraser (by Stan Schroeder at Mashable)
It works like this: turn it on (it’s displayed in the upper right corner of the page), and it will “completely delete your search queries and data from servers, including: your IP address, User ID and Session ID cookies, as well as the complete text of your search query–all within a matter of hours.” Once you enable it it stays on over multiple sessions and’s various search verticals: Images, News, Blogs, Video, and Maps & Directions.

Startup gets ad data via Web providers
As Internet advertising is increasingly precisely targeted to meet consumers’ presumed desires, the trick for advertisers is to sniff out people’s interests and needs without riling their privacy defenses.

Microsoft MSN Mobile Portal: More Content, More Ads (by Kristen Nicole at Mashable)
Microsoft has started to ramp up its MSN Mobile portal, rolling out ads and additional content for users. The portal already had search tools, quick access to various applications and mobile content for your phone… The expanded portal will first launch in the U.S. and branch out from there. After the success of the FOX Sports Channel on MSN Mobile, it’s clear that more niche content will make the mobile portal more attractive to a wider range of users. This seems like a good opportunity for more integration of recently acquired MusiWave as well.

Internet Searchers Can’t Get Enough Of The iPhone, Lycos Says
The top news stories based on searches were the execution of Sadaam Hussein, the Iran conflict, the Pakistan conflict, global warming, and the iPhone.

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