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Media & Politics

Permanent link to MTA daily media news

Hillary Clinton Gives The Atlantic Its Best Traffic Ever (FishbowlNY, Media Bistro)
Via Politico comes word that Joshua Green’s article at The Atlantic that details the inner workings of the Hillary Clinton campaign has clocked 1.3 million page views, giving it an all-time high and nearly tripling what the site receives on a daily basis.
I still haven’t figured out why the media pushed and shoved Hillary to get out of the race.  Their readership and viewership skyrockets when she’s in the forefront of the news.  Honestly, these folks are killing their own livelihoods.  The experts agree with me.  See below.

News outlets should stay away from the political conventions
“Unless a brokered convention threatens to break out, these political gatherings tend to produce very little real news,” writes Jack Shafer. He suggests reporters stay home and let political junkies turn to C-SPAN for convention coverage.
See also Jeff Jarvis: “Covering conventions is an waste”.  However, if they’d help us mount an insurrection, they’d again start to get much higher ratings.

We want a floor fight! (by sm77 at The Confluence)
Run! Run for your lives! It’s that crazy cat lady army!

36 Years Later Chisholm’s Dream Comes True (from Walk A Mile In Our Shoes, posted at Clinton Democrats)
The whole world will be listening as Senator Hillary Clinton’s name is read as the first viable women presidential candidate ever to be on the roll call for all delegates to vote on at the Democratic National Convention in Denver… 36 years after Shirley Chisholm declared her goal of becoming the “real, viable candidate”, as  a woman for President of the united states, Hillary Clinton has finally achieved that dream, not only in earning the title of fist “real, viable candidate”, but has gone much further… She has earned the right to be considered one of two possible nominees, she has demonstrated that a woman not only can, but if nominated, will win the white house for the Democratic Party.
Of course, as we know, the Democratic Party leaders don’t seem to care about winning the White House.  They know as well as you and I do that Obama, who should be well ahead in the polls, is instead stalling.  They know as well as you and I do that Clinton polls much better than Obama against McCain.

Why do they continue to prop him up?  I can only guess, but it sure looks like they think his vaunted abilities to bring people into the party and raise funds will enhance their own personal power, regardless of whether a Democrat wins the White House this year.  But Obama appears to have oversold himself in those two supposed capabilities.  What will happen when it becomes obvious that Obama not only lost to McCain, but didn’t even enhance the party’s membership (the number of registered Democrats is down) or its fundraising capabilities (where are the July numbers)?  How stupid will the party leaders look then?  Will we finally be able to clean house and get rid of these losers?

The Newer Deal: The path to a Democratic supermajority (by Michael Lind, Salon)
How Democrats can win big in 2010 and beyond — by doing the opposite of what they’re doing now. Think FDR-style liberalism, not McGovern.
But as we see, Democrats aren’t interested in any kind of liberalism, and therefore don’t care about having a supermajority.

Friday: We’re not done yet (by riverdaughter at The Confluence)
I was checking the Kossack [Daily Kos] Anxiety Index yesterday when I spotted this passage by the proprietor himself about Hillary’s name being placed into nomination: “…It should make for some nice theatrics. A dramatic roll call, with Clinton delegates hopefully sticking with her for the first count, and then unity as the party comes together on the second count.” LOLOLOLOL! (Wiping eyes, catching breath, clearing throat) I don’t know what I find funnier, that they think a symbolic vote is going to satisfy us or that they think we are really just that stupid.  What would be cathartic about a symbolic vote?  Isn’t that the same as no vote at all?  The candidates are virtually *tied* in pledged delegate counts…

Who knows what will happen?  Darragh Murphy has been giving plenty of interviews.  The media is all over this.  It’s getting a lot of attention.  Voters all over the country will start to take notice.  Maybe they *don’t* have two unacceptable choices in the fall.  Maybe they can have a president they can trust after all.  Maybe they can have a champion on *their* side who won’t care if they aren’t Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs in Architecture.  Maybe they can have a Madame President.  It could happen. Why give up now?

They’re Closer Than You Think (by Alegre)
This race is a lot closer than people realize you guys, and with less than 100 pledged delegates separating Hillary from BHO, the idea that she could pull off a miracle upset / hail Mary pass is within the realm of possibility.  Don’t get me wrong – I know it’s still a longshot but if we don’t shoot for the stars we’ll never achieve great things… This explains why they’re putting so much pressure on state party chairs to depress participation in that nominating petition you guys.  They know the numbers are closer than ever and who knows what might happen at the credentials committee meeting later this month?  If they do the right thing – give full voting rights to MI and FL’s delegates AND make BHO give back those 50 delegates they helped him steal, then we’ve got a whole new ballgame.

Obama Leaning Towards More Experienced Pick? (Political Wire)
Lynn Sweet: “I’m just passing on the latest I’m hearing — that Sen. Joe Biden is moving up on the list of potential running mates for presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama. While Obama’s heart may go towards Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine — his head takes him to a more experienced pick, a Sen. Evan Bayh or Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

Is Holding Grudges Good Governing? (by gqmartinez at Corrente)
I know. I know. We don’t have the “context” and “its from Politico”, but if this is true, what do we have to look forward in an Obama presidency: “Rangel surrogates approached Obama staffers this week about the possibility of securing him a slot at the podium, making the case that it would showcase reconciliation between the nominee and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s African-American supporters. But they were told that the 78-year-old congressman’s support for Clinton earned him a place at the end of the line behind Barack Obama’s loyalists — even if Rangel played a crucial part in prodding Clinton to abandon her presidential bid in June.”

One of myriad problems with Bush was his surrounding of like minded people and purging of dissenters, even former allies (Paul O’Neil, US Attorneys, etc.). This is not a trait I want to have in a president. I’ve been saying this since the Krugman purge, but Obama and/or his surrogates have displayed a petty vindictive behavior that I find scary. Rather than truly reaching out to Hillary supporters, they spare no chance to stick it to people who didn’t support him. (Which is why the idea of Obama controlling what progressive organizations get money is truly disturbing.)

Obama Messin’ With Charlie Rangel (by Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft)
[If this is true,] then the Obama camp is showing some real stupid now: “…[A] Rangel confidant states: “It’s crazy. … This man [Rangel] controls tax policy in the United States [Rangel is Chairman of Ways and Means]. He’s a lot bigger than just a regular member of Congress. He deserves more respect than this…” Crazy is right. Full disclosure – Charlie Rangel is one of my favorite pols of all time. I’m a bit of a cultist when it comes to Charlie Rangel.
Full disclosure – I, too, love Charlie Rangel.

Jackson Will Not Speak at Convention (Political Wire)
After speaking at the last six Democratic conventions, Rev. Jesse Jackson tells Essence magazine that he will attend this year but not play a formal role. On his recent comments critical of Obama caught on a live microphone, Jackson said, “It should not have happened. What was private talk became public controversy, and I am embarrassed by that.”

Detroit Mayor’s Bond Modified, Will Attend the DNC (by Jeralyn at TalkLeft)
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, indicted for perjury in a text-messaging sex scandal, was arrested last week and jailed for a bond violation. He had traveled to a business event in Canada. The next day he was charged with additional offenses. Monday, over objections of prosecutors, the Judge modified his bond conditions to toss the home monitoring (ankle bracelet) condition and allow him to come to Denver for the Democratic National Covention. Prosecutors may appeal.

Siegelman Invited to Speak at Democratic Convention (WHNT, Huntsville AL)
Don Siegelman will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Siegelman tells NewsChannel 19 he has accepted an invitation extended by the Colorado delegation. Targeted by Republican prosecutors, Alabama’s former governor says he will talk, in particular, about the critical need to reveal former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove’s role in politicizing the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ, under Bush, has gone after Democrats seven times more than Republicans.

Why vote? He’s ALREADY the President… (by Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire)

And how’s that ceasefire working out?
Onero Fiddles while Rome Burns
(by garychapelhill at The Confluence)
”Joined by two friends from Chicago, staffer Marvin Nicholson, and some pals from Hawaii, the presumptive Democratic nominee dropped by Luana Hills Country Club in Kailua, Hawaii today for a round of golf – the second golf outing of his week long vacation. The candidate, donned in khakis, a red polo, and a baseball cap, carried his clubs from his Secret Service motorcade to a waiting motorcade of golf carts.”

“GORI, Georgia — Russia’s foreign minister declared Thursday that the world ‘can forget about’ Georgia’s territorial integrity…”

Here’s Hillary in 2002: “If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.”

Reviewing The Presidential Debates (by Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft)
[While James Fallows] writes a great insightful article about the debates, he ignores the elephant in the room – the Media’s hatred of Hillary Clinton… “When I’d seen this final [ABC] debate in real time, I’d been outraged by its harsh tone… It was violent and dehumanizing, but it was the culmination of a long process.” What Fallows is saying without saying it is that it was Hillary Clinton who got the treatment in the previous 25 Democratic debates that Obama got in the ABC debate. I found the ABC event outrageously unfair to Obama, as I wrote that night. I found almost all of the previous 25 outrageously unfair to Hillary Clinton. None more so the the October 30, 2007 NBC moderated debate in Philadelphia, probably the most important night of the campaign – the one that should be remembered as the late Tim Russert’s legacy as a journalist. Because the late Tim Russert was a terrible journalist.

A TECHNICALLY ACCURATE COLUMN: (by Bob Somerby at the Daily Hower)
In [Thursday’s] column, E. J. Dionne recites a new approved part of a long-running dime novel:  “…And there is that [Mark] Penn memo that speaks of Obama’s ‘lack of American roots.’ Thankfully, Clinton declined to take up this idea, but John McCain’s ads are now subtly toying with it.” Everyone is saying that now. But if you read the memo in question, Dionne’s presentation is basically bogus… Josh Green was too dishonest to say so in his ballyhooed nothing-burger, but Penn explicitly said the following. This is rather basic: “PENN MEMO (
3/19/07): We are never going to say anything about his background.” {Emphasis added.]…

By the way: Dionne played this game in 1999 and 2000 too. He never said a single word about the bogus tales about Gore. He carefully typed around all the lies—but never dared confront them. He didn’t repeat the lies himself. But he didn’t say that they were wrong. So let’s raise a glass to E. J. today! Today, he helps drive a new novel along—although you can pretty much see that he knows it’s bogus. He keeps his own statements technically accurate. In today’s world, that’s the best these types do.
Okay Hillary haters, now that THIS reason for hating Hillary has been demolished, what’s your NEXT reason for hating her?

Reeding Comprehenshun (by Anglachel)
For me, [the Penn memo discussed above] illustrates the difference between Hillary’s campaign and pretty much everyone else. She presented herself as stronger than her opponents by talking about herself and what she meant to do, inviting the listeners to draw their own comparisons. They (not just Obama) talked about how horrible she was and how they weren’t her, or else talked about how despicable this or that group of voters were for picking that “monster”. Somerby flatly calls the Obama campaign on the carpet for their smears, pointing out that [the] discussions leading up to trashing the Clintons’ personal integrity would make for some mighty interesting memos.

As I have personally seen from the bile and invective that arrives in my inbox from the Obamacans, that campaign is grounded in smear, fear and hate. It is telling that since he claimed the nomination in June, Obama has continued to campaign against Hillary, a relentless stream of innuendo, lies, and paranoia disseminated by his camp followers. Even this memo release has nothing in fact to do with trying to build up Obam for the general – it’s all about continuing the war against Hillary… It is clear that Obama understands his weakness is within the Democratic Party. However, he doesn’t appear to understand that continuing to attack the only person who can help him overcome that lack is not a winning proposition.

A lousy American (by Jay, a filmmaker living in Los Angeles, guest blogging at Liberal Rapture)
As a voting American, this primary season has been grueling for me and for millions of Americans who think like I do. From the very beginning when I was giving the Senator from Illinois a fair shake by trying to figure out who he is and what he’s about, I couldn’t find a single thing that would make me want to vote for him… They told me he was for change. He is not. They told me they liked him because he wasn’t a typical politician. He has proven that he’s not only typical, he is the worst kind of politician… Yes, there is something wrong with America these days. It is embodied, heart and soul, in this man’s candidacy and the blind support given to him by the entitled masses who fall in line behind his hollow shell. He will not have my respect until he has earned it, and he will most certainly not get my vote until that happens. I’m not holding my breath.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast” hed upsets Obama fans
“It seems the public just wasn’t ready to be reminded that Barack Obama is, indeed, black,” writes Beth Walton, so the Star Tribune had to change its “Breakfast” headline to [“Obama in St. Paul: Silk stockings and buttermilk pancakes”].
But the subhed is “Barack Obama met with some ordinary Minnesotans the day after his gala $28,500-a-plate fundraiser.”  Somehow I doubt that could have mollified the Obama fans.

Obama Tries Late Night Infomercials (Political Wire)
“The Obama campaign is the first to use a long-form infomercial during the 2008 presidential campaign,” according to Ad Age. “If you hadn’t noticed, that may have been because the nearly 30-minute program aired at 1:30 a.m. Aug. 10 on ION Television… The mostly biographical 28-minute, 30-second program included scenes of the Illinois senator’s keynote speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention as well as scenes from other campaign appearances along with background about Mr. Obama and frequent call-in numbers.”

Obama Notion: 40-Page Rebuttal to Swiftboater’s New Book (by Nedra Pickler, AP)
HONOLULU Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hit back Thursday with a 40-page rebuttal to the best-selling book “The Obama Nation,” arguing the author is a fringe bigot pedaling rehashed lies. Jerome Corsi’s anti-Obama book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” claims the Illinois senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for president. The book is a compilation of all the innuendo and false rumors against Obama — that he was raised a Muslim, attended a radical, black church and secretly has a “black rage” hidden beneath the surface… The Obama campaign picked apart the book’s claims in a rebuttal titled “Unfit For Publication,” to be posted on the Obama campaign’s rumor-fighting Web site,

Edwards Strategist Weighs In (Political Wire)
Joe Trippi: “John Edwards didn’t lose it for Hillary Clinton. Believe it or not, Barack Obama won it.”
Stole it, you mean.  Angling for a job with the Obama campaign are we, Joe?

Media Say Russia-Georgia Conflict is Good for McCain (video, Democracy Nation)
Video compilation of US news networks all agreeing that the Russia-Georgia war is a positive for the McCain campaign.

Phil Gramm returns to McCain’s side. (Think Progress)
Phil Gramm, who stepped down from the McCain campaign after revealing that he believed America had become a “nation of whiners,” is “back with the campaign’s top advisers this weekend.” Gramm was seated in the front row during a McCain event in Aspen, Colorado today. “I am a supporter of John McCain,” said Gramm. “I am helping him with fundraising. We have a fundraiser today and I will be with him today and tomorrow.” Gramm has been rumored to be a possible candidate for Treasury Secretary if McCain wins.

Jackson Browne sues John McCain over song use (Top of the Ticket, Los Angeles Times)
Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using the song “Running on Empty” in a campaign ad — and the veteran rocker is also calling the candidate a great pretender when it comes to standing up for constitutional rights. Browne, one of rock music’s most famous activists for liberal causes, is “incensed” that the presumptive Republican candidate for president has been using Browne’s signature 1977 song “Running on Empty” in campaign commercials, according to the singer-songwriter’s attorney.

Couric’s Online Coverage  (New York Times)
When Katie Couric concludes her one-hour prime time broadcasts during the national political conventions, she will continue hosting coverage on the Internet, CBS said.

Trying new approach, CBS plans to spotlight policy issues of the presidential campaign. (Think Progress)
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports that beginning after Republican and Democratic conventions, CBS News plans to step away from horse-race politics and actually cover the policy issues facing American voters. Over 35 episodes, there will be 35 segments, each on a different issue. Ambinder adds that it’s now “up to the producers and their correspondents to make these segments shine on TV.”
But will they be willing to tell the truth about the issues?  We’ll have to see.

Fox News To Air Obama, McCain Documentaries (Hollywood Reporter)
The specials will dig into the character, lives and actions of the presidential candidates through interviews with family members, friends and associates from their early days as well as colleagues in the Senate.

CNN’s Convention Coverage Sponsored By Big Oil Giant Exxon Mobil (Think Progress)
In an ad touting that “CNN equals politics,” the cable news network reveals that its coverage of both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions will be sponsored by Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Latino media expect ad windfall from presidential race (Bloomberg)
Spanish-language broadcasters in the U.S. project their political advertising sales will soar this year as the presidential candidates woo Latinos in states that have a chance to tip the election. “We are significant players in the battleground states,” said Philip Wilkinson, chief operating officer of Entravision Communications Corp., owner of 51 Spanish-language television stations. “Presidential campaign advertising should come at the end of August, and then I think it’s going to come fast and furious.”

Rory Kennedy on Helen Thomas Film, Coming to HBO on Monday: ‘The Role of Journalism in a Democracy’ (Editor & Publisher)
When Rory Kennedy told her mother, Ethel Kennedy, that she was going to make a documentary on Helen Thomas, the former Mrs. Robert Kennedy responded: “Do you really want to do that? She was awfully hard on Jack.”

Does Shock Jock Hate Speech Lead To Violence? (New York Newsday)
Unitarian Universalists believe in open-minded discourse and welcome people of all persuasions. How could such a community become the target of hate?
For certain, it stokes anger, and that means it’s killing its own audience.

Women’s group wants Chris Matthews fired (Los Angeles Times)
Calling his treatment of women on his cable TV show sexist, the New Agenda urges MSNBC to not renew his contract.

My Facts, Your Facts (by David Cay Johnston, Columbia Journalism Review)
[Farhad Manjoo’s] first book, True Enough, is a provocative and engaging examination of media bias. Like beauty, argues the author, bias is in the eye of the beholder. So instead of looking at those who report and analyze the news, Manjoo examines their audience. It is a novel and eye-opening approach… [T]he core of Manjoo’s argument: the vast majority of people want their beliefs to be reinforced, not challenged by inconvenient facts… [As an example,] cites the transformation of CNN’s Lou Dobbs: a man who once revered Big Business is now one of its great detractors, even as he conducts a one-man crusade against illegal immigrants… Dobbs has shifted his approach, says the author, because audiences have bought into the notion that news is not, and cannot be, objective… “Dobbs is not a raving idiot,” Manjoo assures us. “He just plays one on TV. Given the circumstances, he’d be a fool not to.”

How, then, can the profession fight back? Just as sunlight is the best disinfectant for rotten government, so is skepticism the best and most reliable friend of journalists who care about truth and not just stories that are “true enough.” The old adage is more essential than ever: if your mother says she loves you, check it out. Repeated trips to the factual well remain the best way to distill reality and guard against hype. Check, cross check, and check again. Truth may be getting its shoes on while a lie reaches half way around the world, as Mark Twain observed. But truth still matters, and in the long run, it will prevail so long as a decent number of people push for it.
But people apparently have to be TAUGHT to seek the truth.  Just providing it for them doesn’t help them to use their rationality.  I’ll be doing an individual post later today that stresses this point.

Progressive Blogosphere 2.0: Which blogs are doing it now? (by lambert at Corrente)
If you had to build the initial network of PB 2.0 blogs (or sites) who would you choose and why? I think I see “party invariant” as a key litmus test of membership, but I could be argued out of that, depending. But I think “forswear truthiness” is a litmus test I cannot be argued out of. Truthiness rots everything. Readers? Your candidates?
If you haven’t yet gotten involved in the Progressive Blogosphere 2.0 discussions, I urge you to click through and join in.  How can we stop the kind of blind stampeding of the blogs that happened in this year’s primary?

Putin’s war enablers: Bush and Cheney (by Juan Cole, Salon)
Russia’s escalating war on Georgia reveals the consequences of the Bush administration’s long assault on the international rule of law.

Mythbuster: The Great Illusion (by Paul Krugman)
Shortly before World War I [a] British author, Norman Angell, published … “The Great Illusion,” in which he argued that war had become obsolete, that in the modern industrial era even military victors lose far more than they gain. He was right — but wars kept happening anyway… Angell was right to describe the belief that conquest pays as a great illusion. But the belief that economic rationality always prevents war is an equally great illusion. And today’s high degree of global economic interdependence, which can be sustained only if all major governments act sensibly, is more fragile than we imagine.

July Jump in CPI Suggests Third Quarter Growth Could be Negative (by Dean Baker)
One item largely overlooked in the reporting on the surprisingly large jump in the July CPI is its implications for growth… In short, it is very likely that the third quarter GDP number will be negative. That may not mean very much in itself. GDP numbers are always somewhat erratic, and there is not much difference in the real world between a small positive and a small negative number. But, the 3rd quarter GDP figure will be released the Thursday before the election. It is the last major pre-election data release. Coming at that time, a negative number is likely to draw considerable attention.
And it is likely to be manipulated to make the current administration and, by extension, John McCain, look as good as possible.  After all, they can just adjust it the following month like they always do.

Fewer Chain Restaurants, Less Lettuce: The Impact of Japan’s Demographic Crisis (by Dean Baker)
Japan has no special interest in maintaining its lettuce production, if it proves not to be an economically viable sector. If farmers cannot make a profit paying the prevailing wage to grow lettuce, then there is no obvious loss to the country if the lettuce industry is allowed to disappear. Similarly, Japan has no special interest in seeing [a] restaurant chain triple in size if the market conditions will not support this growth. Lettuce farmers and restaurant owners may be unhappy about losing access to cheap labor, but this is not a problem for the economy or the country as a whole.
A REAL market economy is one where the market decides which products will be sold based on the full cost of production—including paying fair wages, offering fair benefits, and cleaning up after any environmental messes.  If those requirements make a product too expensive, and no one buys it, then the market has nixed that product.  Period.

Media Matters for America headlines

Feehery on Hillary Clinton’s DNC roll call vote: “It kind of reminds me of Vladimir Putin invading Georgia”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution propagated false claim that Reid received contributions from Abramoff

CNN’s Amy Holmes falsely accused Hillary Clinton of fostering doubt about Obama’s religion

Weekly Standard’s Hayes notes “significant problems” with Corsi book, but promotes problematic Freddoso book

Wash. Post repeats falsehood about why Casey was denied 1992 convention speaking slot

Despite “all my apologies” for bigoted comments, Corsi reportedly scheduled to appear on “pro-White” radio show

Myths and falsehoods about oil policies

IOC Condemns Police Manhandling Of British Journalist
The International Olympic Committee on Thursday condemned the roughing up of a British journalist who was trying to cover a pro-Tibet protest close to the main Games’ complex.

NBC screens out anything unpleasant about Beijing, Olympics
That’s Paul Farhi’s contention. “Political protests? Not on this channel; no sir. Beijing’s fearful pollution? Maybe, but only if a marathoner coughs up a lung or it spoils a beauty shot. Doping scandals? In passing, perhaps. Tibet? China’s role in Darfur? Now, wait just a second… The aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake? Why be unreasonable… Tiananmen? Mao’s barbarities? No, and hell no.”

Kuwait: Proposed Internet Law Aims To Silence Critical Bloggers
Kuwait’s Public Prosecutors Office (PPO) is set to finalize a bill that will punish “Internet offenders.”

Al Jazeera Receives First International Emmy Nominations
Al Jazeera’s English-language coverage of the Myanmar crackdown and a current affairs program have earned the network its first International Emmy news nominations.

Blogger ordered to reveal sources
A court has ordered a prominent Malaysian blogger to reveal his sources for articles alleging sodomy accusations against an opposition leader, according to a lawyer. Muhammad Shafee said he obtained the high court order against Raja Petra Kamarudin - known for his sharp political comments on the internet - in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Bill Would End Ban on Photos of Returning Military Dead
The Department of Defense would be required to grant journalists access to ceremonies honoring fallen military personnel under a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation is significant because it would, for the first time since Vietnam, let photojournalists capture the powerful images of flag-draped caskets arriving on American soil during wartime. This week the bill won the endorsement of the National Press Photographers Association.

Judge keeps gag order in subway hacking case
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Three college students who discovered a way to hack into the Boston subway system’s payment cards and add hundreds of dollars in value to them were ordered again Thursday to keep details of their findings secret.

College Students Investigating Pearl Murder
Twenty-one students at Georgetown are trying to track down the killers of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamic radicals in Pakistan in early 2002. The murder shocked the world and marked a new era of peril for reporters.

Every Tom, Dick and journalist
The urge to record crises is more common than ever, says Paul Kalina.

Chicago Tribune Breaks News with Twitter Posse (by  Daniel Honigman, social media coordinator/strategy for the Chicago Tribune, writing at Poynter Online)
One day, as Jordan Glover (a 31-year-old server analyst, aka madjordan on Twitter) walked to Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza to eat lunch, he noticed more people outside than usual. He also overheard some excited chatter from four women about their “lives being in danger.” Not knowing what was happening, he called his coworker Jeff Smith (aka bobbidigital on Twitter, a 30-year-old sofware developer) to see if there was more news. With no information available from any local news venue, they turned to their Twitter friends. Word of the event spread almost instantaneously. Eventually, another local Twitter user, John Skach, contacted Colonel Tribune… The Colonel alerted the Tribune’s Metro desk of the tip. About 20 minutes later, we had a story:

A conversation sprouted immediately. People “re-tweeted” our story and link, bringing it to a larger audience. In a little while, the story hit a critical mass, receiving several thousand page views in only a couple of hours. The Colonel then did what any proper gentleman would do: He thanked Jeff… Bottom line: There’s no longer any doubt about whether media organizations should participate in social media. But when you do, be sure to thank and credit your readers and followers when they help you out.

Allman: Huffington Post writers are not working pro bono
“Pro bono” means “for the public good,” writes Kevin Allman, so what Phil Rosenthal should have said in his column is that Arianna Huffington wants writers to work for free so she can sell ads around their work. “That ain’t the public good. That ain’t good, period,” says Allman. “It’s hard for me to take any ‘progressive’ site seriously that expects people to work for free while the founders make money. At least Wal-Mart pays minimum wage.”

Lyric Culture pays songwriters for their words
LOS ANGELES – Online music thieves can’t interfere with the hundreds of songwriters Hanna Rochelle Schmieder has on her payroll. Her company, Lyric Culture, prints famous song lyrics on high-end jeans and T-shirts — and pays artists for the privilege. “My goal is to save the music business,” says Schmieder, herself a singer-songwriter.

AP’s taking heat for aggressively embracing online media
That’s how Mark Potts sees it. “Once incredibly stodgy, AP’s leadership now seems to be on the cutting edge in how it thinks about the new world of journalism. Go figure.” Potts recommends that everyone read AP’s “A New Model for News.”

Memo: Gannett to cut 1,000 newspaper jobs, or 3% of workforce
The publisher of Gannett’s paper in Salisbury, MD told employees Wednesday that “across Gannett’s Community Publishing division, about 1,000 positions will be eliminated — about 3% of the workforce. Of the 1,000 positions, about 600 employees will be laid off.”

Cox to sell Austin American-Statesman,
Cox Enterprises also intends to sell all its stand-alone newspapers in North Carolina, Colorado and Texas, as well as Valpak, a direct-mail advertising operation. It hopes to close a deal by the first quarter of 2009. Cox is keeping the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dayton Daily News and Palm Beach Post.

Writedown results in $3.8B loss for Tribune in second quarter
Tribune reports a 6% drop in revenue for the second quarter and a loss of $3.8 billion from continuing operations, which includes a writedown on the company’s newspaper assets. The loss is due to a writedown, most of which is for newspapers it acquired in 2000 when it bought Times Mirror.

One Way To Avoid Layoffs: McClatchy To Freeze Wages Companywide (Paid Content)
It’s only slightly less worse than the layoff news that’s been plaguing the newspaper industry lately: The McClatchy Company is implementing a one-year wage freeze starting Sept. 1. In a memo posted on Romensko, Debbie Abels, president and publisher of McClatchy-owned Rock Hill, SC daily The Herald, said this freeze is being instituted throughout McClatchy, including at the corporate level and McClatchy Interactive.

Houston, San Antonio papers consider feature-sharing deal
Hearst’s Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News are in talks to share some feature-section production and design, says Chronicle publisher Jack Sweeney. He adds the papers might share some feature stories, too. “Anytime you have papers owned by the same company, you look for efficiencies,” he tells Joe Strupp.

Where Newspapers Are Thriving (by Jack Ewing, Business Week)
Germany’s papers are doing fine despite the ad flight to the Web. What’s their secret?

Barnes & Noble Unlikely to Bid for Borders
Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation’s largest bookstore chain, isn’t expected to make a bid for No. 2 Borders Group Inc., according to those familiar with the situation. The decision will disappoint investors who have acquired Borders stock in recent months in hopes that Barnes & Noble would move in and buy its most significant bricks-and-mortar rival.

D.C. First to Adopt Public Bike Program
Clear Channel Puts 120 Bicycles on the Streets of Washington

Olympic Viewing Falls Off After Tuesday Night High
Rash Report: As American Athletes Moved Out of Spotlight

Cablevision to Pay Its First-Ever Dividend
The Long Island based cable operator said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 10 cents starting in September.

Netflix shipping centers slammed by problems
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Netflix Inc. said Thursday that major technical problems over the past three days have severely limited the number of DVDs it could send out.

2 Backed by Icahn to Join Yahoo Board
Yahoo said that it would add the former chief executives of Viacom and Nextel Partners to its board as part of the company’s deal to avoid a proxy fight with the investor Carl C. Icahn.

Googlebits (by Jeff Jarvis)
A few fascinating tidbits from Jim Cramer’s interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt…:
* Google accounts for 0.7 percent of GDP, according to Goldman Sachs.
* Cramer says the ad market is $600 billion and asks whether Google could get 10 percent of that. Schmid says, “Well, we could,” and then corrects him: It’s a trillion-dollar market globally.
* Schmidt says Google will make more on mobile than on desktops because mobile is more targeted and Google targets.
Click through for more.

NBC Universal Still Selling Ad Time for Olympics
Booked an Additional $10M Just This Week

KFC Hopes Humor Will Draw Younger Patrons
Comedy Central Shorts Help Hawk New Toasted Wraps

Geico Cavemen Get a New Gig With ESPN
Will Act as Fantasy-Football Salesmen and Star in ‘SportsCenter’ Ads
Looks like they still have their TV show, too.

Dropped calls plague iPhone 3G, and not just in U.S.
Spotty wireless broadband connectivity for some of Apple’s new iPhones most likely results from a problem with a chipset provided by Infineon Technologies.

Smartphone Is Expected via Google
T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer a mobile phone powered by Google’s Android software, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

Kwiry service lets users text themselves reminders
A San Francisco-based start-up called kwiry (pronounced “query”) aims to help you remember tidbits of information with a free service that lets you text these tidbits from your cellphone to its site.

Mobile services mushroom for locating friends
Social networking programs represent some of the location-based services that are starting to take hold as mobile users move more of their day-to-day lives onto their phones.
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