Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The Press

GAO confirms trend, WAPO: "Z-z-z-z-z-z-z"


Oct. 7: Washington Post Defends Decision To Report Plummeting Casualty Rates on Page 14 Because There's No Proof It's A Trend

Oct. 30: GAO Reports Decline In Violence Is In Fact A Trend; Washington Post Reports This On... Page 14
From the comments:
...[W]hy don't you just admit that you were asleep at the switch (or perhaps "otherwise engaged") when this story transitioned from "Not yet a Trend" to "Trend" to "Old News" at 2:00 am on the night of October 14th?
I have it on good authority that the Deciders left it in the "Trend" status for nearly a full minute, but no enterprising reporter picked up on it... too bad! -- "sherlock"

Later:  The Post reports 1944-45:  No trend.

(Actually, Don Surber noted this first, and deserves a link.)

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The Press

Simmering scandal or unseasonable silliness?

Glenn links to posts by Ron Rosenbaum and Mickey Kaus about a rumored "potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate." [Rosenbaum]  Supposedly the Los Angeles Times has the story, but is sitting on it.

Rosenbaum tackles it as a question of journalistic ethics:

Why are well wired media elite keeping silent about it? Because they think we can’t handle the truth? Because they think it’s substantively irrelevant? What standards of judgment are they using? Are they afraid that to print it will bring on opprobrium. Are they afraid not printing it will bring on opprobrium? Or both?
And what about timing? They, meaning the DC elite media, must know if it comes out before the parties select their primary winners and eventual nominees, voters would have the ability to decide how important they felt it to the narrative of the candidate in question. Aren’t they, in delaying and not letting the pieces fall where they potentially may, not refusing to act but acting in a different way—taking it upon themselves to decide the Presidential election by their silence?

Kaus simply indulges in this speculation:
My vestigial Limbaugh gland tells me it must involve a Democrat, or else the Times would have found a reason to print it.

Both, by the way, take pains to declare that whatever-it-is isn't the John Edwards affair allegation (broken by the National Enquirer earlier this month, and pretty much ignored by everyone since).

I have ceased viewing the national press as neutral in political matters. Taking that perspective, I find myself disagreeing with both commentators. If a Democrat is involved, the press wants to minimize damage. If a Republican, the opposite.  That is what is driving the decision-making, not airy concerns about relevance or appropriateness.

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Thursday, 25 October 2007

The Press

Take a gander at this...

"He'd eat right out of your hand. He loved sunflower seeds," said Mitsch, who has a heating and plumbing business near the intersection. "He was not bothering anybody. He was no different than all the wild geese wondering around the street." -- "Fred ruffled feathers, but leaves behind a crop of good memories"
Sharp-eyed reader "Oclarki":
What do wild geese wonder about? Where they can poop next?

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 20:54:19 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Press

Just how bad IS it at Gannett?

The Gannett Corporation's newspaper operations are notorious pinchpennys. In pursuit of that ever-important quarterly profit figure, the papers have gained the reputation of laying off experienced (but expensive) staff in favor of tyros, reducing the news hole[1] to nothing, and emphasizing flabby, fluffy stories (cheap) over hard news (expensive). In the process they've created a large body of embittered alumni.

But while business is business, you really start wondering how financially healthy a company is when one of its papers drops sponsorship of a high-profile public service event to save a relatively small amount of cash, in this instance 5 thousand dollars.

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 21:59:07 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Friday, 19 October 2007

The Press

Making money off of media bias

Mickey Kaus:

The moderate lib bias of the MSM is a huge irrational, distorting force on the information flow to the American elite, prompting them to not infrequently make colossal misjudgments (like thinking John Kerry would be a solid presidential pick for the Dems). To the extent this organic MSM bias actually distorts the market, it should create opportunites for stock-picking. Why not start an investment fund --call it the Cocoon Fund or the Pinch Portfolio-- that would 1) search the papers for bogus liberal memes (like the subprime-dooms-the-economy story line, or the perennial UAW-to-organize-Nissan's-Smyrna-factory line); 2) figure out which stocks are underpriced because people actually believe this bogus meme; and 3) invest in those stocks. ...
Or you could just short New York Times.

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 14:50:32 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Saturday, 13 October 2007

The Press

"But all those conservatives look alike"

In our print edition, several captions for the photographs accompanying this report were inadvertantly transposed. Martin Kramer's photograph is identified as Norman Podhoretz; Daniel Pipes's photograph is identified as Kramer; Peter Berkowitz's photograph is identified as Pipes; Nile Gardiner's photograph is identified as Berkowitz's and Podhoretz's photograph is identified as Gardiner's. NEWSWEEK regrets the errors.
Scan and snarkage at Daniel Pipes' place.

Elsewhere, later: Martin Kramer says it's all part of the Devious Neocon Conspiracy:
One of our occult powers is our ability to assume the physical traits of one another. This makes it much easier to elude our pursuers.

Via: Power Line

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The Press

The headline you won't be seeing

This one:
General: Press Doing "Great Disservice" To Nation

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez’ speech and Q&A session at the Military Reporters & Editors convention has unleashed a whirl of major media coverage and commentary.... All are focused on his criticism of the Bush administration for inadequate strategy and prosecution of the war. However, neither the New York Times or Associated Press mention that over 40% of Sanchez’ speech severely took the major media to task. The Washington Post merely mentions it, and then underplays it at the end of its report, giving it 67 out of about 850 words in its coverage. [Story links in original, highlighting mine - o.g.] -- Democracy Project
Maybe it's because there are some things we're not meant to know.

[1] In which John Hinderaker offers two less-temperate headlines. I'd add another: General Says Soldiers Must Be Supported at All Costs.

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 17:09:42 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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