Selfish Dittoheads & CBS
Five brief items today:
In his Tuesday USA Today column, former NBC News President Michael Gartner
explored why, as documented by the Pew Research Center poll, fewer people
are watching TV network news. (He recommended more religion, health and
crime news. He didn't mention anything about news shows rigging trucks to
burst into flames.) Then he added this as the last paragraph:
MRC analyst Clay Waters identified this comment from Time magazine Washington reporter Jeffrey Birnbaum during a May 26 appearance on CNBC's Tim Russert show. Talking about media fairness, Birnbaum asserted: "But I do think that there are certain publications that are considered standards of fairness, and I think each of us represent at least one of them....It also can help strengthen the franchises of which we are a part, if we are diligent about continuing being fair. And I think that we put so much pressure on ourselves, even this conversation, that I think in the end we are more fair than we ever were, see I do believe we're moving in that direction, because the marketplace is requiring it."
how hard Birnbaum has tried:
I was away over the Memorial Day weekend and missed Howard Kurtz's May 27
"Media Notes" column in The Washington Post. In it, six weeks
after the Freedom Forum poll was released showing 89 percent of Washington
reporters voted for Clinton, Kurtz highlighted the result. But then he
offered two "caveats." The second was that Newt Gingrich
"says the media mob gave the President a hard time in his first two
years in office." Kurtz's first caveat: "Isn't it possible that,
like other Americans, some of these journalists held their noses and
pulled the lever for Clinton as the lesser of three evils? Or that, like
some voters, they have been disappointed in Clinton's performance?"
On Saturday's Today, co-host Jack Ford interviewed Stand for Children
organizer Jonah Edelman. He didn't ask one tough question, instead, as
transcribed by MRC intern Jessica Anderson, offering up ones like:
"You've got a spectacular weather day down there, it sounds like the
activities are going to be wonderful, but how then do you hope to
translate today's symbolism into some real, positive action?"
CBS News has hired Court TV's Kristin Jeannette-Meyers as the new co-anchor, as of August 5, of the CBS Morning News (5 to 7am ET). She's been co-host of the cable network's syndicated daily show for broadcast stations, Court TV: Inside America's Courts. On May 31 The Washington Post reported: "Court TV sources yesterday confirmed a New York Post story that CBS paid $25,000 to obtain her early release from Court TV contract -- and that Court TV founder and President Steven Brill turned around and shared $15,000 of that with some 20 staffers at the syndicated show to 'compensate' them for 'the pain and suffering' of working with the temperamental Jeannette-Meyers."
If Brill ran NBC one wonders how much he'd compensate Today show staffers for working with Bryant Gumbel.
-- Brent Baker