Media

Mediacracy: Papal selection treated as news cycle

As the College of Cardinals begins to select the next pope, you hear the following said on almost all cable and network television coverage: The cardinals want to make the choice quickly to avoid an image problem.

This is one of the most ridiculous media inventions ever uttered on what has often been called the boob tube. Choosing a pope involves the selection of a man who will have the authority to offer doctrine that is deemed by the Church as infallible.

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Nobody cares about Tiger, and nobody (except defeated Republicans) cares about Benghazi

My answer to Cheri Jacobus is that a) mistakes were made and admitted; b) Hillary emerged from Benghazi with popularity huge enough to win her a presidential landslide.

So c) give it up, Republicans. You lost the election, deal with it; d) nobody cares about Obama golfing with Tiger Woods except bored (and boring) Republicans with nothing better to say, and e) if Republicans want to bang Benghazi forever, Democrats could revisit Bush 43 mocking the CIA warning him about planes flying into buildings before 9/11 or Dick Cheney's role in leaking CIA identities.

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Press cares more about Tiger than Benghazi

It would appear the press cares more about getting access to info on President Obama playing golf with Tiger Woods than it does about getting answers on Benghazi, American deaths and an apparent cover-up by the Obama administration.

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Government meddling with disastrous results

The Obama administration has a new solution to address very high unemployment in the American black community. It intends to bring lawsuits against companies that refuse to hire individuals with criminal records.

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Learning through images

No longer do we learn through subject and verb, but rather through a verbal hybrid of images and slogans designed to spare us the rigors of closely examining issues for ourselves.

Our preoccupation with television imagery has helped make this generation curiously artificial and particularly susceptible to the counterfeit. Essayist Michael J. Arlen has called it the "tyranny of the visual." And countless other critics have lamented about the perils of images supplanting words in this culture.

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If only: As Wash Post mulls a headquarters move, a reminder that I.M. Pei might have been its architect

While researching my biography of Katharine Graham (Power,Privilege and the Post: The Katharine Graham Story), I interviewed I.M. Pei in his New York office.  I wanted to talk to him about the commission in the mid-1960s  to design the Post’s downtown headquarters at 1150 15th St. NW.

Anybody who has seen the building — opened in late 1972 and which one Newsweek editor described to me as “a  box”—  would quickly recognize that Pei lost that commission.  A gentleman of the first order who had been a friend of Kay’s late husband, Phil, Pei was discreet, certainly exhibiting no bitterness.

I did manage, through interviews with people on the editorial and business sides of the Post, to get the back-story of how it happened that Pei was paid $2 million for his time and trouble before architects from Detroit were retained to design the building.

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Apology to Michael Beschloss

I recently wrote an article about the legacy of Barack Obama, and I wrongly threw Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, under the bus.
 
This is what I wrote:
 
“Historians will rate President Barack Obama as one of our nation’s greatest presidents. The question is: Was he any good? That the history profession is dominated by a liberal elite comes as no surprise. Robert Dallek, Arthur Schleschinger, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michael Beschloss would all rank both Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson toward the top of the list, and Ronald Reagan toward the bottom. George W. Bush will never, ever get his due for how he handled the 9/11 attacks as he passed landmark education and Medicare legislation or for his remarkable commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa.”

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Roger Ailes says farewell to Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio says hello to immigration reform, Hillary Clinton says farewell for now

To understand the true views of Roger Ailes, one of the smartest cats in media and politics, ask yourself: Who was his favored candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012? If you don't remember, read below. For now Ailes, in what may or may not be a hint of coming attractions at Fox News, has said farewell to Sarah Palin. Torches are being passed all over. As Palin fades from Fox, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) aspires to lead the conservative base toward more humane and creative policies, beginning with immigration. Kudos to Rubio. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton passes the torch at the State Department to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), whose experience will make him an outstanding secretary. Speaking of passing the torch, how about President Obama sharing a “60 Minutes” interview with Secretary Clinton?

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Why do the media determine what's important?

It is astonishing that all of the major networks’ and cable stations’ top story is about the Notre Dame football player whose imaginary girlfriend supposedly died. How can this command the top spot in news when our country is about to be downgraded from its triple-A credit status and we continue ignoring the debt-ceiling debate?

This is symptomatic of what is wrong with our nation. We focus on things that are meaningless and completely ignore the things that will determine our viability in the future.

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