All I can say after Tina Brown's slanderous and scandalous attack on Barack Obama, written by Niall Ferguson, bannered on the cover of Brown's now-disfigured remnant of what was once a great weekly news magazine, is: Poor Tina. Poor Newsweek. Poor journalism. My guess is things ain't going so great with subscribers, advertising and revenue at Newsweek. In a previous incarnation of failure, Newsweek ran a cover of Sarah Palin in short pants, in a pathetic marketing play for the far right. Now Brown resorts to the old standby: Obamahate. What will she think of next week? Perhaps a beefcake shot of Paul Ryan while he attacks Medicare and a woman's right to choose.
The media have made quite an ordeal over Romney's statement that there could be some problems associated with security as Great Britain hosts the Olympic Games. Obviously, his comment wasn't meant to demean Great Britain; he simply wanted to say that in today's world, security is needed at any event where there are a large number of people and where much media attention is focused. As Romney becomes more skilled in dealing with the nitpicking press, he will learn to more artfully state his case. He has moved on to Israel and will be going to Poland today, where his reception has been and will be extremely warm, primarily because the Obama administration is not perceived in a positive light in either of those places.
Sam Donaldson would be rolling over in his grave if he weren’t still alive. The foghorn-voiced broadcaster who boomed questions after fleeing presidents never shied away from asking the tough ones.
What a difference a generation makes.
The penned White House media have allowed this administration to turn them into props representing the Fourth Estate without actually acting like it.
Neil Munro might have changed all that.
One of the great things about Steve Jobs is that he gave the world the iPod, iPad and Apple TV so that when the political reporting herd becomes completely ridiculous I can create my own albums of Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour and Yves Montand to complement my selection of Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan. Instead of spending unhealthy time listening to what passes for political commentary, one can enjoy the finer things in life. (If anyone is interested in these things, please advise, I would love to do an iPod and Apple TV piece.) In the meantime, it is a 50-50 election, and the media herd jib-jab that is now piling on Obama is far out of control.
Headline on Drudge this afternoon: “Obama Lit Agent Shocker: ‘Born in Kenya and Raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.’ ” It links to a story in Breitbart showing a full photo of President Obama in a brochure by Acton & Dystel, said to be a literary agency, printed in 1991. Beneath Obama’s picture it states: “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” The brochure was advancing a book, apparently by Obama, titled Journeys in Black and White.
According to the report, other clients of Acton & Dystel included Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Ralph Nader and New Kids on the Block.
I have interviewed Joel Pollak, 34, several times since he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010 against Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) in the 9th district of Illinois. I’ve kept in touch with him and talked to him as he left his boyhood roots in Skokie and moved to L.A. to go to work for Andrew Breitbart.
I had spoken to him last Thursday, the day the 43-year-old Breitbart died, and again late Monday. (Breitbart’s funeral is today.)
Without saying so explicitly, Pollak indicated that his boss had died of natural causes. As to the reports of previous heart problems, he said, “Andrew was the picture of health. I had a conversation with someone who had been with Andrew on the day before he died and this person told me, 'Andrew looked so good.' He went to the gym the day he died, he was losing weight, he was healthy and robust.”
Rush Limbaugh is ridiculous. He is appalling. He is not even close to being believable when he says he was “sincere” in apologizing to Sandra Fluke for calling her a “prostitute” and a “slut.”
Even in his apology, on top of his earlier apology, all he seems to focus on is that he used the wrong “words.” He is only semi-apologizing because his lawyers and his agent and his station manager told him to put it all behind him. They were nervous that more advertisers would continue to flee. Follow the money, folks. As of Monday, nine advertisers had pulled the plug.
Stephen Sondheim had it so right — "send in the clowns.” And that is what is happening with political punditry.
I first noticed this phenomenon a few years ago when I found myself turning to page 2 of The New York Times’s “Week in Review” to read the week's best lines from Leno and Letterman before turning to more serious remarks of Friedman and Dowd.
This week we lost one of the great journalists of our age, Anthony Shadid, who died far too young, after doing so very much. Shadid was made from special stuff, the stuff of the foreign correspondent, and in recent years he brought real lives and big truths about great events in the Middle East to readers of the Boston Globe, Washington Post and New York Times and many others who followed his work.
I imagine that as Shadid left this earth and ascended to the skies he was met by a greeting committee at the gates of heaven composed of folks like Thomas Jefferson, John Peter Zenger and Edward R. Murrow who rose to greet him with a standing ovation, saying something like:
"Son, you were what we had in mind when we believed in the high trust of a free press of a great nation."