Morning Media Newsfeed: Rose Interviews Assad | Obama Gives Interviews | Politico Buys Capital NY

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Charlie Rose Interviews Bashar al-Assad
CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose got an interview Sunday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This is Assad’s first TV interview since President Obama asked Congress to approve the use of force against the Syrian regime for use of chemical weapons. Rose, now in Beirut, called in to Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In the interview, Assad denied that he had anything to do with the chemical weapons attack that took place on Aug. 21, 2013. Rose also said the Syrian president would not confirm or deny that the regime has chemical weapons. NYT The interview, which was arranged in the last few days amid a Congressional debate about whether to authorize a limited military strike against Syria, will be broadcast on Monday by CBS and PBS. In a sign of the significance of the interview, he was accompanied by Jeffrey Fager, the chairman of CBS News and the top producer of 60 Minutes. HuffPost It is the first interview that al-Assad has given to an American news network in two years. Barbara Walters sat down with him in Syria in 2011. The Guardian It is Rose’s second major scoop of the summer. In June, he interviewed Obama as the president defended the record of the National Security Agency, following revelations in The Guardian regarding the mass surveillance of US and foreign citizens.

Obama to Grant Six Interviews on Eve of Syria Speech (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
President Obama will do a series of TV interviews with six outlets in advance of his speech Tuesday making the case for military action in Syria. Obama will sit down with PBS, CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBC for interviews airing Monday night, according to White House officials. TVNewser ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CBS’ Scott Pelley, NBC’s Brian Williams, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will interview the president Monday afternoon. TVNewser President Obama will deliver an address to the American people on Tuesday, focusing on the crisis in Syria. The president announced the decision while at the G20 Summit in Russia. Politico The uphill fight to get Congress to approve a military strike on Syria is pushing President Obama to embrace a brand of communication he’s long resisted: the delivery of a primetime address to the nation from the White House. During his nearly five years in office, Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid high-stakes, nighttime White House speeches.

Politico Publisher Buys Capital New York (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
In an ambitious play for the New York market, Politico publisher Robert Allbritton has purchased the online news site Capital New York, with plans to make “a substantial investment” in the business and more than quadruple staff. Capital, which was launched in 2010 by former New York Observer editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, will now be led by Politico co-founder and executive editor Jim VandeHei, who will serve as president while remaining in his current role at Politico. Benson and McGeveran will remain co-editors. WSJ The acquisition of Capital New York, for an undisclosed price, gives Allbritton a chance to extend to a new market Politico‘s business model of free, ad-supported news combined with subscription products. He plans to increase Capital New York’s staff to more than 30 people from seven in the next month and roll out subscription offerings on topics such as New York City government, state government and media, according to executives from both companies. Capital New York We’re pleased and excited to announce that Capital New York is about to get a lot bigger.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Kicks Off With ‘T*tstare’ App (ValleyWag)
As a lovely followup to recent discussions of gender inclusivity in tech, here’s the first presentation from the AOL-owned TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 startup conference: an app called T*tstare, presented by two grinning Australian dudes, exactly as tasteless as it sounds. Business Insider TechCrunch co-editors Alexia Tsotsis and Eric Eldon wrote an apology to all of their readers and TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 attendees for allowing two inappropriate presentations on stage Sunday. TechCrunch “Normally our hackathons are a showcase for developers of all stripes to create and share something cool. But earlier [Sunday], the spirit of our event was marred by two misogynistic presentations. Sexism is a major problem in the tech industry, and we’ve worked hard to counteract it in our coverage and in our own hiring.”

A Quest to Save AM Before It’s Lost in The Static (NYT)
Is anyone out there still listening? The digital age is killing AM radio, an American institution that brought the nation fireside chats, Casey Kasem’s Top 40 and scratchy broadcasts of the World Series. Long surpassed by FM and more recently cast aside by satellite radio and Pandora, AM is now under siege from a new threat: rising interference from smartphones and consumer electronics that reduce many AM stations to little more than static.

So What If ESPN Refused to Use The R-Word? (ESPN / Ombudsman)
Let’s talk about the R-word. Monday night, on ESPN, the Washington franchise of the National Football League will open its season. The broadcasters will call the team by its 80-year-old nickname in an offhand way they would never use in public with the more recognized racial slur that has come to be referred to as the N-word. Sports Illustrated / The MMQB With Peter King I’ve decided to stop using the Washington team nickname. It’s a name you won’t see me use anymore. The simple reason is that for the last two or three years, I’ve been uneasy when I sat down to write about the team and had to use the nickname. In some stories I’ve tried to use it sparingly. But this year, I decided to stop entirely because it offends too many people, and I don’t want to add to the offensiveness.

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Fox News’ Media Buzz Starts With A Roar (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Fox News host Howard Kurtz launched his debut edition of Media Buzz with a promise — to cover the media in a “fair, aggressive and unbiased way.” An evaluation of the show’s compliance with that pledge will have to wait months, but this much is clear: Kurtz, who anchored CNN’s Reliable Sources for 15 years, has imported that show’s formula to a new network with some modifications, and the result shows a fair bit of promise. TVNewser Clearly, Kurtz was in his comfort zone. Most of his guests were familiar faces from his 15-year run at Reliable Sources – David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, media entrepreneur Lauren Ashburn. In fact, Ashburn, a Fox News contributor, had so much face time, she served as a de facto co-host. Capital New York Meanwhile, the search of Kurtz’s successor at CNN is moving along. The network has been filling Reliable Sources with a rotating cast of guest hosts since Kurtz’s exit earlier this summer, a strategy that’s also served as a way to audition potential replacements. The frontrunner in the court of public opinion would appear to be Brian Stelter, the New York Times media reporter who’s built up an outsized reputation on the TV-news beat over the past several years. The 28-year-old’s two guest-hosting appearances have generated the most buzz and earned him rave reviews.

Harder Edge From Vanity Fair Chafes Some Big Hollywood Stars (NYT)
For years, the relationship between Vanity Fair and Hollywood was like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: the magazine gave the movie business class and Hollywood gave Vanity Fair sex. But even the best relationships can hit a rough patch. Recently, Vanity Fair has toughened its coverage of Hollywood with articles about the troubles plaguing the making of Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z and the intrusiveness of Scientology in Tom Cruise’s romantic life and marriage to Katie Holmes.

Tech Journalist Kara Swisher Is A Feared Player (USA Today / Michael Wolff)
In every journalism generation, there are various re-enactments of the 1957 movie Sweet Smell of Success, in which Burt Lancaster plays J.J. Hunsecker, the powerful and vindictive Broadway gossip columnist whose self-interest shapes everything he writes. A version of that role is presently being played by Kara Swisher, a proudly charmless and abrasive figure in San Francisco.

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A Journalist-Agitator Facing Prison Over A Link (NYT)
Barrett Brown makes for a pretty complicated victim. A Dallas-based journalist obsessed with the government’s ties to private security firms, Brown has been in jail for a year, facing charges that carry a combined penalty of more than 100 years in prison. Professionally, his career embodies many of the conflicts and contradictions of journalism in the digital era. He has written for The Guardian, Vanity Fair and The Huffington Post, but as with so many of his peers, the line between his journalism and his activism is nonexistent. He has served in the past as a spokesman of sorts for Anonymous, the hacker collective, although some members of the group did not always appreciate his work on its behalf.

Star-Ledger Publisher Threatens to Close Paper (Poynter / MediaWire)
Publisher Richard Vezza says he’ll shut down New Jersey’s Star-Ledger at the end of 2013 if it can’t come to an agreement with one of the four unions at the paper, Kelly Heyboer reports. The Advance-owned paper’s newsroom isn’t a union shop, but its pressmen, engravers, machinists and mailers — who “handle the newspapers after they emerge from the presses, helping insert advertising supplements and preparing the papers to be loaded on delivery trucks” — have unions. Negotiations with all but the mailers have been fruitful.

Publishers Enlisting Editorial Staffers on Behalf of Advertisers (Ad Age / Media News)
Many publishers embracing sponsored content defend the integrity of their ad/edit walls by creating in-house teams apart from their newsrooms to produce content on behalf of advertisers. But a handful of publishers — such as Mashable and Mental Floss — are allowing their editorial staffs to write stories and produce videos for advertisers, arguing that it affords a more authentic experience.

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Breaking Bad Fans Sue Apple for Cutting Short Season Pass (GigaOM)
An Ohio man has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the company owes him and other Breaking Bad fans $22.99 for not including all 16 episodes in a “Season Pass” to the show’s final season, which was split into two parts. In a class action suit filed in San Jose, Calif., Noam Lazebnik says Apple engaged in false advertising by providing only eight episodes to consumers even though its “Season Pass” page explains that viewers will get “every episode in that season.” AllThingsD In a rational world, Apple’s complainers would realize that someone at the company’s iTunes store did a bad job of labeling the offer. But they would also realize that the offer they thought they were getting was too good to be true — if Apple really was going to give them 16 episodes for $21.99, that would have represented a 50 percent discount on the single-episode price, which Apple never offers.

Mark O’Mara, George Zimmerman Lawyer, Joins CNN as Legal Analyst (HuffPost / AP)
The Florida defense attorney who was the public face of George Zimmerman’s legal team has signed on to be a legal analyst for CNN. Mark O’Mara appeared Friday morning on CNN’s New Day program, where he was announced as the network’s newest analyst by host Chris Cuomo. O’Mara’s spokesman confirmed the role.

Where Julian Assange Lies in Wait — And What He’s Planning Next (Vanity Fair)
Julian Assange hasn’t set foot outside Ecuador’s London embassy in more than a year — avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault. But physical confinement seems only to enhance his reach. The WikiLeaks founder has video-addressed the U.N., launched a Senate campaign in absentia in his native Australia, entertained Lady Gaga and played a key role in the case of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

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@TheEconomist on its lack of bylines: “What is written is more important than who writes it.” Do you agree?

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