Morning Reading List 03.16.09

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Its day 56 covering the Obama administration and week seven for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Friday morning…



From WaPo’s ombudsman Andrew Alexander, “Lagging in the Fight for Open Government,” “So you would think that with its stature, here in the nation’s capital, The Post would be the leader in fighting for transparency. It isn’t… Other newspapers are more assertive on their news pages in championing the cause. Pioneering Web sites are much better at giving readers access to government data. And some open-government advocates feel The Post hasn’t done enough to curb Washington’s corrosive culture of anonymity.”

Why iTunes is not a workable model for the newspaper business, from Clay Shirky’s blog. “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.”


After just 50 days, pundits put the blame for the economy on President Obama. From Howard Kurtz’ Media Notes: “But is it fair to hurl such charges at a president who’s been in office for less than eight weeks? Isn’t Obama trying to dig out from the huge economic mess left by his predecessor? The chatter reflects a fast-forward culture that demands snap judgments. The cable news channels, not content to wait for the traditional 100-day benchmark — itself an artificial media construct — were grading Obama last week on his 50-day performance.”

From the Daily Beast, the Seven Best Moments from Sunday Talk, with former Vice President Dick Cheney on CNN’s State of the Union topping the list, “ripping Obama.”

Also from the Daily Beast, a “look back at the tirades, attacks, and retorts that led to the climactic confrontation” between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer.

Washington Whispers reports “Billy Corgan is a Rock Star for C-SPAN.” “When I did my last album, C-SPAN was kind of my TV-watching,” Corgan tells Whispers. “Watching C-SPAN and learning about the government was my way to unwind.”


Radio host Don Imus announced on his show this morning that he has stage 2 prostate cancer. “The day you find out is fine,” he said. “But the next morning when you get up, your knees are shaking. I didn’t think I could make it to work.” Imus is 68 years old and works for ABC Radio Networks and RFD-TV after being fired by CBS Radio and MSNBC in spring 2007.

From DCRTV: Actor and political activist Ron Silver, 62, has died after battling esophageal cancer. He most recently hosted a midday show on Sirius XM’s POTUS political channel, and was active in Republican politics, switching to a more conservative position on foreign affairs in the wake of 9/11 after many years on the liberal side of issues.

From WaPo’s Reliable Sources: Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Meghan McCain Thursday: “Do you think that anyone would be talking to you if you weren’t kind of cute and you weren’t the daughter of John McCain?” Ingraham then imitated McCain: “.’Okay, I was really hoping that I was going to get that role in the ‘Real World,’ but then I realized that, well, they don’t like plus-sized models.’.”


From NYT, how foreign correspondents have changed in an Internet era.


The Knight Foundation will spend millions to reshape journalism, funding “innovative journalism experiments, searching for answers to the future of media.”


Poor Little Lambs” by Carol Joynt in Washington Social Diary. “One thing is certain, there needs to be less media obsession with Barack Obama’s first hundred days as President. What does it mean, anyway? They give him a grade on day 101, and then what? It’s an archaic measure.”


Atlantic Media Company is looking for a reporter for Global Security Newswire.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro; Romenesko