A weekly meta-roundup of our favorite (mostly) New York media pundits, what they’re saying, why they’re saying it, and an all-important grade, subjective and arbitrary — just like their columns!
Peter Johnson, USA Today‘s classically-named media columnist, takes aim at a what has become a classic target of media critics: the Today show. Specifically, the fourth hour of Today, which NBC recently announced would begin in September. And it’s a classic angle — do we really need another hour of Ann Curry? — but it’s tired, too. We asked the same question weeks ago. We can’t believe we’re saying this, but leave Today alone. If they want to produce an addition hour of pieces on drunken playdate moms and seasonal muffins, more power to ‘em. GRADE: B-
Freidman bounces back from his Jeff Bercovici/”scoopmeister” gushing and CNBC bashing to crank out a timely two-part profile of Bill Keller, the New York Times executive editor who recently hired ousted LA Times editor Dean Baquet to head up its Washington bureau and, in the process, began a bicoastal war of words. Only one problem: Friedman doesn’t ask Keller about Baquet or L.A. GRADE: B-
To add his dusty take on Rupert Murdoch‘s reported interest in buying Tribune Co., Brady dusts off a 1976 anecdote: “There was a small dinner party atop the World Trade Center for a visiting milord hosted by the Murdochs–then Anna and Rupert. I was invited along, to fill out the table, and during the chat I mentioned that The New York Times book review had asked me to review a new bio of New York Post proprietor Dorothy (“Dolly”) Schiff. I was enjoying the book immensely, as we all do with a hatchet job on someone we know. At some point Murdoch called me aside. As we stood by the tall windows a distance from our table, he asked if there was some diplomatic way I might get out of doing the review. I suppose so, but why? I asked. ‘Because I’m speaking to Mrs. Schiff about buying her newspaper, and since you’re one of my executives, it might queer the deal.’ I phoned The New York Times in the morning with some flimsy excuse.” Which, 31 years later, means … absolutely nothing. GRADE: C