Morning Media Newsfeed: More NSA Stories to Come | Breaking Bad‘s Finale | More Patch Sites to Close

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Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill Working on New NSA Revelations (HuffPost / AP)
Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States’ government said Saturday they’ve teamed up to report on the National Security Agency’s role in what one called a “U.S. assassination program.” The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted. Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of Dirty Wars, said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. RT USA “The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don’t want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the US assassination program,” Scahill said in Rio de Janeiro, as cited by Associated Press. NYT As the nation’s spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: The impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Snowden.


Breaking Bad Series Finale Shrouded in Secrecy
(The Guardian)
It was the most eagerly awaited finale to an American television show since The Sopranos: The episode that will determine the fate of Walter White, the mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned gun-toting drug kingpin. Nor is it an ordinary TV series: The five-series saga of a man with cancer, played by Bryan Cranston, who attempts to secure his family’s future by using his talents to make a fortune out of producing a high-quality version of the drug crystal meth has played with viewers’ sympathies in a way that few other shows have dared. Ad Age / Media News AMC sought between $300,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second ad in the final episode of the series, according to media buyers. Other buyers reported a price tag closer to $200,000. Several variables affect how much marketers pay. Even the lower range represents a significant jump for AMC. LA Times / Show Tracker It’s highly likely that Breaking Bad will score its highest-ever rating. Until this year, Breaking Bad was a critics’ darling but still a niche show, with viewership in the 3 million to 4 million range. But over the last few weeks, as reviewers have rhapsodized over the final few episodes and anticipation over the finale has reached a fever pitch, viewing has exploded. Last Sunday, with its penultimate episode, Breaking Bad set a record with 6.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

Memo: ‘Regretfully, A Number of Patches Will Have to Be Closed’ (JimRomenesko.com)
Bud Rosenthal, the new CEO of AOL’s Patch, told employees in a memo sent at 6:14 p.m. ET Friday that “we have believed strongly in the value of a connected local community. However this commitment has not translated into success in every town we serve; therefore, regretfully, a number of Patches will have to be closed. A handful of sites will close on Oct. 7.”

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Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA And The ‘Pathetic’ American Media (The Guardian)
Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism — close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90 percent of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider. It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.” FishbowlNY There’s a lot more great stuff in Hersh’s conversation with Lisa O’Carroll, including an explanation of how Edward Snowden came to the rescue of “chicken-sh*t editors.”