Morning Media Newsfeed: Retrial Set for AJ Journalists | Message Threatens U.S. Media

[emailonly]{{{ sbox300x250 }}}[/emailonly] Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Egypt Court Orders Retrial in Al Jazeera Case (HuffPost / AP)
An Egyptian appeals court on Thursday ordered the retrial of three Al Jazeera English journalists held for more than a year on terror-related charges, a ruling that their lawyers hoped was a step toward resolving a case that brought a storm of international criticism on Egypt’s government. BBC News The decision was made after the hearing in Cairo of an appeal by the three — Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed — against their conviction. Prosecutors acknowledged major problems with the verdict, defense lawyers said. A new trial will occur within a month but the trio must stay in custody. NYT The journalists were convicted in June on charges that included conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports. All three were sentenced to seven-year prison terms, but Baher Mohamed received three additional years for possessing a spent bullet casing that he had recovered from a street protest. Rights advocates described the case, from arrests to convictions, as a travesty and said prosecutors failed to present any evidence that the men had falsified news in their coverage of protests against the government after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was forced from office. WSJ The Obama administration lauded the apparent progress in the case while also expressing its concern at the continued detentions. Al Jazeera has vigorously denied charges of bias and that the journalists broke any laws.

Sony Hackers Reportedly Threaten U.S. News Media Organization (The Intercept)
The Intercept reported Wednesday that the hackers who infiltrated Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer servers have threatened to attack an American news media organization, citing an FBI bulletin. TVNewser The so-called Guardians of Peace allegedly threatened a specific-but-unnamed news organization but “may extend to other such organizations in the near future,” according to the Joint Intelligence Bulletin. THR The Guardians of Peace was linked by the FBI on Dec. 19 to the North Korean government. The FBI bulletin notes that the hacking group “taunted” the agency and the unnamed media organization in Dec. 20 messages posted on Pastebin “and implied an additional threat.” THR After several media outlets reported on the threat, a Tennessee man said the message threatening CNN that purported to be from the group that hacked Sony Pictures was a prank. David Garrett Jr., who has written articles about Homeland security for Examiner, took credit for the message. Mediaite The Desk’s Matthew Keys linked the FBI bulletin cited by the Intercept to the anonymous Pastebin post that threatened CNN and claimed to be from the Guardians of Peace.

ABC’s Rockin’ Eve Inches Up in Ratings, NBC And Fox Late-Night Specials on Par (Deadline)
Powered by an appearance by reigning pop princess Taylor Swift, ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2014 on ABC drew a 10.7 household rating in the metered markets from 11:30 p.m. — 1:15 a.m., up 6 percent from last year. Among adults 18-49, the special, which also featured appearances by One Direction and Elton John, posted a 7.3 rating in the markets with Local People Meters, up 3 percent. TVNewser On previous New Year’s Eves, she’s hurled expletives, heckled onlookers and taken off her top. A half hour before 2015, CNN New Year’s Eve co-host Kathy Griffin dyed Anderson Cooper‘s hair a patriotic red and blue. Mediaite Cooper also let loose a series of mocking statements about former CNNer Piers Morgan during Wednesday night’s New Year’s Eve coverage. “Piers who?” Cooper asked at first, before agreeing with Griffin that Morgan is “dying for a Twitter war.” “Listen, I hope he gets a job some day,” he added.