Morning Reading List, 05.29.08

Good morning Washington. Get better, Tony! No one got it right, but yesterday’s shot was from Equinox.

Today is the birthday of Pete Seat and Philip Klein. Tonight, Seat’s flying back to Indiana on, what will inevitably be, the ‘Soul Plane.’ Also: It’s the birthday of Bob Hope, JFK, John Hinckley, Jr. and Annette Bening. Barry Goldwater died ten years ago and, four years ago, the World War II memorial was dedicated on the National Mall.

What journalist is getting a colonoscopy today?

When it rains it pours. From a Washington Times internal staff email yesterday: “As you have no doubt noticed, the cable TV system in the newsroom is down, and has been for several days. We are in the process of replacing the system, and hope to have a new one in place within a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the only channels that come in are 4,5,7,9, WETA (on 6), 20 (on 71) and 50 (on 106).”

Harry Jaffe speculates on who’s next after Len Downie and the Pew Weekly News Interest Index tells us that, despite John McCain’s heavy coverage, all eyes are on Barack Obama.

Mediabistro asks, “So What Do You Do, Arianna Huffington?” And Politico sees similarities between Scott McClellan’s book and a book on Elvis.

McClellan’s book was the focus of all the readers comments yesterday. Regarding our post on Ari Fleischer being “heartbroken” over McClellan’s book, “pisher” said, “And this would be the same Ari Fleischer who insisted that the White House knew nothing of Valerie Plame’s covert identity until after Robert Novak outed her — then under oath, with an immunity guarantee, admitted that Scooter Libby had told him Plame was an agent, weeks before Novak’s story was published? He’s heartbroken Scottie had the balls to make some money he could have made, by telling the truth.” Reader “buzzy” said, “Looks like Ari’s still on the clock” and “justanotherdave” said, “You bet Ari is Heartbroken, his book ‘Taking Heat’ did so poorly that he is reduced to doing interviews on NPR.”

And regarding our “Ream Him Up Scotty” post, reader “frontpage” writes, “Behind all of the generalizing, how about the fact that he now simply has the chance to write a book exposing the severe, extreme, dangerous and thoroughly corrupt war policies carried out by the corrupt Bush administration? That’s all it is — forget stereotypes about others and whether some corrupt Republicans liked him or not. That’s just blowing hot air. The truth is, Scott McClellan is not the only person or Bush administration worker who has realized that the Iraq ‘war’ was a complete corrupt, illegal operation based on lies and propaganda. Officials in the current Bush administration should be investigated for possible crimes–that is what McClellan, and many, many others, are saying. It’s just that simple.”

  • We have a rare tie. Scott McClellan’s book makes you love him and hate him more.

  • Today’s “Angry Journalist” rant of the day: “I’m angry that my newspaper just announced that no stories are allowed to be longer than 15 inches. That’s insane, right?”

    That’s your orange juice…now come get your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

    Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:



  • “The battle for the Democratic nomination still dominated campaign coverage the week of May 19-25. But after many weeks of John McCain being relegated to the sidelines while the Democrats slugged it out, he re-emerged as a major newsmaker last week, according to a Project for Excellence in Journalism study.”

  • Washington Business Journal reports, “Gannett Co. Inc. board member Charles Fruit died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 61. Fruit, president of Gardner Williams Consulting LLC, joined the Gannett board in February 2007. He served on the board’s nominating and public responsibility committee.”

  • Jennifer Rubin writes, “The White House took issue over the weekend with the New York Times’s characterization of its position on the GI bill. Hillary Clinton has had it with NBC/MSNBC. A day doesn’t pass without the McCain camp taking a shot at a mainstream media outlet. Has the coverage actually gotten worse? Or is the victimization imaginary? Perhaps it is a little bit of both.”

  • In an open letter to David Carr of the New York Times, Jason Van Steenwyk, a veteran, writes, “It’s too bad you took what should have been a moving profile of Jessica Ann Ellis and turned it into a journo’s whine-fest. Coverage is down on Iraq because American troops are bleeding less, and for no other reason. If Americans were bleeding more, it would be right back on the front pages. And every reporter knows this.”

  • The Washington Post reports, “Impresario Florio Dies at 78”

  • E&P reports, “In its monthly review of newspaper industry trends released Tuesday, Goldman Sachs concludes that ad revenue will remain ‘anemic’ for the rest of 2008 — even as easier comparables with last year show improving numbers.”

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  • A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams’ was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of May 19, 2008 in total viewers and the key demographic adults 25-54. For the week, ‘Nightly News’ attracted 8.099 million total viewers”. Also, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams’ was the most-watched network evening news broadcast during the May 2008 sweep period.”

  • An ABC release announced, “For the 2007-08 primetime television season, ABC’s ‘World News with Charles Gibson’ was the #1 evening newscast among key demo viewers, averaging a 2.2/8. Among Total Viewers, the ABC broadcast averaged 8.60 million, placing second. ‘World News’ also ranks #1 among other key categories, including Women 18-49 and Women 25-54.”

  • A NBC release announced, “MSNBC continued its ratings surge in May, with ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ again beating CNN’s ‘Election Center’ at 8 p.m. and ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ finishing ahead of CNN’s ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight’ at 7 p.m. for the month for the first time since February 2006.”

  • Talks Are on With ABC, Gibson Says

  • TVNewser: “May Ratings: FNC Stays On Top

  • A release announced that “MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann will interview former White House press secretary Scott McClellan” today “live in his first cable interview to discuss his new book, ‘What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.'”

  • The Washington Post reports, “The set-top box, a necessary appendage for millions of cable television customers for decades, is moving toward extinction. A leading television manufacturer, Sony Electronics, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said yesterday they had signed an agreement that would allow viewers to rid themselves of set-top boxes yet still receive advanced ‘two-way’ cable services, such as pay-per-view movies.”

  • TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer reports, “ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News finished within 100,000 Total Viewers and 50,000 in the A25-54 demo during the month of May, but NBC Nightly News finished first in both categories.”

  • reports, “Disagreement over how well the media performed in the run-up to the Iraq war emerged between the three network news anchors Wednesday — but what Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charles Gibson did agree on is that the Bush Administration put pressure on the media during that time.”

  • TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer reports, “MSNBC grew 75% in the weekday prime time A25-54 demo and 61% in Total Viewers during May 2008 versus May 2007. Much of that was helped by Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which finished in second place in both categories at 8pmET (FNC’s O’Reilly Factor finished first).”

  • MRC’s Worst of the Week reports, “During MSNBC’s live coverage of the May 20 presidential primaries, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell channeled Democratic ‘realists’ to promote the idea that Republican election officials would try to deny Barack Obama a ‘fair vote’ in November. Mitchell’s suggestion — that Republicans (but not Democrats?) cannot be trusted to run an election — echoes her colleague Keith Olbermann’s embarrassing effort four years ago to dismiss President Bush’s 2004 victory as the byproduct of a sinister scheme involving rigged voting machines in Ohio.”

  • The Washington Post reports, “The Mind Behind ‘It’s Academic’ Quiz Show,” Sophie Altman, “died May 24 of heart disease at Georgetown University Medical Center.”

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  • A release announced, “The Huffington Post (, a leading news and opinion site, is launching ‘HuffPost Green‘ (, a new section on the site offering green content in partnership with Discovery Communication’s TreeHugger, the popular sustainability media outlet, and Planet Green, Discovery’s 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network. With content from TreeHugger, Planet Green and The Huffington Post, HuffPost Green will be a trusted source for daily green news and opinion and will serve as a practical guide for living in a more environmentally-friendly way. HuffPost Green will feature up-to-the-minute news stories and features, blog posts, video and community forums.”

  • Jack Shafer: “Bloggy Tuesday: A McCain-New York Times Feud?; Fishy Friday; JFK on speed; what the hell is ‘affordable housing’?”

  • 24/7 Wall St. announced, “24/7 Wall St., LLC has completed the purchase of several popular websites. The deal includes the current re-launch of two well known properties: * The Biohealth Investor at, a highly regarded site for investors interested in biotech, pharma, medical, and healthcare information; * Volume Spike at, a site for momentum investing that monitors unusual volume in stocks and options.”

  • Bloomberg reports, “Yahoo! Inc., vying with Google Inc. for the top rank as the most popular U.S. Internet site, plans to offer real-time stock quotes to 19.5 million users of its finance Web pages.”

  • reports, “Google CEO Eric Schmidt: ‘The next big wave in advertising is the mobile internet'”

  • CNet reports, “A new study says that the number of people who watch online video will top 1 billion in the next five years. … The rapid rate at which broadband is being adopted around the world will lead the number of Web video viewers to quadruple by 2013, according to a report issued Tuesday by technology research group ABI Research.”

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  • Media Life reports, “The median age of magazine readers is growing older. What that means for media buyers and planners, however, is far from certain. According to the latest batch of numbers from Mediamark Research & Intelligence, the median age of readers of 100 top magazines rose 0.3 years, from 44.7 to 45.0, for spring 2008 compared with spring 2007.”

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  • Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert writes, “This year, the press has treated Kennedy as a singularly powerful figure in the Democratic Party and a commanding spokesman for the American left. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case. Just a few years ago, when Republicans were riding high on Iraq war fever and Democrats were seen as on the retreat politically, the press cavalierly snubbed Kennedy. Specifically, back in September 2002, with the Bush administration and much of the Beltway media rushing to embrace war with Iraq, Kennedy delivered a passionate, provocative, and newsworthy speech raising all sorts of doubts about a possible invasion. Unlike today, the political press wasn’t very interested in Kennedy or what he had to say about the most pressing issue facing the nation. Back in that media environment, being the voice of American liberals didn’t mean much.”

  • Paul Farhi writes for AJR, “So let’s get this straight: ‘The media’ are swooning over Barack, love McCain but can’t stand Hillary? Maybe it’s a little more complicated than that.”

  • reports, “Let’s end right now any discussion about whether media and entertainment companies will feel a pinch from a sluggish U.S. economy. Anyone who listened closely should have come away from the just-ended quarterly earnings season with the understanding that at least local advertising markets already are seeing a drag. Plus, now there are signs that European economies are starting to feel the squeeze, which could mean added challenges for media companies with significant business on the continent.”

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  • NPR is looking for a producer I — Weekends.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext

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