CNN’s prime-time ratings — those hours between 7 and 11 p.m. that command premium advertising rates — have fallen sharply. CNN, reports The New York Times and MSNBC, now trails three of […]
Note: Relevant updates will posted to the bottom. By all means, read all the way to the end, where it gets interestinger and interestinger. ______________ Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his […]
By now you’ve probably seen the clip of former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today. In measured tones, he weighed in on the Gaza crisis with host Joe […]
by Michael Tracey Postscript In November 2007, just as I was finishing a draft of this essay I was talking to a television executive during a visit to London. He asked if there […]
So some Hollywood insiders are sick of the decidedly liberal MSNBC, according to a report. One “liberal Democrat” actually said at a Beverly Hills luncheon “that she would prefer a lunch date […]
Was the U.S. media admirably discreet or just plain ineffectual in covering news of the arrest of three men suspected of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at Invesco Field?
While cable news dutifully devotes nonstop coverage to the latest random criminal cases — kidnappings, shootouts, murderous love triangles, car chases — it’s telling when a supposed break in one of the biggest manhunts in FBI history, for a terrorist who murdered and poisoned multiple American citizens with anthrax, takes a backseat to nearly every other story. That is, if it’s mentioned at all.
Even as details, leaks and a burgeoning list of questions bubbled to the surface last week, demanding serious scrutiny, the big three broadcast networks were equally blasÃ©. Some nights skipping mention of the unfolding story altogether, as did last Tuesday’s editions of CBS Evening News and ABC World News (though both that evening reported the eminently newsworthy story of a thrill-seeking English couple who married while being strapped outside separate airplanes). On the same night, Brian Williams afforded 39 precious seconds to the anthrax investigation on NBC Nightly News.
Whatever issues people had with Tim Russert’s political coverage during the George W. Bush years (and I and many others outside the Beltway intelligentsia had many), I don’t wish to raise them now. First, I’d like to extend my condolences to Tim Russert’s family and friends. After watching the extensive and ongoing memorializing at MSNBC and NBC, it is clear that, despite what anybody thought of Russert as a journalist, he obviously had an incredibly positive impact on those closest to him – as a loving husband, father and son, as well as a supportive, good-natured and inspiring friend and colleague.
After days of eulogies on MSNBC and NBC and the subsequent response by some who feel the near 24/7 memorializing for Russert was overblown, I’m neither going to defend nor criticize the coverage. I’ll only say that I’m not sure how one dictates how others should mourn a loved one. On the other hand, it also seems natural that an overwhelming public display of mourning, such as what Russert received, might be viewed as excessive by those who were not close to him and/or who thought his overall contribution to society and the world at large was less than spectacular.
I’d prefer to offer a different perspective entirely, one that impacts all of us no matter how we received news of his death and what we thought of its coverage.
The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country by Howard Fineman Random House, 320 pp. Americans love to argue. In fact, we would not be Americans if we […]
by Josh Nelson I generally like Chuck Todd, and tend to agree with his analysis, but this is pretty weak: From NBC’s Chuck Todd As expected, one of the two major Democratic […]