In case you missed it---Politico yesterday got into trouble with a post that strongly suggested Barack Obama had misled readers of his memoir “Dreams From My Father.”
Also: The Gingrich campaign’s press secretary R.C. Hammond says that campaign-style horse-race coverage is a three-legged animal. Trail reporters are obsessed with these themes: 1) How’s the fundraising coming? 2) What do you have to say about that person who attacked you the other day? and 3) What about your standing in the polls? The idea-rich campaign of Newt Gingrich, says Hammond, suffered acutely on account of this ingrained media behavior. .
*Want to know everything, absolutely everything, about CNN’s ratings problems and how the network’s execs view them? Then go for this Keach Hagey story in the Wall Street Journal, which discusses the brand’s acute struggles in prime time (among other issues):
The fundamental problem is in prime time. In the year ending in March, Fox News had an average of 1,890,000 total viewers and 428,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic during prime-time, while MSNBC had 784,000 total viewers and 241,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. CNN had an average of 711,000 total viewers and 234,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic in prime time.
The fun part, though, is when Jim Walton pooh-poohs the importance of ratings at the “flagship” CNN channel.
*New York Times writes that the Federal Communications Commission has ruled in favor of Bloomberg TV in a cable-dial “neighborhood” dispute against Comcast:
Bloomberg had complained that Comcast, the country’s largest cable operator, was violating an F.C.C. condition upon its acquisition of NBCUniversal that it not favor its own channels. In separate filings, Bloomberg’s lawyers pushed for the commission to require Comcast to put Bloomberg near NBCUniversal’s CNBC and MSNBC.
So now Bloomberg TV will be moving to the same block as its newsy cousins on Comcast cable directories. Good ruling for the news consumer who doesn’t want to have to engage in all kinds of remote-control gymnastics to find other news outlets.
*Lorne Michaels says that having Mitt Romney on “Saturday Night Live” is a possibility for the fall season:
“We talked six to eight weeks ago and at the time there was some interest,” Michaels said, confirming earlier reports that he was courting the former Massachusetts governor. Michaels said he has not had any new communication with Romney since he has become the presumptive choice for the GOP nomination, so chances of him appearing this season are slim.
*TVNewser reports on more personnel actions resulting from bad editing of that George Zimmerman-emergency dispatcher conversation.
*A deeply reported piece by the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward on the departure of Richard Grenell from his position of spokesman for the Romney campaign on foreign policy and national security.
*News Corp. board issues a vote of confidence in Rupert Murdoch, via Reuters:
“The Board based its vote of confidence on Rupert Murdoch’s vision and leadership in building News Corporation, his ongoing performance as Chairman and CEO, and his demonstrated resolve to address the mistakes of the Company identified in the Select Committee’s report,” the company said in a statement following a board meeting.
*And all this business about the Romney campaign trying to exclude BuzzFeed from the pool that produces alternating reports on campaign events? Yeah, that’s going on. Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post quotes a Romney aide as saying this:
“We have opened up our finance events for one wire and one print pool reporter to cover with the reports accessible to other media,” Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, told The Huffington Post. “We do not have a separate blogger pool report.”
Two points here: 1) I thought we’d passed the age of blogatory discrimination, but whatever; 2) As Calderone suggests, BuzzFeed’s campaign stuff appears pretty much in the same format as most other outlets’: on a Web site, in the English language, complete with reporting and analysis. You’d almost suppose that the Romney campaign had missed the 353 media-on-media stories on BuzzFeed’s recent transformation!
Good on the New York Times for this:
“It concerns me that the Romney campaign would try to exclude any news organization from the pool,” New York Times political editor Richard Stevenson said in an email to The Huffington Post.
“There’s an important principle here, which is that a campaign doesn’t get to decide who covers it,” Stevenson continued. “That’s a point that we and others will no doubt raise with the Romney folks.”
*Sean Hannity has a big problem with Occupy protesters. But not as big a problem as Michelle Malkin has with Juan Williams, who charges that Tea Party people have been racist and gives an example of “jokes about monkeys and the president.” Malkin protests: “Name me one Tea Party person who said that...name it or retract it, Juan.”