By Becky Perlow, CNN
Monday morning was supposed to be a slow day in news - a gun hearing here, maybe a senate presser there... until a bomb exploded at the Boston Marathon, injuring more than 100 people and killing three, including an 8-year-old boy.
The media raced to Boston, blanketing the city in TV anchors, cameramen and hand-held microphones. During this time, most media outlets began speculating as to the cause of the bombings - was it a terror attack? Was it domestic or foreign in nature? How many were hurt? As the investigation continued, several organizations (inducing CNN) faced criticism for incorrectly reporting news of an arrest, then later correcting it. Mediaite’s Joe Concha, The Washington Post's Erik Wemple, and Lauren Ashburn of The Daily Download join Howard Kurtz in our Washington DC studio to discuss the media's coverage - from Monday's breaking news to the on-going Boston manhunt and more. After our panel, Callie Crossley, host of WGBH radio's "Under the Radar with Callie Crossley," will join Howie from Boston to discuss media coverage on the ground.
USA Today's Christine Brennan will also join Howie in DC to discuss how the sports news world reacted to the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, including how sports journalists became breaking news reporters and how athletes became first responders.
One journalist didn't just report the Boston Marathon bombings - he actually ran the race and crossed the finish line 39 minutes before the first bomb exploded. The Washington Post's Vernon Loeb swings by the studio to share his experience about his 61st marathon race and what it was like reporting breaking news following a 26.2 mile run.
Tune in Sunday at 11am ET.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
Jay Leno is leaving the historic Tonight show, Roger Ebert has passed away after a long battle with cancer and the media's obsession with Hilary's supposed 2016 run has hit an all-time high. If that's not enough news for you, though, take a look at what the Reliable Sources staff is reading this week:
Social media slight: Jon Stewart's political tirades are both long and legendary, so it's no surprise that he dedicated an entire 10-minute segment of one of his shows to mocking Egyptian President Morsi after the Egyptian leader arrested Stewart's Middle-Eastern comedic counterpart, Bassem Youssef (seen in the picture above). The diatribe might have ended there, if not for one worker at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, who decided to send out a link to Stewart's segment via the U.S. Embassy's Twitter account. Morsi's office quickly complained via its own official Twitter feed, saying that "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda." In response, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson ordered that the embassy's Twitter be shut down, according to State Department officials.
Radio road trip: While you might not have heard of Tim Westergren, we bet you've heard (and even listened to) his musical creation called Pandora. Westergren, founder of the online radio service, is currently knee-deep in a bitter battle with the music industry over the price Pandora pays for each song played on its radio, as compared to the lower costs per song that satellite and cable radio pay. But "when you’re Tim Westergren, and you’ve got more than 69 million active users listening to more than 1.5 billion of hours of music in a month and your product is embedded into the dashboard of 80 or so new car models, you don’t have to confine legislative lobbying to Washington (and political fund-raisers). Instead you go on the road, where his company forged an unusually intimate bond with its customers, hundreds of whom show up for each of his town halls," explains an article in The Washington Post.
Say Bye-bye to Bill: (Adair that is.) The Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times is reportedly trading in his pencils and notepads for textbooks and lecture halls. Adair, who has worked for the paper for more than 24 years, will be leaving for Duke University this summer to become the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy. While he will technically leave the paper, he says he'll continue to contribute to his Pulitzer prize winning fact-checking machine, Politifact.
The Time Warner of the streets: Founded originally as a free magazine by Shane Smith in the mid '90s, Vice media has evolved to a multi-platform news organization, known for its gonzo reporting style and in-your-face stories. Despite its avid fans, though, Vice has been unable to attract a wide audience... until now. With a new documentary series set to debut tomorrow on HBO, Vice's popularity is finally gaining traction in the mainstream media, and, according to Smith, can achieve the same scale [like CNN] by selling its content piecemeal to other companies—to YouTube, through its original-content program, and to TV channels."
So do you think Vice could become the next CNN? And what are you reading this week?
By Becky Perlow, CNN
There's no denying that Barbara Walters has left her mark on journalism. After her humble beginnings as a segment writer on Today, she climbed the corporate ladder to finally become the first female co-host of NBC's morning show, paving the way for young female journalists eager to anchor television. From there, Walters went on to co-anchor ABC's newsmagazine 20/20 and eventually create and co-host the girl gabfest house, The View. Reports have recently surfaced, though, that the legendary news anchor and talk show host is retiring in 2014. Eric Deggans, TV critics for the Tampa Bay Times, and Carole Simpson, former anchor for ABC News, join Kurtz to discuss Walter's impact on the industry and what her legacy will look like.
All eyes were trained on the Supreme Court this past week, as the justices spent two days listening to arguments focused on the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8. The Washington Posts' Jennifer Rubin and AMERICAblog founder John Aravosis swing by the studio to discuss how the media is covering the upcoming Court cases.
The average human's attention span has shrunk though the years, and with it went the novel-length feature articles and in-depth investigative segments. Now, every story has to fit in 140 characters or less, and with the creation of the video-sharing tool "Vine," filmed in six seconds or less. ESPN's tech analyst Katie Linendoll and WNBC New York 4 reporter Brynn Gingras join the discussion of what the next app will mean for the future of multimedia journalism.
Allyson Bird left journalism less than a year ago, but a blog post about her decision to exit the industry has gone viral. Some journalists have rushed to her defense, while others have criticized her criticism of long hours, poor pay and general quality of life. Kurtz invites Bird to the show, where they'll discuss her post and whether it fairly represented the media.
Tune in this Sunday at 11am ET.
For a show that considers itself a family, NBC's “Today” has been ripped apart in the media for its poor handling of Ann Curry's departure. Many have blamed current co-host Matt Lauer, who remarkably kept silent through the entire ordeal... until now. Lauer broke his silence earlier this week during an interview with Howard Kurtz, where he shared his feelings on the matter. Lauren Ashburn, Editor-in-chief of Daily-Download.com, and Adam Buckman, TV columnist for Xfinity, join Howie to discuss.
Following weeks of media speculation and hours of pundits predicting who would fill Pope Benedict's famous red shoes, millions of viewers watched as Vatican City announced the arrival of Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. But before it was announced, TV anchors couldn't decide if the smoke was black or white (the latter signalling the Conclave's approval of a new pope). Howie invites New York Times religion correspondent Laurie Goodstein and The Washington Post's Sally Quinn to the table, where they'll assess the media's coverage of the pope.
CNN’s Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper also swings by the studio to chat with Howie about continuing tensions between the White House and reporters, as well as his new show, The Lead, which debuts Monday, March 18.
It's been 10 years since American troops entered Iraq, and ultimately 10 years of non-stop war coverage... but what lessons have we learned? The Washington Post's senior correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Time magazine's Mark Thompson will share their experiences covering the war and debate the media's shortcomings with Howie and former NBC News Senior Correspondent Fred Francis.
Tune in this Sunday, 11 E.T.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
From Jon Stewart's upcoming Daily Show hiatus to the allegation that the White House is bullying reporters, Reliable Sources will have a great show for you this week. Until then, here's a few other stories that caught our attention:
"Count" the (YouTube) views: The Sesame Street family, hoping to become the first nonprofit media organization to hit 1 billion video views, issued a challenge to its world-wide followers: Help us reach one billion channel views and we'll reward you with a "top secret" video. And while no one knows if it was "Elmo's Song" or Cookie Monster's "Share it maybe" that pushed the YouTube channel over the 1 billion mark, Sesame Street fans delivered. PBS happily released the video on Wednesday, which already has more than 60,000 views. Can you guess which Sesame Street character they used?
Held hostage: In the April issue of Vanity Fair, NBC News's Richard Engel details what it was like to be held against his will in the midst of Syria's civil war. For five days, the foreign correspondent was mentally and physically tortured by the shabiha militia, an armed group who supports the Ba'ath Party, of which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a part of. In the diary-style excerpt, Engel writes of his initial capture, as well as his first few minutes in captivity: "Stay focused. You are here. You need to survive this. The first few hours are the most dangerous."
Free Lunches: As the saying goes, there's no such thing as free lunch, especially when you're an online freelance journalist trying to make a living. Case in point: After an Atlantic editor extended an invitation to Nate Thayer to publish a shorter version of one of his already-published pieces (but made it clear she would not be paying him for the piece), Thayer published the exchange of emails between himself and the editor, Olga Khazan. The Atlantic has since come out, calling the situation a "mistake."
Controlling the Cardinals: Following a tiff between White House press corp and the Obama administration over access to a presidential golf outing, international journalists are experiencing their own press battles after the Vatican cancelled an American press briefing with cardinals. "The American cardinals are just more used to being open and talking to the press and answering questions in public. Rome just doesn't like to operate this way," said Father Thomas Reese of the National Catholic Reporter.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
With Dick Morris recently released from his punditry duties on Fox News, many critics have questioned whether the network, long criticized for acting as an extension of the GOP, is trying to soften its conservative image. Conservatives aren't the only ones in trouble, though, as Democratic Senator Bob Menendez continues his battle with the media. On Monday, Menendez told CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that the news website The Daily Caller was "a right wing blog" that was smearing his reputation with "totally unsubstantiated" lies. Until recently, the mainstream media had largely stayed away from the sex scandal claims, but as journalists dug deeper, they discovered the Garden State senator might be mixed up with other conduct claims that are questionable in nature. Lauren Ashburn, Editor-in-chief of Daily-download.com, The New Yorker's Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza and George Washington University's Professor of Media and Public Affairs Steve Roberts join Howie at the table to debate. They'll also discuss the media's mockery of Chris Christie's health and the unusual media connection to the manhunt for Los Angeles ex-police officer Christopher J. Dorner.
Founder of PandoDaily.com Sarah Lacy and HLN Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong will continue our media analysis this week, focusing on Facebook vacations (when people leave Facebook cold-turkey for a significant amount of time) and Netflix's attempt to change the way viewers watch TV.
Rounding up our show, Culture Commentator Lola Ogunnaike and NY Magazine's "The Cut" Features Editor Maureen O'Connor will lead the Grammy discussion... namely, what does CBS's new "dress code memo" mean for the famed red carpet?
Tune in this Sunday at 11am EST.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
Reliable Sources digs into media coverage this week – but here’s a look at some of the other stories that caught our attention:
Answering on Al Jazeera: Falling victim to The Daily Show's comedic wrath is a rite of passage for most politicians and Al Gore was no exception. Reported by Mediaite, Jon Stewart questioned Gore about the climate control activist's decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera, a news operation owned by the Middle Eastern country Qatar, which makes its money on oil and gas. Stewart called it an "odd move" because Gore preaches about climate change, and according to him, what's a major cause of climate change? Oh, that's right: oil and gas.
Netflix and Networks: Netflix, well-known for its DVD delivery service, is aiming to make itself equally renowned for its online streaming and change the way viewers watch TV. It hopes to accomplish this in 2013 with new original programming that's only available via Netflix, with no other major network involvement. Debuting tonight will be one of these new series called "House of Cards," a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey as (what else?) a sociopath. Here's the kicker: instead of releasing one-episode per week like its network competitors, Netflix is debuting all 13 episodes in one sitting. (Now would be a good time to cancel your Friday plans and figure out what you want for dinner because you'll be ordering in tonight.)
Twitter's gone rogue: The Week's Matt Lewis says he's no Manti Te'o, but he "did meet a lot of virtual friends" via Twitter. The Conservative writer has been tweeting since 2008, long before Twitter became another outlet for news. Four years later, though, Lewis says "The social sharing tool [that] was once a vision [is now] a prison."
Bloggers vs. Reporters: According to BuzzFeed, you shouldn't confuse the two, or you might just end up on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's bad side. Note: You would be joining the company of Senator Jim Inhofe, who quoted conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin during Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing earlier today. Except he called her a reporter, and Chandrasekaran apparently took great offense.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
It’s been almost a month since the Newtown shooting massacre not only left a nation shocked, but also encouraged lawmakers, lobbyists and pundits to finally put the gun debate on the political agenda. During the debate, many questioned how long the discussion would last – some said a week, while others suggested only as long as the media reported on the issue. The coverage, however, shows no sign of slowing down. Vice President Biden met this week with various groups to discuss current gun policy and CNN’s Piers Morgan made headlines when he interviewed talk show host Alex Jones. Jones gained attention for creating a White House petition to deport the CNN anchor after Morgan shared his views on gun control. Joining us this week to discuss are Paul Farhi, a media reporter for The Washington Post, Robert Costa, the Washington editor for the National Review and Keli Goff, political correspondent for TheRoot.com.
After several media organizations reported that Lance Armstrong was considering coming clean about his alleged doping, it was quickly announced that the crème de la crème of interviewers, Oprah Winfrey, scored the first sit down with the cyclist. USA Today’s sports columnist Christine Brennan swings by the studio to share her thoughts on what the interview will mean for the legendary Tour de France competitor.
From Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, to David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, the late night talk show hosts have battled for decades. This past week, one more comic was added to the line-up: Jimmy Kimmel moved to 11:35pm, directly threatening Leno and Letterman’s ratings. TV Newser columnist Gail Shister and Xfinity TV columnist Adam Buckman will join Howie to discuss what the change means for nighttime laughs and Nightline, the show that got bumped when Kimmel switched to the earlier time slot. They’ll also weigh in on the ‘Morning Joe’ squabble, where a discussion on President Obama’s cabinet appointments quickly turned the morning show into a showdown.
And in a country well known for its restricted press and significant censorship, China made news this week when journalists at a Chinese newspaper decided to go on strike after an editorial calling for greater constitutional freedoms was censored by the government. CNN’s former Beijing bureau chief Rebecca MacKinnon will give her insights into the protest.
Tune in this Sunday at 11am.
By Becky Perlow, CNN
Reliable Sources digs into media coverage this week – but here’s a look at some of the other stories that got our attention:
Fool me once, shame on you: Fool me twice, and blame it on the “little-known corner of the bank called the Chief Investment Office.” Kudos to the folks at The Atlantic for their excellent expose on why the big banks haven’t taken pains to fix their problems, and why they’re probably not going to, either.
Parting is no sweet sorrow: That’s according to Andrew Sullivan, who is reportedly leaving The Daily Beast and taking his popular blog, The Dish with him. According to FishBowlNY, Sullivan hopes to cut out the middle man and deliver his content directly to his readers, sans advertisements or larger media company involvement. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, though, so if you’re planning to follow him and his team to andrewsullivan.com, be prepared to sing for your supper at $19.99 per year.
(Politcal) Junkies Anonymous: Jay Carney has gone from peppering press secretaries with questions to answering those questions himself… but at what cost? Seasoned political reporter Michael Hastings writes that Carney “developed a serious, $10,000-a-day habit of following presidents around the country and the world.” And while you might call Carney a sell-out for switching to the dark side (read: reporting from behind the velvet rope to standing behind the presidential podium), Hastings himself fell victim to the addictive nature of the campaign trail. He details his exciting roller coaster ride in his new book, Panic 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of President Obama's Final Campaign.
Freyr and Yogi and Draco, oh my!: No, we’re not referring to Tolkien characters or Potter enemies… these are the Weather Channel’s new names bestowed upon this year’s winter storms. But is this a marketing ploy full of hot air, or will you actually take your weather anchor more seriously when they are warning you about looming “Winter Strom Brutus?” Tell us in the comments below!