Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Obama: Leak Investigations ‘May Chill Investigative Journalism’ (HuffPost / The Backstory)
President Obama said Thursday that he is “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.” In a major speech on national security, Obama said that the “Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society.” TPM / LiveWire President Obama reiterated his support for a new media shield law to “guard against government over-reach” and has directed attorney general Eric Holder to review the Justice Department’s guidelines with reporters. The Washington Times The president’s comments came as NBC News reported that Holder signed off on at least one of the controversial search warrants that identified a Fox News reporter as a “possible co-conspirator.” TVNewser During President Obama’s speech to the National Defense University, he was interrupted a handful of times by a protester who called for him to shut down the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As so often happens when there is a heckler, news coverage of the speech spent some time talking about the heckler rather than the meat of the speech itself.The Washington Post / Leonard Downie Jr. But the Obama administration’s steadily escalating war on leaks, the most militant I have seen since the Nixon administration, has disregarded the First Amendment and intimidated a growing number of government sources of information — most of which would not be classified — that is vital for journalists to hold leaders accountable.
For geeky followers of the Hollywood trades, it doesn’t get much more Memorial fun than this. In Nieman Storyboard’s latest “Annotation Tuesday!”, The Awl’s Elon Green and reporter Amy Wallace line-item annotate her famous September 2001 Los Angeles magazine profile of then-Variety editor Peter Bart.
It says something about the wily Hollywood industry skills outlined by Wallace in her cover story that today, improbably, Bart has weathered a storm of change at Variety and cranks out a weekly column alongside three new editors-in-chief. Green asks at one point how the celebrated Los Angeles magazine piece feels to its author 12 years later. Wallace’s answer:
The main way that the piece has become utterly dated is that the trades are no longer as powerful as they were then. Variety is trying to reboot at the moment and The Hollywood Reporter is a glossy vehicle for luxury advertising (that actually caters brilliantly to this same insecurity I describe here, by celebrating power brokers and putting their pictures on high-quality paper).
The Mother Jones feature starts out with Bryan Schatz (pictured) taking receipt in the desert near Los Angeles of the parts needed to put together an untraceable AK-47 assault rifle. It then moves on to the fun of a so-called “build party:”
Among those ready to get going (none of whom wanted their names used) are a father-son duo getting in some bonding time and a well-bellied sixtysomething with a white Fu Manchu who “loves” the click-ack! sound of a round being chambered. Assembling a Romanian variant is a builder wearing a camouflage jacket and a hat embroidered with an AR-15 rifle above the legend “Come and take it.” His knuckle tattoos read “PRAY HARD.”
Kara Swisher got the jump today on a big announcement about the San Francisco Chronicle. In an aggressive move to revive the fortunes of both the paper and website (SFgate.com), the parent company has hired a pair of media execs who will be very familiar to SoCal readers.
While the Chronicle and its website is the largest for local news in the Bay area, it has lagged a lot in aggressively covering key trends — such as tech — and the fast growth of the region… Its daily print circulation is now 265,000, and combined with its website it reaches close to two million people.
On April Fool’s Day 2013, San Francisco 49ers social media manager Scott Kegley decided to have a little fun at the expense of coach Jim Harbaugh. He joke-tweeted that a new clothing line was coming called the Harbaugh Collection.
Part of of the gag is that Harbaugh rarely deviates from a sideline uniform of khakis, fleece and black cap. However, per an interview of Kegley by Silicon Valley Business Journal technology reporter Preeti Upadhyaya, that’s when something really funny happened:
“People started saying that if the Harbaugh Collection was real, they’d definitely buy it. We had actually come up with the concept for a Harbaugh t-shirt a while back, but it just stayed as a concept. Once we saw how much success the campaign had on social media (it was the third most viewed article in the off season), we decided to actually make the shirts, and they’ll go on sale in the team store on May 27.
Land just one assignment for Every Day With Rachael Ray, and you’re well on your way to establishing a relationship with the editors there. Sixty percent of the book is freelance written and editors regularly assign ideas to their trusted stable of writers. A couple of sections are particularly friendly to newbies — just make sure your pitch fits the pub’s lively tone, and soon, your byline could be traveling to the mag’s 1.7 million-plus readers.
Reading the magazine is “like your best friend is helping you cook dinner or helping plan your trip,” explained executive lifestyle editor Sonal Dutt. “So I think what sets us apart from anybody else is that we do have a real person that our reader can relate to, can see on their television and can feel like she’s there with you, guiding you through the process.”
For more info, read How To Pitch: Every Day With Rachael Ray.
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.
There are certain guests, like Vin Diesel, that Tonight Show host Jay Leno is utterly familiar and comfortable with. When these people drop by the soon-to-be-shuttered Burbank set, it generally results in very entertaining TV.
At one point during the Wednesday interview promoting Fast & Furious 6, Diesel decided to bring out his two young children. Watch below as the 45-year-old movie star throws to a clip, sitting one seat over from Jay and cradling his semi-shy offspring.
During that recent sit-down for Rock Center with brothers Rahm and Zeke, Ari Emanuel insisted that lots of therapy had helped him move away from Entourage-worthy volcanic eruptions. But of course, for Fortune magazine senior editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky and most other journalists, it’s impossible to resist the lure of those tales, still, for the purposes of an article lede about the William Morris Endeavor deal maker:
Sean Parker, the billionaire technology investor and onetime president of Facebook, will never forget being on the receiving end of an Ari Emanuel onslaught. It was 2009. Emanuel, the famous Hollywood agent, had been e-mailing Parker because a friend had suggested they connect…
The article is behind the Fortune paywall. If this content doesn’t spark a few more subscribers, then there is no hope for the future of print media.
Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Judge Apologizes for Lack of Transparency in James Rosen Leak Probe (The Washington Post)
The chief judge of the District’s federal court issued an unusual order Wednesday, apologizing to the public and the media for not making certain court documents widely available online. The gesture of transparency by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth comes at a time when the Obama administration is under scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, including one showing that the Justice Department had secretly probed the news-gathering activities of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Politico / Under The Radar The Justice Department is denying that it tracked the phone calls of Rosen’s parents as part of an investigation into how Rosen got classified information about North Korean nuclear test plans. “We did not wiretap the phones of any reporter or news organization. Nor did we monitor or track the phone calls of any reporter’s parents. No records were obtained from the computer servers of any news organization,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement. TVNewser The news of the full extent of the investigation comes as editorials take aim squarely at the Obama administration for valuing secrecy over freedom of the press. The Washington Post / Dana Milbank There are various reasons you might not care about the Obama administration’s spying on Rosen and labeling him a “co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor” in an espionage case. Liberals may not be particularly bothered because the targeted journalist works for Fox News. Conservatives may not be concerned because of their antipathy toward the news media generally. And the general public certainly doesn’t have much patience for journalists’ whining.
Had the earliest version of Nickelodeon’s green slime actually been dumped on a human being, the results would have probably been similar to what happened in the late 1990s to comic book artist and San Diego Reader contributor Jay Allen Sanford.
As Sanford recalls today, his unauthorized Contemporary Bio-Graphics treatment of Paul Reubens‘ alter ego Pee Wee Herman eventually led to a one-on-one interview at the actor’s LA home. In character, Reubens playfully at one point dumped on Sanford’s head some old and, it turns out, rancid green slime, resulting in a very strong reaction:
Reubens was still apologizing the next day when he phoned to make sure I’d lived to tell. He kindly picked up the tab for $975, which covered the cost of my hospital visit and of the hair stylist later called upon to “fix” those spots where slime-encrusted hair had been excised from my shaggy ‘do.
NEXT PAGE >>