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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gov’t Pushes Shield Law | Bernstein Hacked | Gazette Office Closed


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Criticized on Seizure of Records, White House Pushes News Media Shield Law (NYT)
Under fire over the Justice Department’s use of a broad subpoena to obtain calling records of Associated Press reporters in connection with a leak investigation, the Obama administration sought on Wednesday to revive legislation that would provide greater protections to reporters in keeping their sources and communications confidential. Capital New York The administration opposed an initial draft of the Free Flow of Information Act, but eventually supported a compromise version that would allow federal judges to protect reporters from subpoenas for information, if the judge determined that the news value of the reports exceeded the government’s interest in uncovering the sources of a leak. HuffPost / The Backstory New York Times reporter Charlie Savage asked Attorney General Eric Holder, who had just announced he’d recused himself from the AP leak investigation, “Are you also recused from the Stuxnet investigation out of Maryland?” The New York Times has reason to be concerned about whether investigators are using similar tactics on them. The Maryland case is believed to be focused on Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger’s reporting on how the U.S. and Israel helped derail Iran’s nuclear program through cyberattacks. Sanger’s June scoop, along with the Times’ front-page article on Obama’s terrorist “kill list,” spurred Congressional calls to investigate the leaks of classified information. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Media Matters for America, a group that monitors the country’s conservative media for distortions and inaccuracies, fell in for criticism Wednesday over the Justice Department’s secret subpoena of the Associated Press’s phone records. Evidence of this Media Matters-Obama administration mindmeld? This piece here, which says: “If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.” The Daily Beast / Politics Beast David Brock explained all in a statement. “Media Matters for America monitors, analyzes, and corrects conservative misinformation in the media and was not involved with the production of the document focusing on the DOJs investigation,” he said. “That document was issued by ‘Message Matters,’ a project of the Media Matters Action Network, which posts, through a different editorial process and to a different website, a wide range of potential messaging products for progressive talkers to win public debates with conservatives.”

Watergate Sleuth Carl Bernstein’s Email Account Is Hacked by ‘Guccifer’ (The Smoking Gun / Buster)
Add Carl Bernstein to the growing list of “Guccifer” victims. The Watergate sleuth’s email account was breached by the hacker now being sought by federal investigators in connection with a spree of prior online incursions that has targeted a wide array of public figures. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer So far, the ongoing hacks have revealed little of actual consequence, but plenty of trivial entertainment at a steady pace, indicating that the person responsible may very well be risking years of prison time, for, as the tech kids say, the lulz. The George W. Bush shower self-portrait, from where we’re sitting, was way worth it.

The Gazette Shuts Down Frederick Office (Frederick News-Post)
The Gazette has shut down its office in Frederick, The Washington Post Co. confirmed late Wednesday afternoon. Eighteen full-time and 12 part-time employees were laid off, according to Rima Calderon, vice president of communications and external relations at The Washington Post Co. The Gazette After a careful review of these ever-shifting market conditions, The Gazette has decided to close its Frederick County editions. This is the last edition.

CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson: ‘There Hasn’t Been An Appetite for The Stories That I’ve Offered on Benghazi’ (CBN / The Brody File)
In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says that while top executives at CBS have been very supportive of her Benghazi coverage, it’s been hard to get her offerings on television, saying, “There hasn’t been an appetite for the stories that I’ve offered on Benghazi.” TVNewser Attkisson has been one of the more aggressive reporters covering the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last September.

Google Demands Microsoft Remove YouTube Windows Phone App, Cites Lack of Ads (The Verge)
Microsoft updated its own YouTube application for Windows Phone just over a week ago and Google isn’t impressed. The Verge has obtained a copy of a cease and desist letter that Google has sent to Microsoft recently, demanding that Microsoft “immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”

Introducing Strongbox (The New Yorker / Close Read)
Wednesday morning, The New Yorker launched Strongbox, an online place where people can send documents and messages to the magazine, and we, in turn, can offer them a reasonable amount of anonymity. It was put together by Aaron Swartz, who died in January, and Kevin Poulsen. Kevin explains some of the background in his own post, including Swartz’s role and his survivors’ feelings about the project. FishbowlNY The Wall Street Journal has something similar called SafeHouse, but that had several security flaws. And since you never hear about it, it seems like it’s not going so well. The New Yorker recognizes that something could go awry when submitting. In a post about the tool, the magazine states, “Strongbox does not provide perfect security. Among other risks, if you share your unique code name, or if your computer is compromised, any activities, including communications through Strongbox, should be considered compromised as well.”

At Least Two Pay-TV Operators Circling Hulu (AllThingsD)
At least two pay-TV operators, including cable giant Time Warner Cable Inc., are weighing an investment in Hulu as the online video site considers a range of strategic options, according to people familiar with the matter.

USA Network’s Dividing Line With Twitter (WSJ)
Several television companies have announced deals with Twitter Inc. in recent weeks, looking to take advantage of the popularity of tweeting while watching shows. But not all TV companies believe tying up with the social media site is such a great idea.

McClatchy Digital Subscription Program Getting Results (Sacramento Business Journal)
The digital subscription initiative that The McClatchy Co. rolled out last year is exceeding expectations, McClatchy’s top executive told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “The Plus Program is on pace to generate approximately $25 million in new revenues this year,” president and CEO Pat Talamantes said in a news release on highlights from the media company’s meeting.

Unions Protest Over Potential Sale of LA Times to Koch Brothers (LA Times)
About 300 labor union members and other activists staged a demonstration to protest the potential sale of the Los Angeles Times to the politically conservative Koch brothers. Demonstrators marched outside the downtown LA headquarters of Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm that holds a roughly 20 percent stake in Tribune Co., which owns the Times. FishbowlLA Musician Ry Cooder performed for the crowd, singing “I Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister” with special anti-Koch lyrics added.

paidContent Founder Rafat Ali Raises Another $1.1 Million for Skift, His Site for Travel News And Data (TechCrunch)
Skift, the travel industry-focused site that was launched in July 2012 by paidContent founder Rafat Ali and Jason Clampet (who previously ran content and editorial partnerships at Frommers.com), announced Wednesday that it has raised $1.1 million in additional seed funding.

David Zinczenko Throws A Big Party to Tout New, More Upscale Men’s Fitness (Capital New York)
Men’s Fitness has been getting in shape. Long viewed as the downmarket step-brother of its main competitor, Men’s Health, the 26-year-old title owned by American Media Inc. (the Florida-based publisher of supermarket tabloids and muscle mags), is in the process of reinventing itself under David Zinczenko, Men’s Health‘s former editor of 12 years and a fixture in the New York media smart set.

Newsweek / The Daily Beast Gets A Redesign (FishbowlNY)
Everyone loved the New York Times’ digital “Snow Fall” piece. We praised it. It won a Pulitzer. Even Jill Abramson started using “Snow Fall” as a verb. Now Newsweek / The Daily Beast appears to be taking it a step farther. Its site redesign is very similar to “Snow Fall.”

Google Figures Out The Simplest, Most Profound Way to Send Money: Over Email (Quartz)
Two years ago, Google promised to “make your phone your wallet.” But it hasn’t delivered, largely because phone manufacturers and wireless carriers have been wary to sign onto the service, known as Google Wallet. But Google may have just found a creative way into mobile payments that doesn’t require any other companies to cooperate: email. SocialTimes The service is free when it’s used to debit bank accounts directly. Senders pay a 2.9 percent fee if Wallet accesses a credit or debit card.

Don’t Look Now, But AOL Sold Off Its Industry News Sites (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Ever since they joined forces two years ago, Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington have been under the microscope, their every move dissected and critiqued. So it’s impressive, in a way, that they were able to unwind one of their misadventures without attracting any notice.

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