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Morning Media Newsfeed: Manning Sentenced | Fired Fox Exec Speaks | Finke Out at Deadline?


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Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for WikiLeaks Disclosures (The Verge)
Bradley Manning’s court-martial reached an end Wednesday, with Army Colonel Denise Lind sentencing him to 35 years in prison. She also ordered a reduction in rank to private, a forfeiture of all pay and a dishonorable discharge. NYT The sentence is the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information for the purpose of having the information reported to the public. Private Manning, 25, will be eligible for parole in about seven years, his lawyer said. The Guardian Manning will send a personal plea to Barack Obama next week for a presidential pardon. “When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love to my country and a sense of duty to others,” Manning will tell Obama. “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.” The New Yorker / Close Read The WikiLeaks files have been a useful and important part of what had been about a dozen underdeveloped debates about our wars and foreign policy. The prosecutors, despite using words like betrayal frequently, had trouble, at the sentencing, showing specific harm, as opposed to diffuse embarrassment. And against 35 years, a hundred and twelve days seems like a paltry penalty for Manning’s extreme solitary confinement and his abuse. Where is the deterrent for that? HuffPost Manning’s sentencing on Wednesday received about as much attention from the cable news networks that every other phase of his trial did — that is to say, not a whole lot. As they did when he was declared guilty, networks briefly treated the story as a piece of major breaking news, and then moved away quickly. Though they have learned how to talk endlessly about stories with no new details, the networks clearly felt that Manning’s sentencing to 35 years in prison was not worthy of that treatment. Today.com Manning revealed he intends to live out the remainder of his life as a woman. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” the Army private wrote in a statement read on Today Thursday. “Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”

Brian Lewis Talks About His Fox News Firing (TVNewser)
Brian Lewis, who spent the last 17 years as the chief spokesperson for Fox News, is himself speaking out about his firing from the network. Though, in classic PR style, just barely. “There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time,” Lewis tells TVNewser. HuffPost / The Backstory Lewis was not Fox News chief Ailes’ “right-hand man.” That’s the message Fox News began pushing hard Wednesday in response to reports describing Lewis, the network’s recently ousted executive vice president of communications, as a close confidant of Ailes.

Nikki Finke May Finally Be Out at Deadline (Defamer)
Nikki Finke, once heralded as the industry’s most powerful muckity-muck and “Hollywood’s reigning queen of entertainment news,” may be leaving the site that is synonymous with her outsized personality come next month. A rumor circulated Wednesday afternoon that Finke had given her staff final word that she intended to leave her site Deadline.com — now owned by racing scion Jay Penske — next month. When we asked about them, Finke offered only the following statement for the record: “I won’t confirm or deny it. I can’t talk about my contract.” BuzzFeed Finke and her boss Penske are fighting once more, and Finke has been telling people she’s leaving Deadline imminently. It’s an emotional roller coaster, which all might culminate — once again — in returning to the status quo at Deadline and Penske Media. Which is what happened in June after Sharon Waxman reported at The Wrap that Penske had gotten fed up and fired Finke.

Walt Disney Plans Layoffs at ABC TV Group (Ad Age / Media News)
Walt Disney will eliminate about 175 jobs at its ABC TV Group, as it looks to adjust to new technology and changes in viewership, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. This comes after the Mickey Mouse company revealed plans to lay off more than 300 staffers at ESPN in May. It has also eliminated hundreds of jobs across Walt Disney Studio, LucasArts and Lucasfilm as it looks to streamline operations and cut redundancies.

Huffington Post to End Anonymous Comments (GigaOM)
The Huffington Post, which has logged more than 260 million comments in its history, will end anonymity in those comments, founder Arianna Huffington said Wednesday morning. “Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats,” Huffington said in comments to reporters after a speech at Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 conference in Boston. The changeover will come in mid-September, she said. Poynter / MediaWire In an email to Poynter, Huffington Post spokesperson Rhoades Alderson confirms the move and says HuffPost’s army of moderators — it has about 40 — “will be freed up to engage more with the community, facilitating the kinds of productive conversations our community members want to be having.” FishbowlNY A noble idea. Too bad there’s no such thing as “the grown-up Internet.”

Men’s Journal Publisher Chris McLoughlin Moves Over to Rolling Stone (FishbowlNY)
It was just last month that we were writing about the strategic alliance between Wenner Media’s Fitness and Men’s Journal. And how that deal quickly came together through the efforts of respective publishers Eric Schwarzkopf and Chris McLoughlin. Now, McLoughlin is on to bigger and better Wenner things. A year and a half after being appointed publisher of Men’s Journal, the magazine industry vet is moving over to Rolling Stone in the same capacity. Ad Age / Media News During his tenure, he oversaw a redesign of MensJournal.com and introduced Men’s Journal Gear Lab.

Jeffrey Toobin, The Anti-Greenwald (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Edward Snowden affair has raised the profile of all its players: Snowden, who leaked classified information about the NSA’s surveillance program; Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who published much of that information; even David Miranda, Greenwald’s partner, who was detained at Heathrow Airport over the weekend on suspicion of carrying classified documents. But the most recent player to take the stage is Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer who has become, in the eyes of the aforementioned trifecta, a Judas-like figure: the fellow journalist who betrayed the home-team and sided with the authorities.

Rolling Stone Gets Traffic Boost From Boston Bomber Controversy (Adweek)
Boycotts or not, Rolling Stone struck newsstand gold last month with its controversial Boston Bomber issue, which saw sales nearly double versus the previous year. And that buzz seems to have translated to the magazine’s digital platforms, too.

Bloomberg as The Anti-News Corp. (CJR / The Audit)
The external review into how Bloomberg News staffers used and misused confidential client data available on Bloomberg LP terminals in their reporting turned up few if any surprises and effectively puts the mini-scandal to bed. If anything, the belt-and-suspenders review — conducted by a flying squadron of lawyers and consultants, along with a journalistic wiseperson or two — will only reaffirm Bloomberg’s standing as the most tightly-wound news operation on the face of the earth.

How The News Got Less Mean (Time / Ideas)
The most read article of all time on BuzzFeed contains no photographs of celebrity nip slips and no inflammatory ranting. It’s a series of photos called “21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity,” which has pulled in nearly 14 million visits so far. At Upworthy too, hope is the major draw. “This kid just died. What he left behind is wondtacular,” said an Upworthy post about a terminally ill teen singer. The post earned 15 million views this summer and has raised more than $300,000 for cancer research. The recipe for attracting visitors to stories online is changing.

Journalism’s New Marquee Brothers (Reuters / Jack Shafer)
When Nate Silver packed his FiveThirtyEight.com flag into a box this summer and trundled it from The New York Times, where it had flown for the last three years, for planting at ESPN, he cemented his status as one of the Marquee Brothers, that fraternity of overachieving reporters whose journalistic triumphs have inspired media outlets to grant them nation-state status inside the greater organization.

Yahoo! Is No. 1 in Traffic, per comScore (Adweek)
It’s only one month, but it probably bodes well for Marissa Mayer, who a few weeks ago celebrated her one year anniversary as Yahoo! CEO. According to comScore, her Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company drew more unique visitors (roughly 197 million) than any other U.S. Internet company in July for the first time since March 2011, besting rivals Google (192 million), Microsoft (180 million) and Facebook (142 million).

Al Jazeera America: The News Channel Americans Deserve (The Guardian / Ana Marie Cox)
Al Jazeera America debuted its first batch of original programming Tuesday night, to some fanfare, slightly more catcalls and many technical glitches. It didn’t air as widely as it could have, in part because of disputes with carriers. I hope these get worked out in the network’s favor, because it deserves wide viewing: it’s the news channel Americans deserve. TVNewser Day one of Al Jazeera America is in the books and veteran TV critics are weighing in on the programming from the launch. While there are still plenty of kinks to work out, day one of a channel often sets the tone, even if changes do — and they will — come down the line.

New York Times Misquote? The New York Times Is on It! (NY Observer)
On Wednesday, the New York City mayoral race was shook up by a rather notable misquote by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, resulting in condemnations and fury all around. But because “All the News That’s Fit to Print” now includes her error, the paper’s reporting side was forced to somewhat awkwardly cover the “ugly dispute” in a followup story on whether mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s wife dissed his rival Christine Quinn, who is gay, for being childless.

Netflix Replaces ‘Instant Queue’ With ‘My List’ (TheWrap)
Netflix streaming subscribers wondering what happened to their “Instant Queue” on Wednesday morning can rest easy — it’s not gone, it’s just been rebranded and re-engineered as “My List,” which an algorithm will reorder depending on what you’re most likely to watch first. The method to save films and TV shows to watch later is the same, and the list is still accessible across multiple platforms, Netflix said in a how-to video explaining the change.

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