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Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Morning Media Newsfeed: GMA Ups Spencer | Everest Special Nixed | Journalists Freed in Syria

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Lara Spencer Named Co-Host of Good Morning America (TVNewser)
Lara Spencer has been promoted to co-host of Good Morning America, joining George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, ABC News president James Goldston announced Friday. FishbowlDC Goldston sent a memo to staff with the announcement, highlighting Spencer’s “style, humor, sunny confidence, wonderful journalism and storytelling” and the two-year anniversary of GMA breaking “Today’s 852-week winning streak.” Mediaite Spencer rejoined ABC News three years ago as the lifestyle anchor on GMA after an extended stint in syndication and on CBS’ Early Show. Variety The move comes as GMA has been in the midst of change, with two members of the on-air staff that helped the show pass NBC’s Today in both total viewers as well as those between 25 and 54, the demo most coveted by advertisers, departed. Spencer is also now a veteran presence on the program, which has two new faces after the departures of meteorologist Sam Champion and news anchor Josh Elliott. ABC recently enlisted Michael Strahan, the former football player who has added new momentum to the company’s syndicated morning Live With Kelly And Michael, to take part in occasional GMA segments. The Associated Press The other current members of the GMA family are Amy Robach and Ginger Zee. Spencer was the show’s national correspondent from 1999 to 2004. Then, for seven years, she was a host of The Insider.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ferns Plugs Obamacare | Sweeney Steps Down | Reporter Dies in Uganda

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White House: Obama’s Between Two Ferns Cameo Driving Traffic to HealthCare.gov (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
The White House said in a tweet early Tuesday afternoon that President Obama’s appearance on the Funny or Die Web series Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis has made that website the top referrer to HealthCare.gov. Politico As of 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the website had racked up more than 19,000 referral visits from Obama’s Between Two Ferns video, which was posted around 7 a.m., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Aaron Albright said. But those who clicked through from the video to HealthCare.gov represent just a small percentage of those who watched the video. Around 1 p.m., the video had drawn about 3 million views through Funny or Die’s video player. By 6 p.m., the total was around 7 million. Reuters In the video, Obama got the chance to urge the youth of America to get health insurance, but not until he’d been subjected to questions like “What is it like to be the last black president?” and “What should be done about North Ikea?” Youth participation is crucial to the success of the program, but U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that while the number of people enrolled in private insurance under Obamacare reached 4.2 million by March 1, the proportion of adults aged 18-34 remained unchanged from January at 25 percent of total enrollment in private Obamacare plans. Variety At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney was grilled by the White House press corps on whether the video demeaned the dignity of the office. “I think we made the right call here,” Carney said. “I think what it says is gone are the days when your broadcasts can reach everybody we need to reach.” He noted that Between Two Ferns videos average 6 million views, and that he expected the Obama interview would exceed that. He declined to say exactly which parts of the interview were scripted and which ones were not. THR During Obama’s six-and-a-half-minute back-and-forth with Galifianakis, the president played the role of a stern, sometimes irritated straight man as the comedian deadpanned a series of questions that were alternately outrageous and inane. “This is a perfect example of a great partnership with Funny or Die stepping up in a big way,” said Between Two Ferns producer Eric Ortner. “The site has a very robust traffic base of young men and women who are on the edge of the cultural zeitgeist.” PRNewser Will the people who hate the president’s health care law see this clip and change their minds? Of course not. The point, really, is that this appearance was far more valuable than any Sunday morning show discussion could be, no matter what Obama’s opponents think. We all know that the key to successful communication is to deliver the message to the right audience in the best possible format, which for young people is not Sunday morning on NBC with David Gregory.

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News Organizations Ask Syrian Rebels to Stop Kidnapping Journalists

Desperate times call for desperate measures. A collection of 13 news organizations — including The New York Times, the AP, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters — have composed a letter asking Syrian rebel forces to stop kidnapping journalists, and to free the ones currently held in captivity.

“By our estimate, more than 30 journalists are now being held,” explains the letter. “As a result of these kidnappings, a growing number of news organizations no longer feel that it is safe for their reporters and photographers to enter Syria, and many have decided to limit their coverage of the war, unwilling to have they staff members subjected to the increasingly common risk of abduction.”

The note (which you can read in full below) has been sent to the Free Syrian Army and other groups under the leadership of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

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Virtual Vigil Friday for Kidnapped Journalist James Foley

JamesFoleyPicTomorrow is freelance journalist James Foley‘s 40th birthday. There will be candles, but sadly, they will be of a sort that do not signify a happy occasion.

Foley was abducted in northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012 by a group of unidentified gunman and has not been seen or heard from since. In support of an ongoing grassroots campaign to bring about his release, there will be vigils tomorrow night in the U.S. and various international locations:

Please join the Foley family this Friday in a virtual and actual vigil for peace and the safe return of James Foley, in honor of Jim’s 40th birthday!

October 18, 2013
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Rochester, NH at 6pm

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Business Insider CTO Out | Obama Speech Panned | 9/11 Network Coverage


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Business Insider CTO Forced to Resign Following Twitter Firestorm (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
Pax Dickinson has been forced to resign as chief technology officer at Business Insider following an online firestorm over his long history of controversial tweets, according to a source who has been in contact with him. Dickinson got in hot water Monday over his most recent string of tweets about feminism, misogyny and women in tech. A look at his tweets from over the years uncovered many more instances of Dickinson bashing feminists, gays and the poor, among others. FishbowlNY How offensive were his tweets? Well, it depends on which ones you want to discuss. Dickinson dabbled in pretty much everything. HuffPost The brouhaha began around the time Dickinson offered this opinion on the issue of women in tech: “Feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. My finger is getting tired,” he tweeted. The flurry of responses caught the eye of Nitasha Tiku over at Gawker’s Valleywag. Tiku noticed Dickinson’s Twitter account was littered with posts potentially offending Christians, the LGBT community, women, minimum-wage earners, Jews, rape victims and African-Americans. Slate / XX Factor Dickinson’s tweets were no secret within the company; the website’s chief correspondent, Nicholas Carlson, admitted to blocking his feed so he didn’t have to interact with him on Twitter. “Pax was speaking for himself, not Business Insider. We obviously don’t condone what he said,” the company’s founder, editor and CEO, Henry Blodget, told Valleywag’s Sam Biddle when the retweets began to mount. NY Observer / BetaBeat Dickinson is the most recent and potent example of sexism (and racism, and classism) in tech, but he’s certainly not the only one. Such a rancorous person doesn’t scale the corporate ladder — tweeting all the while! — without some sort of systemic acceptance (or at least tolerance) of his attitudes. Business Insider / Henry Blodget A Business Insider executive has made some comments on Twitter that do not reflect our values and have no place at our company. The executive has left the company, effective immediately.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Anchors Slam Obama Snub | Assad Interview Airs | Crossfire Debuts


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Univision, Al Jazeera Anchors Slam Obama After Being Left Out of Media Blitz (The Wrap)
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and Al Jazeera English senior political analyst Marwan Bishara lashed out after their networks were left out of President Obama’s media blitz, writing that the president was leaving Hispanics and Arabs out of the Syria crisis debate. TVNewser “Pres. Obama gives 6 interviews [Monday]. None of those to Univision. Why? Hispanics also care about Syria. Same mistake as presidential debates” Ramos tweeted. “150,000+ Latinos are serving in the U.S. military. But none of the 6 interviews given [Monday] by Obama include Univision” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jose Zamora, a spokesperson for Univision, told us the network “did everything possible” to get an interview when the opportunity was announced, but was unsuccessful. “We think it’s a very important story for us and most importantly for our audience,” he said. Al Jazeera America Marwan Bishara: “Considering Washington’s decisions in the past decade have had an arguably deeper impact in Iraq and Afghanistan than in Iowa and Montana, President Obama must answer to Arabs as he does to the American people, regarding future wars in Syria or elsewhere in their region. And there’s only one major network that reaches the majority of Arabs and Muslims and others in the greater Middle East.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Rose Interviews Assad | Obama Gives Interviews | Politico Buys Capital NY


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Charlie Rose Interviews Bashar al-Assad
(TVNewser)
CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose got an interview Sunday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This is Assad’s first TV interview since President Obama asked Congress to approve the use of force against the Syrian regime for use of chemical weapons. Rose, now in Beirut, called in to Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In the interview, Assad denied that he had anything to do with the chemical weapons attack that took place on Aug. 21, 2013. Rose also said the Syrian president would not confirm or deny that the regime has chemical weapons. NYT The interview, which was arranged in the last few days amid a Congressional debate about whether to authorize a limited military strike against Syria, will be broadcast on Monday by CBS and PBS. In a sign of the significance of the interview, he was accompanied by Jeffrey Fager, the chairman of CBS News and the top producer of 60 Minutes. HuffPost It is the first interview that al-Assad has given to an American news network in two years. Barbara Walters sat down with him in Syria in 2011. The Guardian It is Rose’s second major scoop of the summer. In June, he interviewed Obama as the president defended the record of the National Security Agency, following revelations in The Guardian regarding the mass surveillance of US and foreign citizens.

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Maria Rodale Likens Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack to Pesticides

Maria Rodale, CEO and chairman of Rodale Inc., is an intelligent person. She has to be; she oversees one of the biggest magazine publishing houses in the nation. However, in an open letter to Barack Obama published on The Huffington Post, she comes off as a few Bradys short of a bunch. By that we mean stupid. Rodale, you see, thinks the chemical weapons attack that killed over 100,000 1,000 Syrians is the same as pesticides used in America:

I do not consider myself a Christian, but I would like to quote Jesus and ask, ‘Who among you has not sinned?’ Yes, Syria has undoubtedly used chemical weapons on its own people. Maybe it was the government; maybe it was the opposition; maybe you know for sure. But here’s what I know for sure: We are no better. We have been using chemical weapons on our own children — and ourselves — for decades, the chemical weapons we use in agriculture to win the war on pests, weeds, and the false need for ever greater yields.

Yikes.

Look, we’re not exactly excited about Monsanto and the rest of the nation’s chemical companies. But comparing what they do to what happened in Syria seems wrong. Maybe this letter is supposed to be satire? After all, she did quote a character from a fairy tale.

[Image: Adweek]

Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS, TWC Reach Deal | David Frost Remembered | Syria Challenges Media


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CBS Blackout on Time Warner Cable Ends (TVNewser)
About 3.5 million Time Warner Cable customer got their CBS programs back Monday at 6 p.m. ET as CBS and TWC came to an agreement. In fact, programming returned even earlier as coverage of the U.S. Open quarterfinals aired on CBS. CBS did not release terms of the deal but added, “the agreement includes retransmission consent, as well as Showtime Anytime and VOD, for CBS stations on Time Warner Cable systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.” NYT The outcome underscored the leverage that the owners of important television content, especially sports like NFL football, retain over distributors like cable systems. The looming National Football League season, which starts this week, includes key games every week on CBS. “It was hugely important,” an executive involved in the negotiation said Monday night. Daily Beast “I am pleased to inform you that… we concluded our content carriage agreement with Time Warner,” CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves announced in an email—the first pleasant one in his 32-day public relations bickerfest with TWC chief executive Glenn Britt. TWC and Britt relentlessly argued that the cable company was resisting CBS’ demands, which they insisted in negative television ads amounted to a 600 percent upcharge, only because they desired to save beleaguered cable customers from paying even more than they already do. The Atlantic Wire What will happen to those lawsuits from customers looking for reimbursement for their month spent without CBS now? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: HuffPost Live Axes Staff | Inquirer to Cut Opinion? | Media Wary on Syria


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HuffPost Live Laying Off Staff And Shuttering LA Office as It Expands Internationally (The Verge)
According to several sources familiar with the matter, HuffPost Live will be shutting down its Los Angeles office. About 20 staffers worked at the LA outpost, and a number of those losing their positions on the West Coast will be offered the opportunity to move east and join the HuffPost Live team in New York. Los Angeles Business Journal The studio launched last summer to supply four hours of daily programming for HuffPost Live. The programming features discussions about current events, with some coming from studios in New York and Washington. TheWrap / MediaAlley Huffington Post told TheWrap that more than two-thirds of HuffPost Live’s L.A. staff were offered positions in New York. The LA operation had 26 staffers, putting the cutbacks below 10. TVNewser HuffPost Live has lost a number of hosts in recent months, mostly to the world of TV news. Alicia Menendez joined Fusion, Abby Hunstman joined MSNBC and Jacob Soboroff joined Pivot. While it has been transformative in terms of the content it presents, its live viewership has remained low, instead relying heavily on after-the-fact tune-in.

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