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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Friedman’

Matt Taibbi Dusts Off the Hatchet

With his newfound emphasis on the financial industry, we haven’t seen much good old-fashioned media savagery out of Matt Taibbi lately. Brutally hilarious hatchet jobs of media creatures like David Brooks and Thomas Friedman are the reason we started reading Taibbi to begin with. Well, with his book Griftopia sitting solidly in the middle of the New York Times political best-seller list, Taibbi decided to celebrate by going old school.
New York Times writer Matt Bai is the recipient:
Bai is one of those guys — there are hundreds of them in this business — who poses as a wonky, Democrat-leaning “centrist” pundit and then makes a career out of drubbing “unrealistic” liberals and progressives with cartoonish Jane Fonda and Hugo Chavez caricatures. This career path is so well-worn in our business, it’s like a Great Silk Road of pseudoleft punditry. First step: graduate Harvard or Columbia, buy some clothes at Urban Outfitters, shore up your socially liberal cred by marching in a gay rights rally or something, then get a job at some place like the American Prospect. Then once you’re in, spend a few years writing wonky editorials gently chiding Jane Fonda liberals for failing to grasp the obvious wisdom of the WTC or whatever Bob Rubin/Pete Peterson Foundation deficit-reduction horseshit the Democratic Party chiefs happen to be pimping at the time. Once you’ve got that down, you just sit tight and wait for the New York Times or the Washington Post to call. It won’t be long.

Bai is the poster child of those guys.

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Opinion Aggregator Atlantic Wire Launches

atlanticwire.gifAtlantic Consumer Media has launched a new stand alone site The Atlantic Wire, to aggregate some of the best opinions and debates on the Web.

The Atlantic has long been a source for well-thought out opinions and discussions, and some of the voice from the magazine and its Web site, like columnist Andrew Sullivan, do make their way onto the Atlantic Wire’s homepage.

Along with tabs highlighting the biggest debates today — right now they’re “Health Care Reform,” “Joe Wilson Outburst” and “Reforming Wall Street” — that homepage also includes a link to The Atlantic 50, a ranking of the most influential pundits doing the job today. The Atlantic Wire ranks them, then features their most recent thoughts side-by-side. The New York TimesPaul Krugman tops the list, followed by Rush Limbaugh, George Will and Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, also of the Times.

Of the 50, 14 columnists hail from The Washington Post, eight from the Times, five from The Wall Street Journal and eight are primarily bloggers, including Arianna Huffington and Salon.com‘s Glenn Greenwald. There are also as well as three commentators from the Fox News, including Glenn Beck, and two from MSNBCKeith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

“Taking a systematic and data-driven editorial approach to the exploding universe of opinions, the Atlantic Wire helps readers engage with the most important political, business and social commentary,” said Bob Cohn, editorial director of TheAtlantic.com and the Atlantic Wire. “As readers face an overload of information and a deficit of free time, they can now visit one site to easily follow the topics they care about and the opinion-makers who fascinate them.”

The Atlantic Wire’s launch comes just days after its parent company announced that it had hired Slate founder and columnist Michael Kinsley as a columnist for The Atlantic. Kinsley was also brought on to launch a new digital project for the company early next year. We’re looking forward to seeing how that new project will complement TheAtlantic.com and Atlantic Wire.

Earlier: Slate Founder Michael Kinsley To Lead New Digital Launch For Atlantic

Journalists Kristof, WuDunn Awarded Dayton Literary Peace Prize For Lifetime Achievement

kristofwudunn.jpgHusband-and-wife reporting and writing team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will be awarded the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement at a gala celebrating the awards in September.

Kristof and WuDunn are being honored for their extensive work chronicling human rights in Asia, Africa and the developing world, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize committee said in a statement today. The committee highlighted the couple’s work:

Since becoming the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests for the New York Times, Kristof and WuDunn have collaborated on such influential, milestone books as “China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power” and “Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia.” In 2006, Kristof received a second Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times op-ed columns on Darfur. Their latest book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” will be released in September 2009.

The committee also announced the finalists for the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prizes in fiction and nonfiction. Winners will receive a $10,000 honorarium, while runners-up get $1,000. Among the finalists are Times columnist Thomas Friedman for his book “Hot, Flat and Crowded.”

A full list of the finalists are after the jump

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Friday’s RTCA Dinner Wrap Up|Meredith Titles Show Ad Growth In July|Gawker’s Denton Says He’s Not Bored|NYT‘s Pogue Takes Heat For Speaker’s Fee|Dumenco Continues Anti-HuffPo Campaign

FishbowlDC: Coverage of the Radio & Television Correspondent’s Association Dinner, including reviews of keynote speaker John Hodgman.

minOnline: Four of the top five magazines showing ad sales growth in July are Meredith titles: Fitness, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal and More. Flex rounded out the top five.

Washington Post: Howard Kurtz interviews Gawker‘s Nick Denton. “We don’t seek to do good,” Denton said. “We may inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism. That is not the institutional intention.” Also, is he truly bored? Said Denton via Twitter: “No, just British. It’s an affect — and we’re born with it.”

NYTPicker: After all the Thomas Friedman dust-up you think he would have known better. New York Times columnist David Pogue is getting flack for receiving a speaker’s fee for speaking at the Consumer Electronics Association’s CEO Summit last week.

AdAge: Simon Dumenco has an idea for a college course inspired by The Huffington Post: “Building Value by Devaluing Content: How to Make Your Investors Rich By Being Cheap, Trashy and Parasitic.”

Keller: Times Staffers Lax In Ethics Compliance

friedman.pngEver since New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (left) publicly returned a $75,000 speakers’ fee earlier this month, Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey has been hounding the NYT about their ethics guidelines pertaining to speaking fees.

In today’s column, Rainey published a memo sent to NYT staffers by executive editor Bill Keller and editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal, which instructed staffers who had earned more than $5,000 last year from speaking engagements to report the earnings to supervisors by June 15.

“We have been reviewing the newspaper’s policy on outside speaking engagements,” the memo said. “We believe that you are all adhering to the spirit of the guidelines, both for speaking on behalf of the Times and to promote books. But we have all become lax in complying with the parts of the ethics guidelines that require annual accounting of income from speaking engagements.”

According to the memo, any fees earned by NYT reporters are supposed to be accounted for by January 31 of the following year. Staffers are also required to ask for special permission if they are offered any one speakers’ fee over $5,000 and, if they are promoting a book, they must get proposed appearances pre-approved. And, as Rainey points out, the paper’s ethical rules also prohibit reporters from accepting fees from any group other than non-profit and educational organizations, which is why Friedman had to return his fee from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

These guidelines are imposed in order to make sure reporters and columnists maintain an unbiased perspective. But if that is the case, perhaps the Times should consider revealing what organizations are paying staff to speak.

Friedman Gives Back $75K|Double X Takes On Jezebel|10 Reasons Why Bailing Out Newspapers Is A Bad Idea|Mag Publishers’ Buyout Deal|Bankrupt Tribune Denied Severance

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GalleyCat: New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman has returned a $75,000 speaker’s fee.

WebNewser: Slate’s new online women’s magazine, Double X, published a critique of Gawker’s lady blog, Jezebel, on its first day.

Silicon Alley Insider: Washington State may have approved a tax cut for newspapers, but here’s 10 reasons why bailouts like that are a bad idea.

Folio: Magazine publisher R.R. Donnelly offers to buy bankrupt rival Quebecor World for $1.3 billion.

paidContent: A bankruptcy court has approved $13 million in bonuses for Tribune Co. employees, but has denied $2 million in severance that was sought for 60 employees. Also, the IRS is investigating the company’s employee stock ownership plan.

The New York Times to do an Obama Book

nyt1105.jpgPer today’s Publisher’s Marketplace:

OBAMA: The Historic Journey, a heavily-illustrated book covering Barack Obama‘s life, from his childhood through his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, with a final chapter that includes the inaugural address and a 32-page photo essay by 12 New York Times staff photographers, with an introduction by NYT executive editor Bill Keller and essays from Times staff and contributors including Frank Rich, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, David Brooks, and Gail Collins, to Geoff Kloske to Riverhead, for publication on February 16, 2009, by Scott Moyers at The Wylie Agency, produced by the New York Times and Callaway Arts & Entertainment.

The Future of the New York Times is Fake!

faakenyt.png

Those of you who work in the city are probably already aware that some enterprising souls (Gawker is pointing to the “Yes Men,” which seems to be the case) took the future of news into their own hands today and created their own fake(!) New York Times. The spoof paper, which was distributed by thousands of volunteers across the city, was dated July 4, 2009 and ran the headline “Iraq War Ends.” By all accounts it was “an exact replica” of the real thing (notwithstanding the content, obviously):

[The fake Times included] International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline.

We have yet to see the real thing, but according to people we’ve talked to it’s rather well done — complete with a Thomas Friedman op-ed (“The sudden outbreak of peace in Iraq has made me realize, among other things, one incontestable fact: I have no business holding a pen, at least with intent to write”) as well as an apology from the Times for supporting the Iraq war. It even comes with fake ads!

There is even a website to accompany the paper, which was down for much of the morning, is eerily similar to that of the real NYT (except without the page-long Mac ad). As the Times City Room blog noted many of the links lead to “dozens of progressive organizations.” Obviously this was a huge and expensive undertaking, but why now?

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Gates, Buffet Speak, and the Moguls Listen

SV200815.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

On the closing day of the Sun Valley Media Conference, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett held court with individual speeches about — what else — money.

Gates spoke about collecting it for his Gates Foundation, while Buffett discussed how it could be spent to help the country, according to people who listened.

GatesBuffet_7.13.jpg“Bill said amazing things,” said James Robinson III, former chairman of American Express. “He had all sorts of things to say about raising money for such things as medicine and diseases. He was very engaging and interesting, as he is every year.”

About 200 of those left at the conference attended the speeches, which had a ridiculously inordinate amount of security, with every entrance and exit to the speakers’ hall watched by four guards. Mediabistro, which was kept out by at least three different guards at entrances, thinks that’s what billionaire-type money brings.

But a few who stuck around to listen to billionaire mentality included William Morris Agency’s Jim Wiatt, Yahoo!’s Sue Decker, ICM’s Chris Silbermann, Page1Media’s Isaac Lee, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Starr & Co.’s Ken Starr, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, Time Warner’s Richard Parsons, media chef Rachael Ray, Scripps Co.’s Ken Lowe, former Disney chair Michael Eisner, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Though almost half the invitees departed on Friday night, some stuck around to celebrate host Herb Allen with a special dinner last night. And, as every year, a special outdoors ice show (in the middle of summer!!!) took place behind the Sun Valley Lodge.

Friday night, Murdoch and Parsons were secluded at a table in the Sun Valley Lodge bar, discussing either some pending deal or the mixed drinks they wanted to order.

Parsons, who stepped down as Time Warner chair a few months ago, earlier told a reporter he was happy to be an observer at the conference this year rather than a corporate participant.

Will The Times Kill TimesSelect?

Friedman hating on TimesSelect at the 2006 Webby Awards

That’s what Slate‘s Mickey Kaus claims: the New York Times is about to cancel TimesSelect. At this time, less than 225,000 users are paying the service’s $49.95 annual fee. In November 2005, TimesSelect only had 135,000 customers — and the slow rise in subscriptions is only for starters. Silicon Alley Insider dissected the rumor and examined the many reasons why the Times might want to kill the controversial service. They noted that the Times and WSJ are the only major newspapers that use subscription walls; moreso, the loss of revenue from TimesSelect (+/- $11 million annually) can easily be recouped by the page views by freeing David Brooks, Maureen Dowd and vocal TimesSelect critic Thomas Friedman. After all, even Instapundit doesn’t read TimesSelect anymore.

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