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With Choreographed Conventions, Is Something Lost? (Yahoo! News / AP)
Americans hunger for authenticity -- or, at least, say that they do. The explosion of reality TV is testament to that desire for the unscripted moment (even if that unscripted moment is, well, scripted). So the slick choreography of the modern political convention, while understandable, also seems odd. The Washington Post / Ezra Klein's Wonkblog I think the media covers the conventions backward. We're sending 15,000 journalists to an event where, by and large, no real news is going to happen. It's a ridiculous use of journalistic talent. A party convention isn't where you need people skilled at gathering and uncovering new information. HuffPost / Dan Kennedy Yes, way too many journalists are attending the conventions, and many if not most of the folks carrying press credentials this week should have stayed home. But I never found any shortage of news at the four national conventions I covered from 1996 to 2004. The secret -- and it's really no secret at all -- is to get out of the hall and look for stories. ABC News For decades ABC journalists including Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, Amy Walter and Ann Compton have trekked through the convention halls scooping up stories. From flaring tempers to cringe-worthy kisses, here's a look at some of their most memorable convention moments.
Jon Voight Criticizes Media at RNC (Chicago Tribune / Reuters)
Republican conventioneer Jon Voight is letting fly with some strong commentary about President Obama, Mitt Romney and what he believes to be a formidable liberal bias in the American media. The Wrap / Hollywood D.C. He also took the opportunity to offer his studied critique of the U.S. mainstream media, claiming "this media has been overtaken by this administration in no less a way that Cesar [sic -- that would be Hugo] Chavez has taken over the media in Venezuela. It's as strong as that." HuffPost Voight's outrage against the mainstream media extended to its coverage of the Republican National Convention, which the major networks will show for one hour per night between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. "I am absolutely appalled," Voight lamented. "I never thought I'd see the day when the main media would refuse to run the Republican convention. Can you imagine this? What will they edit out? What story will they tell? It's propaganda, pure and simple. And everyone -- every citizen should be up in arms." THR Voight, who is Angelina Jolie's father, also earlier this week accused Hollywood of being brainwashed by liberals. And on Tuesday, he went a step further, not just likening Obama to a communist dictator, but calling him a Marxist.
Republican Convention Coverage Gears Up, but Isaac Looms Large (HuffPost)
The cable news networks kicked their coverage of the Republican convention into gear on Tuesday, even as Hurricane Isaac loomed large. All three networks covered Mitt Romney's formal nomination by the party in varying degrees. TVNewser New Jersey put Romney's delegate count over the top. In covering the Roll Call, the three general cable news channels took different approaches. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Oh no, the split screen! To hear the media tell it, Mitt Romney fears a standard TV-presentation scheme, perhaps more so than pressure on tax-return disclosures or questions about dressage. We're talking about the possibility that the goings-on at the Republican National Convention may have to do a time-share arrangement on TV with Hurricane Isaac.
Release Date Moved Up for Navy SEAL Book (The Washington Post / AP)
The publication of a former Navy SEAL's first-hand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has been moved up a week, to Sept. 4. Mark Owen's No Easy Day, already a top seller on Amazon.com, was scheduled to come out Sept. 11. Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group, announced that the release date was changed in response to "overwhelming excitement" from the public. The first printing has been increased from 300,000 to 575,000 copies. ABC News The former SEAL Team Six member who wrote the book said through Dutton that he's "proud" to have written his account for the public. "My hope is that it gives my fellow Americans a glimpse into how much of an honor it is to serve our country," Owen said. New York / Daily Intel We were disappointed to learn that retired Navy SEAL "Mark Owen" has been identified as Matt Bissonnette, as it means he probably won't wear an amusing disguise during TV interviews promoting his first-hand account of the raid that killed bin Laden. However, he's making up for it with the "tell-all" aspect of the book, contradicting the Obama administration's account of the raid and the handling of bin Laden's body. New York Daily News It turns out the report that Steven Spielberg was eyeing a movie adaptation of a controversial book detailing the plot to take out bin Laden was as fantastical as anything in Jurassic Park.
Katie Couric: CBS Made Me Feel 'Constrained,' 'I Felt Liberated' When I Left (HuffPost)
Katie Couric had some fairly harsh words for the network that formerly employed her in an interview for Good Housekeeping magazine that was released Tuesday. Good Housekeeping "I'm really proud of the work I did," Couric says. "I had an ultimate sense of satisfaction. But I was not ambivalent about feeling this wasn't the place for me for the rest of my career. It wasn't the right environment for me. In terms of the atmosphere, it wasn't a good fit for my sensibilities and personality." Philadelphia Daily News / Dan Gross Related: Couric says the abrupt dismissal of Ann Curry from the Today show made her feel "terrible" for her former colleague. "I felt really bad for Ann. I still don't understand why they didn't give her sort of a proper send-off," Couric told us Tuesday morning at the Four Seasons, where she stopped to promote her new talk show, Katie, which premieres at 3 p.m. Sept. 10 on ABC. The Washington Post / The TV Column Answering the burning question as to what direction former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric will take with her new daytime talk show: Disney announced Tuesday that Jessica Simpson will be Couric's first big "get" when the program premieres.
Facebook Continues to Improve for iPhone with Camera App Update (ABC News)
Mark Zuckerberg wasn't lying on Facebook's earnings call a few weeks ago -- the company is working on lots of updates to its mobile apps. Last week an improved Facebook iOS 5.0 app was released and Tuesday the company released an update to Facebook's standalone camera app. Wired / Gadget Lab The 1.1 version of Facebook Camera responds to one of the biggest user demands since the app's launch in late May: album support. Now users can create and edit Facebook albums from within the Camera app. AllFacebook Users will also receive notifications when someone comments, tags, or likes a photo taken with the app.
Craigslist Baby-Steps into Modernity (Wired)
Craigslist, that quaint digital home to unwanted couches and vacant two-bedroom bungalows, has begun attaching maps to some of its listings. That would be humdrum news if it were about any other website, but Craigslist is so famously hidebound, so trapped in the Netscape era, that even legal foes are cheering its maps as a sign of innovation.
Newhouse Empire Shrinking (NY Post / Media Ink)
The Newhouse family is moving to chop the frequency of its Syracuse Post-Standard daily to three days a week, and insiders say it is now inevitable that the same move will eventually befall its other Northeast newspapers, including the Star-Ledger in Newark.
Video Games Journalism Class Debuts at University of Iowa (JimRomenesko.com)
The 20 students in Kyle Moody's "Specialized Writing and Reporting: Video Games and Communication" class met Tuesday for the third time in a University of Iowa classroom. The school launched the class this semester because "computer gaming is as much a part of our lives as movies or journalism," says Iowa j-school director David D. Perlmutter. "It deserves the same rigorous standards of reporting and analysis."
MIA: Politico's Dave Catanese (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Politico reporter Dave Catanese pulled on Aug. 19 what will be remembered as a Top Ten Twitter meltdown: He conducted a thought experiment that appeared to apologize for the idiotic comments about rape made by Rep. Todd Akin. Judging from Catanese's sparse digital trail since the mindless tweeting, the sanction against him appears to have been a bit more severe than advertised.
Spanish Station WSKQ Slapped with $16,000 Fine for Prank Call in 2007 (FishbowlNY)
WSKQ, the radio station known as Mega 97.9 among its Spanish faithful, got nailed with a $16,000 fine by the FCC. At issue, the station called a woman on the air with a made-up story about her husband being killed.
Kindle-Exclusive eBooks Cross 100 Million Downloads (Publishers Weekly)
Amazon has announced that its catalog of 180,000 exclusive Kindle books have been downloaded or borrowed more than 100 million times. GalleyCat Related: Frustrated by a rising tide of paid book reviews on Amazon, Reddit user Onewatt created a chart -- do you agree with the breakdown of reviews?
What's Roland Tweeting? (FishbowlDC)
It's been a while since we've checked in with CNN contributor and TV ONE host Roland Martin. His Twitter feed is an endless supply of equal parts wisdom, life advice and self congratulatory nonsense. So, what's Roland tweeting these days?
New York Times Reporter Leaks Maureen Dowd Column to CIA (FishbowlNY)
Mark Mazzetti, a reporter with The New York Times, must need to brush up on journalism ethics. That's the only reason we can come up with to explain why he leaked a Maureen Dowd column to the CIA.
Watchdog: 3,600 Complaints over Naked Prince Pics (Yahoo! News / AP)
A press watchdog says it has received some 3,600 complaints over the Sun's decision to publish nude photos of Britain's Prince Harry. The tabloid was the only national newspaper to carry the pictures, which first appeared online and quickly became an international talking point. The Guardian The last time the PCC received more than 1,000 complaints about an individual story was in May, when The Sun ran a front-page splash about the England football manager, Roy Hodgson, headlined: "Bwing on the Euwos." This was not investigated.