Morning Media Newsfeed 11.12.12
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Reports of an Affair Close Paula Broadwell's Open Book (USA Today)
Paula Broadwell's life appeared to be an open book. She sent frequent updates of her accomplishments to the alumni notes of West Point, posted often on Twitter and answered question after question for flattering profiles in media as varied as her hometown newspaper in Bismarck, N.D., to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, where she bested him in a push-ups competition. Since allegations emerged Friday of an affair with married CIA Director David Petraeus, who resigned, she has been silent. Her Twitter feed has not been updated, and she has not returned phone calls to her Charlotte home. Yahoo! News / AP As a biographer to Gen. David Petraeus, Broadwell enjoyed tremendous access to the general during the year they spent together in Afghanistan, finding out the idiosyncrasies that helped shaped the man who was the public face of the war. But what remained unseen was the extramarital affair that Petraeus told friends began after he left the army in August of 2011. The News Tribune In a January television interview following publication of her now very famous biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, Charlotte, N.C.'s Paula Broadwell described her subject as high-energy, ambitious and tenacious. She might have been talking about herself. In many ways, Broadwell, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, mirrors the man with whom she's now accused of having an extramarital affair. Business Insider Paula Broadwell, the biographer and reported mistress of David Petraeus, was being investigated by the FBI before news of the former CIA director's scandal became public. The FBI cited concerns about potential leaks of classified information. New York / Daily Intel It will likely be a while before the world hears from Paula Broadwell, whose affair with David Petraeus led to the CIA director's Friday resignation. Broadwell -- who was reportedly in Virginia celebrating her 40th birthday with her husband, two children, and some friends when the story broke -- has so far ignored the now countless requests from reporters to comment on the situation. Of course, her silence has done nothing to stunt the emerging (and unsurprisingly negative) media portrait of her as both an aggressive striver and a lovesick woman whose inappropriate behavior was unfitting of her boyfriend's status. Slate / XX Factor Which one is she, slutty witch or good witch? Which is the real Paula Broadwell? Such are the unsophisticated questions the nation always asks itself about women at the center of sex scandals, just as if we all had never met anyone who has had an affair or read about such a thing in a novel, and did not understand that these situations are often complicated.
BBC Head of News "Steps Aside" Over Abuse Scandal (Chicago Tribune / Reuters)
The two most senior figures at BBC News stepped aside on Monday a day after the chairman of the broadcaster's governing body said it needed a radical overhaul to survive a child sex abuse scandal, it said. NYT The BBC's Web site said its director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, had "stepped aside," apparently in advance of an internal report into why a flagship current affairs program, Newsnight, wrongly implicated a former Conservative Party politician, Alistair McAlpine, in accusations of sexual abuse at a children's home in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s. TVNewser The BBC's director general George Entwhistle also resigned Saturday after just 54 days on the job. BBC News Mr. Entwistle resigned following a Newsnight report which led to former Tory treasurer, Lord McAlpine, being wrongly accused of child abuse in north Wales in the 1980s. The BBC said neither Ms. Boaden nor Mr. Mitchell "had anything at all to do with the failed Newnight investigation into Lord McAlpine." However, they were in the chain of command at the time that Newsnight shelved an earlier investigation into abuse claims against former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile. Yahoo! News / AP Entwistle may have quit, but observers say the BBC Trust, which ensures the broadcaster stays true to its public obligations, deserves scrutiny, too. Chris Patten, the head of the BBC's governing body, is expected on Monday to lay out plans for how to deal with the aftermath, and many expect more BBC resignations as the fallout spreads.
Bill Kristol: 'It Won't Kill The Country If We Raise Taxes' On Millionaires (HuffPost)
Conservative commentator and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Sunday the Republican Party should accept new ideas, including the much-criticized suggestion by Democrats that taxes be allowed to go up on the wealthy. Politico / Politico Now "The leadership of the Republican Party and the leadership of the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas. Let's have a serious debate," Kristol said on Fox News Sunday. "Don't scream and yell if one person says 'You know what? It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.' It really won't, I don't think." Talking Points Memo / TPM LiveWire He believes Obama will be able to pass major, consequential legislation in his second term. "Four presidents in the last century have won more than 51 percent of the vote twice: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama," Kristol said. "I think there will be a big budget deal next year. It will be an Obama-type budget deal much more than a Paul Ryan-type budget deal." New York / Daily Intel Why, he wondered, would the Republican party "fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?" Perhaps the Republicans can find a way to tax people for having an IMDB profile.
Google Outage Shows Business Risks in China (WSJ)
Disruptions to Google Inc.'s Web-search and email services in China over the weekend underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses. VentureBeat The ban shows that companies that espouse the free flow of information aren't always welcome around the world, and they have to plan for the possibility that they might be shut down at any given moment. Newsday Google Inc. reported higher traffic patterns on its sites in China after the company earlier said there was an unusual decline in the country, and an Internet monitor said company services were blocked there.
Surface Sales Began "Modestly" Admits Microsoft's Ballmer (SlashGear)
Sales of Microsoft's first Surface tablet have started "modestly," CEO Steve Ballmer has conceded, though the outspoken exec is confident that demand will surge when the Surface Pro drops in early 2013. Having previously been bombastic about Surface's appeal to the market, Ballmer was apparently more taciturn in an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien. CNET Ballmer claimed that sales were constrained by the limits of the sales channel, according to the report. The Surface tablet is only available at the Microsoft Store online and, in the U.S., at a few dozen brick-and-mortar stores. TechCrunch Ballmer's modest assessment of Surface sales brings to mind his description of Windows Phone sales in July last year, when he described sales going from "very small to very small." It remains to be seen whether Surface sales will outperform Windows Phone sales and ramp up quickly.
YouTube Preps Big New Round of Content Investments (Ad Age)
Nearly a year after YouTube sprinkled $100 million across the online video ecosystem to create more than a hundred new "channels," it's doubling down. All Things D YouTube has helped fund about 160 "channels" as part of a new strategy to make the video site more TV-like. And just like the TV world, YouTube isn't going to renew all of last season's programs. CNET YouTube said it is already harvesting the fruit of its labors. The video portal said last month that it is averaging more than a million views per week from its top 25 original channels and that more than 800,000 people are watching 4 billion hours of video every month -- up from 3 billion hours earlier this year. It also said the number of people subscribing has doubled over last year.
How Stephen King Writes Imagery (GalleyCat)
The great Stephen King offered some simple advice for writers who want to improve their imagery: "see everything before you write it." It sounds simple, but his thoughtful essay at Wordplayer shows how deeply King imagines a scene before he writes it.
Election Over, Political Campaigns Reveal Their Bags of Tricks (Ad Age)
Successful political campaigns, Barack Obama's among them, put real-time data to use rapidly and aggressively. Corporate brands could learn a thing or two, whether it's how data can incite speedier decisions, or the ways offline info can benefit online messaging. The Sacramento Bee As Election Day neared, seemingly everyone with a Facebook or Twitter account was weighing in -- some more bluntly than others -- on the presidential race. But for many, those partisan status updates, tweets, rants, cartoons, pictures, retweets and videos come at a cost: online "friends."
How to Drive Sales Through Social Media (Entrepreneur / Ask Entrepreneur)
Converting customers through social channels is not as cut-and-dried as most business owners think is should be. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask, "Why would I engage with this brand on Facebook?" Often, the answer is not, "So I can buy stuff from them." Perhaps a better question to ask is, "Where would I buy things from a brand?" Chances are, Facebook is not going to be the first answer for many. AllFacebook For years, social marketing was largely spurred by brands. But now, a company can't just push a message on Facebook and expect its fans to buy into it. As social customer engagement platform Get Satisfaction points out in its newest white paper, creating a cohesive network of fans who are willing to talk to each other about the company is the next step for brands to succeed both on Facebook and other social networks.
Disruptions: Casting a Ballot by Smartphone (NYT / Bits)
So at a time when we can see video shot by a robot on Mars, when there are cars that can drive themselves, and when we can deposit checks on our smartphones without going to a bank, why do most people still have to go to a polling place to vote? That's because, security experts say, letting people vote through their phones or computers could have disastrous consequences.
What Drives Sharing on Mobile Devices? (SocialTimes)
Users of smaller screens are more likely to be engaged in content consumption than content creation, but are more likely to share content to social networks, according to a study of mobile device usage released this week by Onswipe, a company that helps Web publishers optimize for mobile devices.
What Every Designer Working in a Startup Needs to Know (GigaOM)
Sometimes design is just another word for prettiness. But truly good design implies so much more. After launching a startup, Elle Luna, lead designer at Mailbox, believes design is "a way of thinking about everything" and offers three key insights.
Viacom Top Executive Predicts MTV European Music Awards Ratings Record (THR)
The 2012 European Music Awards, which were broadcast live Sunday night from Frankfurt, Germany, illustrate how relevant live linear TV remains in the digital multi-channel, multi-platform world.
Ikea to Unveil Catalog With Interactive Features (NYT / Media Decoder)
It is unlikely that Ikea could alert shoppers to its increasing digital presence by changing its name to iKea, trademark laws being what they are. Perhaps the next best thing is what the Ikea United States division plans to announce on Monday: an initiative centered on what executives call their first interactive seasonal catalog.
Two Ways to Decrease Whining in the Office (MediaJobsDaily)
One of the most popular blog posts recently on Forbes relates to "The First Rule of Management: No Whining." Although it's geared toward managers and positive leadership (one manager in particular had a no whining sign in the office!), we can all benefit from this lesson. After all, at one point or another there's been a whiner in the office that negativity typically spreads to other colleagues as well.