AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘MSNBC’

‘Race Bait’ Can Be Click Bait Too, Right?

MSNBC Opinions

Force fed? Earned? Made up? MEH!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if national TV networks were completely transparent with their ratings tactics? They know milking a cow dry will provide refreshment for everyone in the line of sight, but if that quart tastes like canal water, does the strategy really work?

Don’t all PR people realize that’s what these diva national TV networks are doing? Of course, we do. MEMO to the aforementioned networks tanking in a sea of despair: your viewers know this as well.

For instance, the Melissa Harris-Perry ballyhooYou know, she throws up a picture of Mitt Romney’s family that could fit in 14 Winnebagos, focuses on his one adopted black grandson and breaks into a chorus of the old Sesame Street classic, “One of these things is not like the other.”

Whelp, some just about everyone is thinking that crap is done on purpose.  Read more

The News Is In: Cable News Is Sucking a Little Wind

cable-news-networks

Meh?!

The word is out and I think all your haters of “Faux News” can have a nice warm cup of shut up. Do you realize according the recent polls that have been addressed, FOX News has been the number one cable news network for 12 long years. 12! That’s not your mama’s cable news network.

And it doesn’t matter what big screens Wolfy puts in his situation room, where Anderson rocks his stellar, on-location reporting or whatever the hell MSNBC does to mount up some controversy, no one can touch FOX News. Now while this isn’t an endorsement of their rockstar reporting (Megyn Kelly, we’re pointing at you and whitey Santa), we are seeing something different in these numbers most aren’t discussing.

They are all tanking, just a little. And for one very good reason.

Read more

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Challenges Firm Posing As ‘Independent Research Institute’

A couple of days ago we went off on the Employment Policies Institute, an “independent research institute” run by PR firm Berman and Company that lobbies against minimum wage increases and other policies that the fast food industry doesn’t like. Last night MSNBC host Chris Hayes and guest David Sirota of Salon took time to grill Mike Saltsman, the EPI’s only employee.

In cable news speak, “grill” means “yell louder than everyone else in the room.”

Saltsman has a point in saying that labor groups fund studies conducted by groups like The Economic Policy Institute. The problem is that EPI and Berman and Company are the same organization. As we noted in the original post, this kind of work is the very reason people assume that the phrase “public relations professional” means “dishonest corporate shill.”

We do love Saltsman’s claim to speak for “entry-level workers” and his explanation for confusing the public by naming the “institute” after the other EPI: “There are only so many letters in the alphabet, Chris”. Ha ha, very funny.

While it’s nice to see Hayes challenge the EPI, this clip just reminded us why we never watch cable news. How do people sit through this stuff?

James Carville: ‘Obama Should Toke on Mayor Ford’s Crack Pipe’

Yes, politicos, you read that correctly. James Carville, the doppleganger for E.T., CNN’s major domo for shock value, and supreme Democratic strategist for the Clintons and anyone else riding into D.C. on an elephant. That James Carville.

Evidently, even he has had it with President Obama. The luster has worn. The honeymoon is over. Stick a fork in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s done.

While interviewed on MSNBC (and I’m sure this media outlet was prepared for this tomfoolery), James Carville shares with Joe Scarborough that the president may want to consider the go-to stress reliever of bat-ess-crazy Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to help cure his flagging poll numbers. Talk about a need for crisis communications if ever there was one.

Watch and enjoy:

The Dumbing Down of National News

FOX CNN MSNBCAdmittedly, I adore “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. It’s not because I need some Cliffs Notes version of what’s happening in the world around me. I’m a hack-turned-flack. I have a voracious appetite for the media, as should most PR professionals.

Rather, I greatly appreciate this show because they are able to stand on a national platform and give a mighty middle finger to all networks — from the tightest, butt-cheek clinching conservative in FOX News to the uber-leaning forward, bleeding-heart liberal in MSNBC. It’s like the industry in which we find ourselves.

And then there is ridiculous trend CNN is trying to make trend worldwide, as noted below.

Life is more illuminated when you can see it from all sides, not just your propaganda-filled, dimly lit side. Healthy debates, constructive criticism, open conversation — these are aspects of American society that has dumbed down Americans. Why? Those things rarely happen anymore.

It happens in a PR brainstorming with those spiteful Debbie Downers who shoot down ideas before they make it to the whiteboard. It happens in politics, as seen in…well, daily. And now it’s happening on the national news, which is adroitly captured by the genius writers at “The Daily Show.” If this is the future of news, give me the “Good Ol’ Days” anytime.

Enjoy.

NSA Tries, Fails to Improve Its Reputation With Damage Control ‘Interview’

You may have heard that the National Security Agency is currently one of the least popular organizations in both the United States and Germany, because for some reason Angela Merkel doesn’t like people tapping her phones.

Somebody within the group thought it might be a good idea to offer the public some clarity on the “data collection” issue by sitting director general Keith Alexander in front of a camera and letting him say whatever came to mind under the pretext of answering questions written by a Pentagon employee. It gets a little weird.

The video is more than thirty minutes long, so allow us (with the help of MSNBC’s Adam Serwer) to give you some takeaways:

Read more

Fox News PR Team Planted Fake Story to Discredit Journalist

No, not you...

This week’s story about members of the Fox News PR team posting “sockpuppet” comments in threads on various blogs (like our sister site TVNewser) was big, but this one is far worse: NPR reporter David Folkenflik‘s new book “Murdoch’s World” reports that the team schemed to send a journalist a fake tip in order to discredit him.

Here’s the deal: as Folkenflik tells The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple, the Fox PR team refuses to participate in any story that compares the channel to its competitors in tracking general cable news trends—they don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of CNN or MSNBC.

Crain’s New York Business reporter Matthew Flamm was trying to write a story about how CNN briefly beat Fox in the ratings game in February 2008 when he received this “tip” from an “inside source” at the network:

“FOX PR reps would never confirm this, at least not on the record. But [Bill] O’Reilly, not Brit Hume, will…anchor our texas and ohio primary coverage on Tuesday night. They want to copy the success that MSNBC has had with Olbermann and Matthews anchoring their coverage.”

It sounds like a big deal because, in order to confirm its “fair and balanced” status, Fox maintains a clear wall between “objective” reporters like Hume and opinionators like O’Reilly—and such a move would represent a breach of that wall.

But the story wasn’t true.

Read more

Al-Jazeera Makes the News by Being the Same as Everyone Else

America’s racists are having a tough week. Not only were many of them exposed earlier this week for freaking out on social media after a foreign, brown woman from the dubious nation of New York won the Miss America pageant, but it turns out Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based media juggernaut, is also messing with their bigoted characterizations of other races, religions and cultures.

In fact, the reporters, editors and producers at Al-Jazeera don’t want the death of America any more than CNN, FOX News or MSNBC. Need proof? Check out this report by the Pew Research Center, an independent think tank tasked with monitoring the media. As public relations professionals, we can only ask one question: Where does Al-Jazeera go from here?

What happens when the vilified boogieman turns out to be the affable cat lady? Al-Jazeera has missed a golden PR opportunity to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from the competition. The last thing America media needs now is another CNN, FOX News or MSNBC. Al-Jazeera was supposed to return real American journalism to America, while these other networks festooned with screaming eagles and undulating flags continued to feed the public emotional drivel, intellectual smut and political grab ass. Read more

Will Al-Jazeera America’s Name Doom It to Failure?

Today’s biggest news in journalistic circles concerns the debut of a cable outlet called Al-Jazeera America, which should begin broadcasting across the US right about…now.

The channel promises to offer Americans a “more sober” take on world news and investigative reporting that transcends the talking head pile-ons that have come to define the FOX/CNN/MSNBC trifecta and the light celebrity gossip that provides such a large share of all networks’ bottom lines.

Journalists at AJAM (which is bankrolled by the royal family of Qatar) take their reporting very seriously. As of today’s debut, programs will contain only six minutes of commercials per hour—and a quick look at the parent network’s Facebook page reveals a collection of matter-of-fact reportage on big international stories.

This is all very encouraging, but Al-Jazeera America has one (very big) problem: its name.

Read more

CNN Focuses on Gap between News and Life

There was a day when a 24-hours news network sounded like a brilliant idea. We live in a complex world full of complicated events that highlight the worst and best of humanity.

From violent wars and corrupt politicians to heroic deeds and acts of selflessness, how could a network not fill its programming with constant and original news updates?

However, with the technology that allowed networks to report 24-7 from every corner of the world, we learned something very important about the public: from cuddly kittens to sickening carnage, we’ll watch the same images over and over and over and over and over again. Who needs a news cycle when you can just hit replay again and again?

The public is strongly addicted to emotional footage, and after September 11, coupling dramatic scenes and outlandish scenarios with charged commentary and paranoid speculation fractured viewers into different but loyal viewing demographics. We all know the stereotypes about the people who watch Fox News and the people who watch MSNBC, as stalwart news anchors like Brian Williams continue to scratch their heads.

Just as times were changing back then, times are changing now, and Jeff Zucker, CEO of CNN, fully understands this. Throughout the past decade the public sensibility has evolved and viewers began migrating from the constant barrage of loud news and bombastic analysis to shows that focused on the more pleasant aspects of life such as food, travel, health, history, science and reasonable opinions on real, everyday challenges.

Though yesterday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon demonstrated there will always be senseless violence and inexplicable trauma in our world, the public appears to be internalizing the frailty of life and living by the mantra we all—at least in theory—agreed to after September 11: the best revenge is living well. And now CNN’s network is beginning to reflect that with more accessible programming. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>