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Posts Tagged ‘Erik Wemple’

Sharyl Attkisson: ‘I Don’t Trust Them, I Don’t Respect Them, I Can’t Work for Them’

AttkissonWaPo’s Erik Wemple continues poring over former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson‘s new book, Stonewalled and comes across an episode that is at the heart of her story. As we’ve reported here, Attkisson has said time and again that “CBS Evening News” producers went out of their way to keep her stories from making air. Or when they did air, either “heavy-handed editing” stripped away much of her reporting or politics got in the way.

This came to a head during CBS’s reporting in the weeks after the attack in Benghazi, just as the 2012 election was heating up. Attkisson writes:

So for the second time in five days, New York has us insert the same line and Obama sound bite in an Evening News story to imply that the president had called Benghazi a terrorist attack the next day. It seems as though they’re putting a lot of effort into trying to defend the president on this point.

Attkisson says she then went straight to the top: Read more

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Bill O’Reilly Loses It Over ‘Scandalous’ MH370 Coverage, His Guest Calls Out Fox News

O'ReillyOn the day the Malaysian Prime Minister declared Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 “ended” in the Indian Ocean, Bill O’Reilly continued his criticism of the coverage of the tragedy.

“The coverage of the Malaysian jetliner was embarrassing, irresponsible, and dishonest,” O’Reilly said, adding that legitimate journalists shouldn’t “traffic in fiction” when 239 lives are in peril.

O’Reilly also took on Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple for calling out O’Reilly on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources,” and again Monday in his column.

According to a new Pew Research survey close to half of Americans asked think there’s been the right amount of coverage.

FNC contributor Bernie Goldberg, who agreed with O’Reilly about the saturation coverage, also called out Fox News for giving airtime to a retired general who claimed to have sources that the plane was in Pakistan and could be used as a weapon to attack the U.S. or Israel. “That speaks to the credibility, in my view, of the entire network,” Goldberg said.

And Jon Stewart was back from a week off, and unsurprisingly, had a field day with CNN’s nonstop coverage.

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Inside Sharyl Attkisson’s Steep Decline in Airtime

SHARYL-ATTKISSON-DOJ-facebookNews of Sharyl Attkisson‘s resignation this afternoon from CBS News suggested the veteran correspondent no longer felt her work was supported.

Supported or not, she definitely got less airtime over the last few years.

According to Andrew Tyndall‘s Tyndall Report, which measures the amount of airtime correspondents receive, Attkisson’s airtime on “CBS Evening News” dramatically decreased in recent years.

From 2007-2009, Attkisson was among the top 20 network correspondents, drawing between 145 and 160 minutes each year. In 2010, she fell out of the top 20 with 149 minutes. By 2011 she fell to #60 with 71 minutes and in 2012 she was ranked #100, with 36 minutes. Last year she improved in minutes, with 54, still ranked #100.

Tyndall tells TVNewser Attkisson’s declining presence on “CBS Evening News” is due to the changing nature of news beats.

“There are a few key beats that receive frequent assignments: White House, Capitol Hill, Justice, Pentagon, and every four years, the assignment to the campaign of a major Presidential contender,” Tyndall told us. “The major factor accounting for the drop-off in Attkisson’s minutes was her replacement as Congressional correspondent.” Chip Reid and Nancy Cordes followed Attkisson as Congressional correspondents when she moved over to the investigative beat.

He also points out that many of her assignments looked critically at the Obama administration. Read more

‘Loudest’ Book Reviews: Lack of Direct Ailes Quotes Hurts Sherman’s Portrayal

Ailes_10.7Two new book reviews for Gabriel Sherman‘s “The Loudest Voice in the Room” are out. One, from Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff, published in Slate, the other in The Washington Post by media reporter Erik Wemple. Both agree Sherman’s lack of direct, on-the-record quotes from Ailes, (Sherman says he reached out “more than a dozen times for comment”) along with the author not backing up claims Ailes has divided the country, hurt the portrayal.

In Wolff’s review, he says Sherman offers nothing new from others who’ve pursued the Fox “whale.”

Sherman’s story is most vivid when it quotes Ailes himself. But, in a fairly underhanded way, only at the end does Sherman reveal that Ailes refused to talk to him. The book is, in effect, a compilation of Ailes’ memorable public barbs and bon mots. These are often presented as direct quotes, creating a puzzling effect: You want more, but the author, with only his Ailes bits and bobs, can’t give it.

Wemple offers a similar point.

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Gabriel Sherman’s Piers Morgan Interview: ‘Roger Ailes Has Surpassed the GOP’

Morgan ShermanOn CNN last night, Gabriel Sherman detailed the “most brutal” reporting assignment of his young career: the unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” A three-year long project, that hits store shevles today.

But if you read this site regularly, you may find there was not much news in Piers Morgan‘s interview with
Sherman, which focused largely on Ailes’ politics: “Roger Ailes’ personal politics, as I report in the book, are actually very quite extreme,” Sherman says. But because Ailes is a “brilliant political strategist,” he goes against his own views to back more moderate candidates with winning elections in mind.

Sherman also suggests Ailes was an active political player during the last presidential election.

“Roger Ailes has surpassed the GOP, you know, and during the 2012 election, he said to his senior executives, we’re going to have to do a lot to get this guy elected,” Sherman said, adding Ailes didn’t think Mitt Romney had the “spine” to “rip” Obama’s face off.

In an interview just after the 2012 election, Ailes told TVNewser about how the network covers the president: “If he runs into a burning building tomorrow and saves four kids, he’s gonna be the biggest goddamn hero Fox News ever saw. But if he leaves four guys behind on the battlefield but can’t explain it, then he’s gonna have a problem with Fox News.”

Sherman’s book got a positive review from The New York Times, but he’s also generating criticism. The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple points out that during an interview with “CBS This Morning” last week, Sherman didn’t back up his own claim that Ailes has divided America.

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The Ticker: Byers, Wemple, CNN International

  • The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple recently followed a whole day of MSNBC daytime. He reports hours of repetition featuring “politics, more politics and more, more politics.”

  • CNN International is launching “One Square Meter” on its Middle East channels. The new program will look at real estate trends in emerging markets.

Sarah Palin Accepts Martin Bashir’s Apology, Hits MSNBC ‘Hypocrisy’

sarah palin_304x200Sarah Palin accepted MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s apology during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” suggesting everyone must be humble enough to accept an apology, but she did have pointed words for the “media elite bubble.”

“Who am I to not accept an apology?” Palin said. “Everyone must humble themselves and accept that offer of apology,” she continued, warning that next time a media personality wants to say something vile about her and then call her to apologize privately, she’d like them to go through her husband or children first and “then they can come to me.”

Chris Wallace asked Palin for her thoughts on MSNBC suspending Alec Baldwin, but not Bashir: “That’s the executive hypocrisy that is so prevalent in that media elite bubble,” Palin said. “It depends on the target of the vile rants, it doesn’t depend on what the rant itself actually is.”

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