By Tom Johnson | November 8, 2015 | 5:14 PM EST

Many products long not advertised on television now are commonly promoted during ad breaks. Writer Danielle Campoamor would like to add one more type of commercial to that list.

“Why is it that I never see an ad for abortion services?” wondered Campoamor in a Sunday piece. “Why are we willing to use women’s bodies in ads, but rarely see ads that would benefit women’s bodies?...Society has manipulated abortion and the way in which it is viewed, changing it from a medical procedure to an exhausted topic of debate.”

By Tom Johnson | October 16, 2015 | 12:25 PM EDT

Rupert Murdoch is in a pickle, and the famously abrasive lefty writer Taibbi is loving every minute of it. In a Tuesday article for Rolling Stone, Taibbi portrays Murdoch as “desperate… because he senses his beloved audience of idiots” abandoning Fox News in favor of Donald Trump, “a onetime Fox favorite who is fast becoming the network's archenemy.”

Taibbi argues that Fox News must routinely dumb itself down in order to stay popular; Murdoch and Roger Ailes, he writes, “know they've spent a generation building an audience of morons. Their business model depends on morons; morons are the raw materials of their industry, the way Budweiser is in the hops business…[But] you have to keep upping the ante to make it work. Trump is…going to places now that make even Rupert Murdoch nervous.”

By Tom Blumer | September 23, 2015 | 11:16 AM EDT

Word on the street is that ESPN is planning to lay off "200 to 300" employees in the coming months.

The go-to euphemism surrounding the impending layoffs, according to Variety's Brian Steinberg, is "the changing media landscape," primarily the "cord-cutting" phenomenon. In July, the Big Lead blog, in discussing Keith Olbermann's expected departure from ESPN, explained that "millennials are eschewing expensive cable TV bills and streaming everything online." While that might explain flat viewership or even a modest decline, cord-cutting is only a minor part of the problem. Someone needs to explain why ESPN's ratings have fallen by a stunning 30 percent in the past 12 months.

By Kyle Drennen | September 9, 2015 | 12:17 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, former Meet the Press moderator David Gregory shared the inside story of his 2014 ouster from NBC: “Things happen in television news, we know that. It's a tough’s just that it was handled in way that was unnecessary. NBC made a business decision which you can agree with or disagree with and it just didn't need to be handled that way....I don't miss NBC, I don't miss being there. It was just the wrong atmosphere for me.”

By Mark Finkelstein | August 31, 2015 | 8:59 AM EDT

You wish he had named names . . . On today's Morning JoeJoe Scarborough flatly stated "I do blame it on cable news" for "people wearing uniforms being a lot less safe today than they were before Ferguson."

So just which cable networks did Scarborough have in mind? Until last week [when he was relegated to the Sunday morning desert], Joe's own MSNBC was the Al Sharpton network. So surely Scarborough was pointing the finger at least partially at MSNBC itself.  But as he continued, Scarborough also identified other unnamed cable networks that he accused of "glorifying" Vester Flanagan and "promoting the next Roanoke-style shooting" by displaying his Twitter feed and other such info, which is what killers like Flanagan seek. 

By Tom Blumer | August 27, 2015 | 11:46 PM EDT

Two weeks ago, cable and broadcast giant Comcast announced that its NBCUniversal unit would invest $200 million in Vox Communications, thereby "creating a partnership to help the television giant better connect with younger audiences."

Based on what follows and far more examples than one could hope to cite in a single post, Comcast should consider asking for their money back. Apparently trying to capitalize on the anti-Second Amendment hysteria the Obama administration and the left have attempted to foster after Vester Lee Flanagan II shot and killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia, Vox posted the following breathtakingly ignorant tweet (since taken down; HT Twitchy):

By Mark Finkelstein | August 27, 2015 | 8:16 AM EDT

The morning after Al Sharpton was exiled to the Sunday morning desert from his evening show, and not long after Ed Schultz and Alex Wagner were relieved of their hosting duties, Joe Scarborough has profusely thanked NBC News honcho Andrew Lack for making those changes.

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough was discussing stunning poll results in which the first word that came to voters' minds about Hillary was "liar."  Asked what was the worst thing said about him in such polling, Scarborough answered "he works for MSNBC." But Joe then added, his hands steepled in a gesture of gratitude: "not any more though, cause things have changed. Thank you, Andy. Thank you very much." 

By Ken Shepherd | August 26, 2015 | 8:07 PM EDT

"Al Sharpton is leaving MSNBC's weekday dayside lineup, and moving to Sunday mornings," Politico's Alex Weprin reported this evening at

By Randy Hall | August 12, 2015 | 5:25 PM EDT

A coalition of 53 press and open government organizations has “once again” urged President Barack Obama and the people in his administration “to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.”

According to an open letter sent to the Democratic occupant of the White House on Monday and released to the public the following day, groups ranging from the American Copy Editors Society to the Virginia Professional Communicators criticized Obama for not following through on a promise he made during his presidential campaign in 2008.

By Jeffrey Lord | August 8, 2015 | 11:40 PM EDT

CNN has hired a conservative commentator.  Me.

By Christian Robey | July 31, 2015 | 6:04 PM EDT

Here we go again – the FEC has launched another attack on free speech.

By Clay Waters | July 31, 2015 | 1:29 PM EDT

In the second part of her 16,000-word Harvard report on the dangerous extremes of "conservative media," New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes offered a skewed history of talk radio, seeing the dark shadow of right-wing hate hovering over its birth, and lamented that "However frustrated Republican leaders are by this piling on from the far right, they have little choice but to pay heed." And popular radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Steve Deace? Why, they're both "college dropouts." And when did Geraldo Rivera become a "conservative" radio host?