Greg Sheffield


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Taking a cue from Bill Clinton, Dem. Congressman Barney Frank bashed Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on the air, and denounced Fox News as "substantially worse" than the other networks. Reports the New York Sun:



Michelle Malkin writes in her syndicated column that journalists complain about "the Bush administration for stifling its free speech, endless court filings demanding classified and sensitive information from the military and intelligence agencies, and self-pitying media industry confabs bemoaning their hemorrhaging circulations."

But this is nothing compared to what other countries' journalists face.



Last Thursday I noted an I Want Media vote about who should be the 2006 Media Person of the Year. I asked for nominations for our own tally, and now that the choices are in, you can vote for who you think most impacted the media/country in the last year.



It seems like CNN (and not Fox News) is on every public TV. But one hotel chain has decided that the liberal news network crossed the line when it showed a terrorist video. Reports the AP:
A Midwest hotel chain has pulled CNN from the TV channel lineup in its guest rooms, saying the cable network was aiding terrorism with the broadcast of a video showing Iraqi snipers shooting at U.S. troops.



Media blog I Want Media is taking nominations for Media Person of the Year. Last year it was Anderson Cooper. Who do our NewsBusters readers think should be the Media Person of the year?
Forget Time magazine's Person of the Year. Who should be named Media Person of the Year in I Want Media's fifth annual online poll?

Which figure in the media industry inspired the most debate, sparked the most interest, left a lasting imprint?



Al Jazeera English launches today, but the fledgling cable network is having trouble finding U.S. cable providers who are willing to carry it. According to the New York Sun:



Jack Shafer writes in Slate that the media are trying to sweeten up their relationship with the presumed new House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are slathering "calculated praise" on the Democratic leader.



The Palm Beach Post is attacking Ann Coulter for voter fraud for voting at the wrong polling place.

Says Editor and Publisher:



The New York Times has decided that bloggers are no longer beneath them. Says Dow Jones Newswires:
The New York Times Co. (NYT) is looking at ways of using content from non-professional journalists on its Web site, Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 conference here, Sulzberger said one could argue The New York Times has been slow to integrate content from bloggers and other citizen journalists.



Like today's election, British writer Christopher Hitchens says in The Times that the media spun what issues were important for the 1960 election. Despite the raging Cold War, the media determined that the most important issue was "Nixon’s unshaven jowls as exposed in the first televised debate."


Journalists aren't the hard-charging watchdogs of government that they claim to be, and the romantic notion of reporters saving our democracy is fiction, says Jack Shafer in Slate.


Democrats are "bombing" the Google News site in order to ensure that any news about 50 Republican candidates will go to articles by left-wingers. But fortunately, the liberal activists decided to be fair and balanced, pulling some of the articles for being, according to the article, "too partisan."

Reports the New York Times:



Hollywood has always been run by those on the left, but before the 60's and 70's, executives knew that their films had to appeal to mainstream America. That all changed when Hollywood decided to no longer censor itself, and directors got a free reign to turn movies into left-wing advocacy films. As a result, Hollywood has suffered ever since, with more empty theater seats every year.

It's gotten so bad that famed director George Lucas no longer thinks that making big-budget movies is even a viable business model.



The BBC, a government agency, fought hard to keep an internal study of the organization's bias secret. Reporters from other British media outlets filed a complaint with the UK's own Freedom of Information Act, and the report has now been released.

The level of political correctness at the BBC seems almost like a caricature of what a politically correct group would look like, but caricature matches reality.

Reports Ynet:



Matt Drudge highlights an item from today's White House news briefing where press secretary Tony Snow said media coverage was designed to suppress Republican voter turnout.



NBC's efforts to reestablish itself have gone poorly, and its cable network MSNBC is still stuck in last place. Execs are considering putting MSNBC's two biggest stars, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, on business channel CNBC, and using the rest of MSNBC for taped programming about "murder mysteries" and similar tabloid material. From Broadcasting and Cable:


In an article in today's Washington Times, Karl Rove predicts the Republicans will hold onto both the House and the Senate. He also derided media coverage that predicted a Democratic victory.
In the hourlong interview, Mr. Rove was upbeat, telling stories from the campaign trail and joking about skewed political coverage that disproportionately shows Democrats poised to take control of Congress...



Perpetually last placed news channel MSNBC is rumored to face massive layoffs and see its headquarters moved from New Jersey to New York, where the rest of NBC operates. Says Gawker:



It should surprise no one that the media are more interested in the Foley scandal than the American public is. Even the "coverup," the media fallback point if the actual scandal isn't salacious enough, does not outrage Americans as much as it outrages media figures who denounce the Republican leadership. Reports CNN:


The Sacramento Bee reports that the media can't get enough of Julia Wilson, the California teenager who was investigated by the Secret Service for her "kill Bush" MySpace page.