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The New York Times (via TVNewser) discovered that CBS "60 Minutes" fixture Mike Wallace will retire: "After serving as a correspondent on 60 Minutes since its inception in September 1968, Mr. Wallace said today that he had decided to retire this spring, at the end of the current television season. He said that the move had come at his initiative, and that 'CBS is not pushing me.'"

Conservatives might not want to cheer too loud. TV Newser suggests in the next posting, a tipster told him executive producer Jeff Fager wants more room for refugees from the cancelled "60 Minutes II"...So now there will be more room for former 60 II correspondent Scott Pelley and the rest of the team. "Don't be surprised to see Aaron Brown join, along with the newly recruited Katie Couric...imagine that!," an e-mailer says, adding "now who will replace [Andy] Rooney?" The departure makes some sense, as Wallace just recently sold a new version of his memoirs. And now CBS is off the hook on those gun-control stories Wallace was supposed to skip.

For Wallace-watchers of a more seasoned vintage, perhaps the most-recounted Wallace anecdote didn't appear on CBS, but on PBS. The year was 1989, as MediaWatch recounted an "Ethics in America" panel discussion on war coverage:



Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz profiles NBC White House correspondent David Gregory, who Kurtz says is being regarded as "the Sam Donaldson of the Bush years" for his confrontational style.



Will former White House reporter Helen Thomas ever go away? She's now written up a jeremiad perpetuating the myth that our media are mere whimpering lapdogs of Bush, tinny arfs all around. She hones in on that old, diseased chestnut that the liberal media went all soft in the "rush to war" in Iraq.

Helen's harangue appeared in the appropriate platform: The Nation magazine, which advertises on its website the slogan, "If you think it's time to impeach Bush, then it's time for you to subscribe to The Nation."



....unless it involves feminists protesting Augusta National Golf Club, of course.

New York Times sportswriter Jack Curry is covering the World Baseball Classic in San Juan, and the highlight of the day didn’t happen on the field between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, he explains in Tuesday’s “Politics Intrude, Again, and Cubans Falter, Again.”



Bush and Murtha: same struggle! At least, that's apparently how Joe Biden sees it. The senator from Delaware, interviewed by Katie Couric on this morning's Today show, criticized the administration's withdrawal of 30,000 troops from Iraq, and claimed the president "is determined to get it down under 100,000 troops this year. He will be down to 30,000 next year."





AP reports that actor and legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes has left the role of Chef on the snide adult cartoon "South Park" because he cannot abide its mockery of religion. One of the show's co-creators, Matt Stone, was quick to attack the singer's sudden departure after eight seasons:



In his Monday “Grapevine” segment, FNC's Brit Hume relayed how “in an interview with TV host Bill Maher over the weekend,” New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief John Burns “remained pessimistic, but also said that now, quote, 'U.S. military and diplomatic leadership in Iraq is about as good as you could possibly get,' end quote, and he said the U.S. team there has, quote, 'got the formula more or less right.'” But, Hume lamented, “by the time the trade publication Editor & Publisher had edited and published the Burns interview, you wouldn't have known any of that. The magazine ignored it all, instead leading with the fact that Burns, it claimed, was for the first time predicting U.S. 'failure.'" Indeed, the headline over the story by E&P Editor Greg Mitchell proclaimed, “John Burns, Back from Baghdad: U.S. Effort In Iraq Will Likely Fail.” (Transcripts of Hume and Burns, as well as an excerpt from the E&P article, follow.)



CNET News reports:
Bloggers would be largely immunized from hundreds of pages of confusing federal regulations dealing with election laws, according to a bill approved by a House of Representatives panel on Thursday.

Democrats had blocked an earlier effort last November to enact the legislation, which would amend federal campaign finance laws to give Internet publishers many of the same freedoms that newspapers and magazines currently enjoy.



Several outlets frown on 243,000 new jobs, but others show improvement in coverage of monthly jobs report.

As good a month as February was for Americans looking for work, some media continued to do a sub-par job of informing the public about the condition of the nation’s labor market – even as almost a quarter of a million new positions were created. Although the overall coverage was better than last month and throughout 2005, some of America’s leading media outlets downplayed the fabulous news released by the Labor Department on March 10, while “The Most Trusted Name in News” largely ignored it.

While Wall Street cheered the great news – the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied by 104 points after the announcement – ABC and The New York Times weren’t content to allow people to celebrate for very long. Instead, The Times began downplaying the good news in the first sentence of its March 11 article, stating the report was “igniting concerns” on Wall Street “that higher wages could fuel inflation.”

And, though ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with this story on the evening of March 10, it finished its report discussing those still having a hard time finding work, suggesting that this “may account for why 57 percent of Americans in our ABC polling say this economy is bad.”



Tom Fox Protests the Israeli Barrier in PalestineJames Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online opinion section, Opinionjournal.com, made this interesting observation in his "Best of The Web Today" column:



This is something I thought I’d never say, but bravo to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien who did a far better job of questioning Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) concerning his call for a censure of President Bush than ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did on Sunday’s “This Week.”



CBS News chose the day President Bush launched a series of speeches, intended to boost support for the Iraq war, to highlight a poll which found most Americans are much more pessimistic than is the President. In laying out on Monday's CBS Evening News a series of poll findings, including how 66 percent feel Bush has been describing the “things in Iraq” as “better than they are,” both Bob Schieffer and Jim Axelrod skipped the finding that, while the media fare better than Bush, nearly a third (31 percent) say the media “make things sound worse in Iraq than they really are,” compared to 24 percent who perceive the media are describing things “better than they are” and 35 percent who think journalism on Iraq “accurately” reflects the situation.

Schieffer rattled off how the percent who believe the "war is going badly” is up while the percent who see future success is down since January, before Jim Axelrod followed Bush's warning, that the terrorists want to start a civil war, with a survey finding which matched the media's mantra: "Seven of ten Americans say Iraq is already in a civil war. Another 13 percent say it will be." Pouring on the dour numbers, Axelrod asserted: "The President wants to rally Americans, but public opinion is fading fast. Only 43 percent now believe Iraq will become a stable democracy. A 15 point drop in just two months." Axelrod concluded: “With suicide bombs now going off nearly every day in Iraq, it will take some real progress on the ground and not just speeches to revive American's optimism.” You certainly can't count on the media for any optimism. Lara Logan soon checked in from Baghdad with how “there is grave concern amongst leaders here that civil war is exactly where this country is heading.”(Transcript follows.)



Here's a little more from Brian Lamb's interview with Keith Olbermann on C-SPAN, in particular, more of his denying a liberal bias, lamely vowing he "goes after power," Republican or Democrat, and his explanations for why he has a regular "museum" of VHS tapes of his shows to preserve himself for posterity.



Fresh from winning an Oscar for his movie "Crash," director Paul Haggis is looking to produce and direct a movie based on the memoirs of Richard Clarke, the disgruntled former anti-terrorism official who accuses the Bush Administration of botching the war on terrorism.