Liberal media bias lives beyond the borders of the United States. As Michael Wolff noted in a front page article for Monday’s USA Today: “Many popular media notions of what a restless electorate is against (bankers, corporate power, tax dodgers, economic austerity) and what it is for (fundamental change, leveling the powerful, taxing the rich and big social program promises) came a cropper in the British election last week.”
In Friday’s USA Today, media columnist Michael Wolff came out defending Hillary Clinton’s shifty e-mail tactics as ... “responsibly paranoid.”
Wolff barely nods to the argument of "do-gooders" and “schadenfreudeists” that perhaps when four Americans die in a terrorist attack at a badly secured consulate in Benghazi, e-mail might help figure out the mess. That’s “vastly disingenuous,” because e-mail is wildly unreliable as evidence.
USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff let MSNBC have it with both barrels in a column headlined "MSNBC Loses Election." Wolff asked “Is a vote against a political party also a vote against the network that supports it?”
He suggested the sinking fortunes of the Democrats “have been pretty accurately charted in the declining ratings at MSNBC,” which unsurprisingly fell 22 percent from their 2010 midterm ratings in the important demographic of 25-to-54.
USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff throws dirt on the sinking fortunes of CNN in Monday's paper, denouncing the cable-news audience along the way: it’s “overly fixated, if not fetishistic.”
Wolff then unloads on MSNBC host Ronan Farrow as the “nadir of television gravitas, the “child anchor...mimicking the adults.” Ouch:
How radical is Hollywood? There are two competing movie projects sure to lionize Edward Snowden betraying America’s secrets. Naturally, one of them is helmed by Oliver Stone, who bows to no one in casting America as a global supervillain. See his Untold History of the United States bilge on Showtime.
"This is one of the greatest stories of our time," said the leftist director. "A real challenge." Stone has repeatedly called Snowden a "hero" and slammed President Obama as a "disgrace" for his "Bush-style eavesdropping techniques." A rival Snowden movie based on Glenn Greenwald's Snowden book No Place to Hide is also in the works from Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond movies. Alongside the Brian Williams softball special on NBC, there’s a “Snowden business” emerging:
Following up on the announcement last week that Current TV was up for sale, USA Today ran an article on Nov. 5 highlighting some of the failures of the short-lived cable channel founded by former vice president Al Gore.
Another entry in my semi-regular series of Saturday night humor postings for NewsBusters drawn from the clips Bret Baier runs at the end of FNC’s Special Report which he and his staff usually select from video montages picked up off the late night comedy shows.
With few to draw on from the past week since Iowa coverage meant Baier only ran a humor clip on a couple of nights, for this one a jump back to mid-July for a clip which got a lot of Web play at the time, but if you didn’t see it then here’s your chance to watch a TV anchor dealing with putting the wrong guest on air.
Liberals have had a thrill up their leg over the Rolling Stone report that Fox News boss Roger Ailes is paranoid about Muslim and gay enemies and insisted on bomb-proof glass in his office. Ailes responded to Howard Kurtz of Newsweek: “Ailes can still get riled by personal criticism, dismissing as ‘fantasy’ and ‘fiction’ a Rolling Stone report that he travels with a large security detail and has blast-resistant office windows. He invited me to throw a rock at the glass—and promised security would arrest me.”
In AdWeek, liberal author Michael Wolff asserts both Rolling Stone and New York magazine profiles of Ailes failed to nick their target. Wolff said Ailes is an "epochal figure" in TV, a network news legend:
Let's say, hypothetically, someone was to make a disparaging statement about Fox News and conclude as a news outlet it is way outside of mainstream political thought. Well, then the follow-up appropriate question could be where does that put Fox News' competitors who get just a fraction of the cable news juggernaut's ratings?
Michael Wolff, a contributing editor and columnist Vanity Fair and CNBC regular, told MSNBC's "Hardball" host Chris Matthews on his Oct. 26 program the White House strategy was to marginalize Fox News the same way conservatives once did to liberals, making "liberal" a word with negative connotations. However, he also made the bizarre conclusion that Fox News, which dominates cable news on a regular basis, is "not very popular."
If you want to argue that Rush Limbaugh the radio sensation will soon crumble and fail, that he's headed for a "last hurrah," would you sign up as your expert....an Air America executive? That’s what media critic Michael Wolff did in a Vanity Fair article on Limbaugh, "the man who ate the GOP." Rush has power now, but soon he won’t:
Arguably no message apparatus like it exists in the nation, except, perhaps, at the White House (or in Oprah—whose position with American women is curiously analogous to Rush’s position with American conservatives). It is concentrated and extraordinary power.
Except that this power ought to be ending. It ought to all be on the wane. It is not just the Obama victory and the magnitude of his approval ratings. It is not just that the gravity of the economic crisis, with historic unemployment rates, means it’s a lot harder to get people excited about Reagan-and-Rush-esque hands-off government.
It is, rather, a crueler demographic point. The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising, according to [former Air America guru Jon] Sinton—the Fox News audience, likewise, is in its mid-60s: "What sort of continuing power do you have as your audience strokes out?"
Some call it "the dead tree edition" of the news media. But as 2009 dawns, trees may not be the only casualties.
Newspaper companies as an investment are less lucrative than they once were. Alan D. Mutter, a Silicon Valley CEO, pointed out on his blog that newspaper companies took a hit in 2008 in terms of share value to the tune of $64 billion.
"In the worst year in history for publishers, newspaper shares dropped an average of 83.3% in 2008, wiping out $64.5 billion in market value in just 12 months," Mutter wrote on Jan. 1. "Although things were tough for all sorts of businesses in the face of the worst economic slump since the 1930s, the decline among the newspaper shares last year was more than twice as deep as the 38.5% drop suffered by the Standard and Poor's average of 500 stocks."
Get your popcorn ready - that is if you like seeing the rich portrayed as bad guys and getting punished for their indiscretions.
According to CNBC contributor Michael Wolff, a Vanity Fair contributing editor, that's what's in store for movie fans in the upcoming year. On the Dec. 29 "CNBC Reports," Wolff told CNBC Business News managing editor Tyler Mathisen that Hollywood is greenlighting a spate of films featuring Wall Street heavies, and these projects are coming sooner than later.
"I think as fast as possible," Wolff said. "Every script in the business is now recasting itself - rich people are bad people."