Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Views of the News, Feb. 25, 2009

The decline of breaking news in radio ... the media reaction to the New York Post's "chimp" cartoon ... and, a study identifies two types of pundits. Panelists: Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins, Charles Davis.

Listen to the show.

Subscribe to the podcast.

This week's story links

New York Post: The original Sean Delonas cartoon (choose February 18 from the menu)

New York Post: "That Cartoon" -- the apology (sort of) plus reader comments

New York Post: "Statement from Rupert Murdoch" (publisher of the Post)

Huffington Post: Good summary of those who criticized the cartoon and the paper

Michelle Malkin: "Going ape over the NYPost" (conservative blogger's reaction plus links and reader comments)

New York Daily News: "Spike Lee wants boycott of New York Post over chimpanzee cartoon"

Washington Post: "Monkey Business: The good news for men: Women love apes"

Washington Post: "Editor's Note" apologizing for Monkey Business column

Washington Post: "Chatalogical Humor" -- transcript of live chat with columnist Gene Weingarten calling the apology a mistake

Washington City Paper: "What's Up with WaPo's Ape Editor's Note?"

Newsweek: Sharon Begley's column "Why Pundits Get Things Wrong"

New York Times: "Libel Suit Against The Times Ends" (check Editor's Note and Statement from Iseman's Lawyers as well)

Politico: "Iseman to Politico: The Times lied"

Columbia Daily Tribune: "Belcher eager for new position"

Columbia Missourian/KBIA-FM: "The Beat: Superintendent candidates take questions at forums"

Midwest Innocence Project blog: "Josh Kezzer freed after more than 16 years" (reprint of AP report by Alan Scher Zagier)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video and the Radio Star

No, we're not killing the radio version of Views! But we are ADDING a new video version starting tomorrow. Watch the blog for a link to streaming video of this week's program. You know you're dying to see what we look like! Beginning with NEXT week's show, we'll also stream it live when we tape it (at 11:30 am on Wednesdays) just in case you can't wait until 6:30 for your Views fix. If all goes well, we'll add more opportunities for you to interact with the Views crew in real time. Keep watching, listening, or both.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Views of the News, Feb. 11, 2009

Columbia's main commercial news-talk station fires the remainder of its news staff ... questions about transparency in the Columbia school superintendent search ... and, the AP threatens to sue an artist over the use of an image. Panelists: Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins, Charles Davis.

Listen to the show.

Subscribe to the podcast.

Links to this week's show topics

Columbia Tribune: "Radio station again trims its news staff." "Trims" is a euphemism for "eliminates."

Columbia Missourian: "Superintendent candidate Deming takes questions at forum."

Columbia Tribune editorial: "Superintendent: An odd search process."

Columbia Missourian: "History offers lessons in selecting superintendent," (George Kennedy column).

New York Times Opinion blog: "Battle Plans for Newspapers."

Time Magazine: "How to Save Your Newspaper."

NPR's Morning Edition: "Artist, AP Disagree Over Photo Credit, Payment."

NPR's All Things Considered: "Fair Use or Infringement? Obama Image in Spat."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sensational news

Sensationalism is a difficult charge for journalists to refute. Often, it comes down to an "I know it when I see it" response.

But, the recent coverage of the California octuplets certainly qualifies. Not only have news organizations devoted an extraordinary amount of limited air time and newsprint to this story, but much of what has been published and broadcast smacks of voyeurism. And, rather than providing real news coverage, journalists have contented themselves with interviewing the mother and her family--and of asking questions that ask for opinion rather than asking for opinion in response to fact. These are easy stories. They are emotionally appealing (in the sense that they provoke emotion), but they display little critical thinking on the part of journalists.

Here is one set of stories I applaud: interviews with physicians and medical ethicists about the appropriate standard of care. These stories could be localized--in general, they have not been, even though infertility afflicts many in the mid-Missouri region.

Here is the set of stories I would like to see: inquiries into whether the California departments of social services are taking a look at the case and others like it; inquiries into the help the mother's church and community are providing to the family; an inquiry and publication of how much money, if any, various news organizations are paying the mother for her story. All of this can be done without vilifying the mother while asking difficult questions about the role of civil society in events such as this, including the role of the news media.

This news event has been treated in a sensational way. But, it does not have to be.

Right Wing Echo Chambers, and their results

When you speak only to yourselves, people, you get a resounding echo. Consider these two tidbits from a busy week, in which none other than a sitting member of the United States Senate called the stimulus "the socialist way..."

In their own minds:

Congressional Republicans are "so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," according to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is thrilled his party is "standing on our core principles" against President Obama's recovery plan. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) agreed, saying that what "will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no."

...and, everyone else in the reality-based community?

Sixty-seven percent of Americans approve of how President Obama "has handled the government's efforts to pass an economic stimulus bill," according to a new Gallup poll. Forty-eight percent approve of how congressional Democrats have acted while only 31 percent approve the performance by congressional Republicans. Fifty-eight percent disapprove of the GOP's actions.

Hmmmm...perhaps publicly cheerleading for the destruction of the US economy maketh bad politics?


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Views of the News, Feb. 4, 2009

Media coverage of Obama's "screwing up" ... a tabloid breaks a story about Michael Phelps ... and, the Tampa Tribune offers Bibles as free inserts. Panelists: Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins, Charles Davis.

Listen to the show.

Subscribe to the podcast.

Links to topics on this week's show

New York Times Editorial: "The Travails of Tom Daschle"

WaPo: "Obama Says He Erred in Nominations"

CNN: "After Daschle, What Happens to Health Plan?"

Mike Martin's "The Columbia Heart Beat" blog

Columbia Missourian: "Roper, Watkins dismiss blog reports of scheming"

City Beat blog by Columbia Tribune reporter Sara Semelka: "Sinister leadership cabal?"

Hank Waters' Tribune Editorial: "The has-been cabal"

News of the World: "What a Dope"

NBC Sports: "Phelps could face criminal charges over pot flap"

St. Pete Times: "Tampa Tribune dispenses Bibles to subscribers"