Tag Archives: Media criticism

Former CNN news chief Eason Jordan’s Poll Position firm asked people: In your opinion, is it fair or unfair to brand some journalists and media outlets as “The elite media”? 35.3% said fair; 36.4% said unfair; and 28.3% had no opinion. But…

There was a very strong correlation between political opinion and the question of media fairness. A plurality of Republican respondents said it was fair to call some journalists part of the elite media, while a plurality of Democratic respondents said it was unfair. Independents were split almost even.

* Is it fair to brand journalist as part of the ‘elite media’?

Andrew Beaujon, who is joining Poynter’s online team, offers this theory for why so many media critics are white males: “Media criticism, which is a fly-in-the-soup job, is fundamentally an alt-weekly pursuit, and alt-weeklies’ DNA is heavily white and male. In turn, I have a couple theories about that, but my working one is that it’s because working at such places gives white males such as myself a chance to feel like an underdog for once in our lives.” When Beaujon joins the diversity-sensitive Poynter next month, the institute’s online team will have two white women and four white males. (Before I left Poynter in November, online director Julie Moos was so concerned about the pool of candidates she had — there were many middle-aged white men applying for my job — that she was thinking about placing the job-opening ad a second time. I don’t know if that happened.)
* Where are the women and non-white media critics?
* Meet Andrew Beaujon, the New Romenesko

Detroit News auto writer Scott Burgess recently checked his phone messages and got an earful from an angry reader. Here’s an except from that call:

I’m looking at the Auto Show section of the newspaper. You do a pretty good job, ah — you know what? Of promoting foreign cars. What’s wrong with you idiots? This is Detroit, the Motor City. The Auto Show’s here in Detroit. You know what? You guys are just letting your freak flag fly, aren’t you? Why don’t you show all the foreign cars in a great light in the newspaper? …

You guys are assholes. You wonder why our economy is doing so bad. You know what the thing you should do, is promote American cars. I’m sure China’s doing a great job of promoting our cars in their country, aren’t they? And Europe too, you know. Sure, the German auto show probably does a great job of promoting all the American cars in their papers, don’t they. You guys are idiots. You know what, take your foreign cars, shove ’em up your ass, you know what — ok — and start to help promote American cars in Detoit, you assholes. …

“I get these messages two or three times a week,” Burgess tells me. “I chose this one to make the video [for his Facebook page] because it was less racially charged than some of the ones I get and this guy sounded more sober than some of the others.

“My guess has always been that a couple of guys are sitting around, having a beer and see something I wrote and it gets them worked up. My phone number runs right at the end of every story, and who doesn’t have a phone on them nowadays?

“Really, I don’t mind that much. People should be passionate about their city and the things they build. But tearing everyone else down has always rubbed me the wrong way. So I had a little fun with it.”

Burgess invites readers to friend him on Facebook and watch the video version of this call.

An NPR listener complained that “when anything is mentioned on NPR concerning religion, it seems that the only religion mentioned is the Catholic religion.” NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos examined the coverage and, with the help of librarian Elizabeth Allin, found that Islam was most-often mentioned on the network over the last 12 months. The findings:

Islam: 148
Christianity: 63
Judaism: 55
Catholicism: 39
Buddhism: 14
Mormonism: 12
Protestant: 6
Amish: 2
Hinduism: 1

Is NPR Doing Too Many Stories on Catholicism? (NPR)

Like many people, I always looked forward to Kathie Lee Gifford’s Christmas specials only so I could see how they were negatively reviewed by Tom Shales.kathie Here are the former Washington Post TV critic’s assessments of Gifford’s holiday shows and other performances over the years:

February 29, 1988
ABC exec accidentally insults Kathie Lee

….Then there’s the charisma quotient of Frank and Kathie Lee: zilch, zero, zip, nada, pas de tout. If they cohosted a morning program it would have to be called, “Go Back to Bed, America.

On Friday, Frank Gifford announced at the start of the broadcast that his wife would not appear that night because of a “long-standing prior commitment.” One suspected that was a euphemism for “ABC News and Sports President Roone Arledge has come to his senses.” Gifford said he would press on alone but lamented that the program would suffer “cosmetically” without Kathie Lee’s presence, thus insulting her even as he attempted to praise her.

February 27, 1992
Oh, Reege! Oh, Kathie Lee!; The Key to Television’s Popular Brew: They Percolate in the Morning

Kathie Lee is basically as wholesome as a corn muffin.

December 21, 1994
Kathie Lee’s Blight Before Christmas

…Ghastly, hideous and downright nightmarish in its desperate cheerfulness, the special gets off to an immediate bad start when the announcer informs us that the guest cast will include “a special appearance by Cody Gifford,” blond tot son of Kathie Lee and husband Frank, the personality-less sportscaster. Cody looks about as happy to be on the special as you will be if you watch it.

Naturally she sings, sings, sings — or rather, not so naturally, just in that excruciatingly bland and vapid way of hers.

At the outset, Kathie Lee announces that Christmas “brings out the best in people.” She should have added, “Present company excepted.”

December 20, 1995
Kathie Lee: The Grin That Stole Christmas

Give her enough tinsel and she’ll hang herself. And she does.

“Kathie Lee: Home for Christmas,” Kathie Lee Gifford’s second annual CBS Christmas special, is perhaps even worse than her first — a sickeningly saccharine vanity production that should really have been titled “O Come, Let Us Adore Me.” That ghastly Gifford grin, ear to ear and back again, seems steeped in self-esteem and almost blinding in its show biz phoniness.

This special is not a treat for the whole family, unless you’re talking only about Gifford’s family. For them, a treat; for others, the equivalent of what commies might have used to torture political prisoners. You can almost hear the poor souls crying out, “No, no — anything but that!”

December 12, 1996
Kathie Lee’s Christmas: Mistletoe by a Mile

At Thanksgiving we get to be grateful that Kathie Lee doesn’t do a Thanksgiving special. … It was often said that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Bing Crosby. But oh brother, would Christmas ever be Christmas without Kathie Lee Gifford.

Read More