Journalists Agree to Keep Mum on Conservative Donors at Koch Brothers Event
By Sarah Lazare
August 2, 2015
In a rare move, journalists from a handful of major media outlets were granted access this weekend to a private and well-heeled gathering of Republican benefactors, sponsored by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, on one condition: that they do not name any of the 450 donors attending, unless given explicit permission.
The three-day event, hosted by the Koch brothers-backed nonprofit organization Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, is being held at at the St. Regis Monarch Beach luxury resort in California.
"The Washington Post is one of nine news organizations allowed in to cover the traditionally private confab, on the condition that the donors present not be named without their permission," wrote Post reporter Matea Gold on Saturday.
Ted Rall: LAPD Convinced LA Times To Fire Me After I Criticized Cops
By Ted Rall
July 27, 2015
As an editorial cartoonist for The Los Angeles Times, I have drawn numerous cartoons critical of the Los Angeles Police Department’s abuse, corruption and heavy-handed incompetence.
Now it seems the LAPD has gotten even: It has convinced the Times to fire me.
The Clinton Rules Are at the Heart of the New York Times's Botched Hillary Story
By Jonathan Allen
July 28, 2015
It's hard to foul up a major story as badly as the New York Times did with last week's big — and erroneous — scoop that two US inspectors general had asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive or classified information in using a personal account to email with State Department officials and friends.
As it turned out, most of the important points in the story were wrong — really wrong. The Times changed its reporting online and, too slowly, issued two corrections. But as the Times's public editor, Margaret Sullivan, observed in a scathing autopsy of the article, "You can’t put stories like this back in the bottle — they ripple through the entire news system."
This episode is a particularly illustrative example of how an unspoken set of "Clinton rules" govern the media's treatment of Clinton and how that ends up distorting the public view of her.
Study Of Spain's 'Google Tax' On News Shows How Much Damage It Has Done
By Mike Masnick
July 29, 2015
As you may recall, governments across Europe, generally at the behest of traditional newspaper publishers, have been pushing for what they call an "ancillary copyright," but which is much better referred to as a "snippet tax" or a "link tax." Or, if people are being honest: a Google News tax. The idea is that any aggregator site that is linking out to other sources with little snippets telling people what's at the link, has to pay the original publication to link to them. If you think this goes against the entire concept of the internet, you're not wrong. Belgium was the first country to try it, and Google responded by removing complaining publications from Google News. In response, the publications then complained that Google News was being mean to them, even though they were the ones complaining. In Germany, a similar thing happened, whereby Google left the complaining publications in Google News, but without snippets since that was a key aspect of the law. Again, the publishers screamed "unfair" even though they were the ones who had pushed for the law in the first place.
When it came time for Spain to try to appease its misguided and angry publishers, the government sought to avoid the tactics that Google had done in the past and thus made it mandatory to pay, saying that sites themselves couldn't even opt-out of getting payments, even if they didn't want them. In response to this, Google broke out the somewhat surprising "nuclear option" and shut down Google News in Spain entirely. It seemed quite obvious that this move would create huge problems for media properties that wanted to be open and wanted people to link to them.
Jon Stewart’s Progressive Legacy
By Katrina vanden Heuvel
July 28, 2015
While Stewart elevated progressive voices and ideas, he also was a vocal and relentless media critic. As the coverage of politics grew more trivial, polarizing and less informative, Stewart pleaded for a better discourse, famously castigating the hosts of CNN’s “Crossfire” for, in his words, “hurting America.” And perhaps nobody on television did more than Stewart to define Fox News as the reliably partisan outlet that most people know it as today.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Stewart, however, is the vast influence he commanded from his perch on late-night cable. For a generation of Americans, Stewart provided a political education that helped shape their worldview. Indeed, as early as 2004, there was evidence that young people were increasingly getting their information from “The Daily Show” instead of more traditional sources. And for the past decade, public surveys have consistently rated Stewart among the most popular and trusted names in news. Although it’s impossible to prove, Stewart is almost certainly one of the reasons that younger Americans are so progressive.