Morning shows pit rebel Rubio against Teflon Trump
- The Donald reigns on social media
The morning shows were dominated by post-Republican debate chattering after the unavoidably Trump-centric blabbing as soon as it was over last night. (Poynter) Fox News offered up analysis of Google searches, with Trump "crushing the conversation on social media, with a 41 percent to Marco Rubio's 21 percent Twitter conversations." Yes, Rubio showed more fight but Bloomberg's Mark Halperin suspected this won't "separate any Donald Trump supporter from Trump," as NBC warhorse Tom Brokaw bemoaned a lack of discussion of the economy and recent mass shootings. Mark Preston, the executive editor for CNN Politics, found it raucous but substantive, with Chris Cuomo lauding the "steady hand" of colleague and moderator Wolf Blitzer. Really? He'd been object of ridicule for letting things get out of hand.
The newspaper crowd found it "the messiest" confrontation so far. (The New York Times) But it may be too late for Trump's rivals. (The Wall Street Journal) And one overriding, if to many shocking, reality seemed to prevail: "It’s tough to debate a candidate who makes up his own facts and creates his own reality. Trump once more demonstrated a willingness to say things that are plainly untrue, claiming, for instance, the U.S. is being overrun by illegal immigrants at a time evidence shows that illegal immigration is in decline. (The Los Angeles Times)
Ah, yes, the Trump ability to evade the truth. It can be aided by the fumbling, even ignorance of journalists. That was underscored during the debate by an issue that came up about Trump University, a truly dubious Trump higher education venture. Journalist-entrepreneur Steven Brill told all in a Time magazine piece last year in which he disclosed, among other matters, how Trump signed checks from the university to himself but claimed it was a charitable venture. (Poynter)
- Great ledes
On Thursday, I noted a University of New Hampshire project that features students combing the Pulitzer Prizes website looking for great ledes from stories. That prompted Wayne Shelor, a reader in Clearwater, Florida to email me: "'Gary Robinson died hungry' — Edna Buchanan, The Miami Herald. It won no Pulitzer. Let the kids know." Ok, I now have (maybe). But I must now inform them of the context: Robinson walked into a Church's chicken outlet, shoved his way up front and was then told to get back in line. When he got to the front again, he got pissed that they were out of fried chicken. Told that he should consider the chicken nuggets, instead, he slugged the lady at the counter and was shot dead by a security guard. That whole scene opened a wonderful 1986 Calvin Trillin profile of Buchanan, a fabled crime reporter. (The New Yorker)
- Remember Chauncey Gardiner?
My wife accuses me of suffering from Anachronistic Cultural References Syndrome (ACRS). But blame this one on Austin Beutner, a former Los Angeles Times publisher. Speaking at Harvard, Beutner compared both Jack Griffin, who booted Beutner last year before being canned as Tribune Publishing CEO, to Chauncey Gardiner. Remember Gardiner? He's the character played by Peter Sellers in the 1979 movie "Being There," based on a character named Chance in a Jerzy Kosinski novella.
Chauncy was a pretty dim-witted gardener who winds up being hailed as some genius and even considered as a potential president. "I think, unfortunately, many in the print newspaper industry are Chauncey Gardiner, where they can mouth the words, but they have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s not that they’re not well-intentioned people. For what the business was 20 years ago, they might have been perfectly good — maybe even better than good." (NiemanLab)
- Al Jazeera yanks its own self-satire
Al Jazeera America said sorry, everybody, for a story on its website that joshed about its very own imminent demise. The joke was buried in a satirical story carrying the byline of @ProfJeffJarvis, the Twitter alter-ego of developer Rurik Bradbury. (Gawker) Bradbury often mocks the actual Jeff Jarvis, an influential future-of-news thinker and professor at CUNY's graduate school of journalism.
The story was billed as a list of the “Six Hot Media Startups to Watch in 2016,” and proclaimed Al Jazeera America as “the top one to watch.” But it described the network as seeking "to tempt Fox News' 60-something-year-old viewers over to the AJAM camp. At the same time, the company has its eye on the long-term: positioning themselves to capture the millennial audience when it hits AARP age." It pulled the piece and offered a note saying, "We believe (the story) was not appropriate given (AJAM's) imminent closure." (Adweek)
- Drones for journalists
The Federal Aviation Administration budget reauthorization bill contains a provision "that does away with the FAA’s regulation of small drones — clearing the way for journalists, journalism educators, and many others to use flying cameras with fewer rules." But before you decide to cover rush-hour traffic, a high school football game or a 10-K on a slow-news Sunday with a drone, there's a big bureaucracy to deal with and the need to be a licensed manned aircraft pilot. (NiemanLab)
- Drones for killing
The national security-focused website The Intercept discloses details about a drone program that doesn't need FAA approval since it's intended to kill bad guys. And, quite obviously, President Obama doesn't need a manned aircraft pilot's license to give the go-ahead. The Joshua Hammer opus is all about a very remote base in northern Cameroon whose primary reason for being is gathering intel, as they say, on Boko Haram. (The Interecept)
- The limits of livestreaming sports
Tech journalist Walt Mossberg had a pretty interesting sit-down with Bob Bowman, boss of baseball's MLB Advanced Media unit, who concedes that, yes, a lot of people may watch an event like the Super Bowl on the Web. But, make no mistake, the Web won't supplant TV for sports very soon. The technology just doesn't really exist. Sound out of sync for an executive who generates revenues by streaming sports? It may not be. (Re/code)
- Buckeye Pulitzers
Hey, Gov. Kasich, lightning round question: Can you cite one Pulitzer winner from Ohio? Well, the Ohio Newspaper Association has produced a pretty good video salute to several of the state's winners on the 100th anniversary of the prizes. It was really a joint project of Ohio University journalism student, the association, the Plain Dealer in Cleveland and Akron Beacon Journal. Bowling Green State University students also built a great website to recognize all of Ohio’s winners. (Bowling Green State University)
- 'Cubs shocker!'
"Cubs shocker" was the tease on an afternoon newsletter from ever-strong Crain's Chicago Business. And ESPN simultaneously was calling it "a shocking turn of events." (ESPN) Was it more on the weird face-off between Donald Trump and the Ricketts family that owns the team? "I hear the Rickets (sic) family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me," Donald had tweeted. "They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!" (Fox) Thankfully, it wasn't. The shocker: The team re-signed its center fielder. Calm down, everybody. And have a good weekend.
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Jay Yarow is now senior vice president and executive editor for CNBC Digital. Previously, he was executive editor of Business Insider. (TalkingBizNews) Jigar Mehta is now vice president of digital operations at Fusion. Previously, he was engagement lead at AJ+. (Variety) | Job of the day: The BBC is looking for a news writer. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: firstname.lastname@example.org.