Articles about "Rachel Maddow"


Liberals and conservatives agree: You can’t trust BuzzFeed

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Nobody trusts BuzzFeed much: Pew’s new report on Political Polarization & Media Habits says “There is little overlap in the news sources” conservatives and liberals “turn to and trust.” The Wall Street Journal is trusted across ideological boundaries, and the BBC and The Economist do well among all but the most consistent conservatives, who say they equally trust and distrust those outlets. Only one publication is rated “More distrusted than trusted” regardless of respondents’ political outlook: BuzzFeed. It’s important to note, though, that fewer than 40 percent of respondents had heard of BuzzFeed. (Pew) | BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith emails: “Most of the great news organizations have been around for decades, and trust is something you earn over time. Our organization is new, our news operation is even newer, and it’s early days for us. The more people know BuzzFeed News, especially young people who make up a small share of these surveys, the more they trust us.” | Brian Stelter: “Among other things, the study underscores Fox’s unique position in the media marketplace, thanks to what it calls the ‘strong allegiance’ that conservatives have to Fox.” (CNN)

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  2. Jill Abramson plans a startup with Steve Brill: Investors “sound very interested.” (The Wrap) | “Abramson and Carr now discussing their teenage pot smoking habits. Jill smoked by a fountain. David liked to play frisbee.” (@ylichterman)
  3. The Guardian committed no foul by reporting on Whisper: A ruling from Ryan Chittum. “It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned.” (CJR)
  4. How Gamergate intimidates publications: The loose collective of shrill gaming “advocates” has a five-step plan for flooding advertisers’ inboxes about reporters it doesn’t like. And the attacks can work. (WP) | “The D-List Right-Wingers Who’ve Turned Gamergate Into Their Loser Army” (Gawker)
  5. What happened between the NABJ and CNN? NABJ President Bob Butler says the network bailed on supporting NABJ’s 2015 convention, and CNN says it was merely “reconsidering our relationship.” The dustup lays bare a “core conflict in what NABJ — and other journalism-diversity groups, for that matter — does from day to day,” Erik Wemple writes. “On the one hand, it monitors how well newsrooms embrace diversity; on the other, it pitches those same newsrooms to ante up for convention space and other stuff.” (WP)
  6. Nielsen will measure TV viewership across devices: It’s partnering with Adobe, which “sits at the very center of video distribution system and can track views down to the IP level.” (Reuters)
  7. It’s not a good idea to stalk a reviewer: But Kathleen Hale did it anyway. (BuzzFeed)
  8. Rachel Maddow points viewers to some excellent music: The MSNBC host offers five songs for the midterms, including Fugazi’s “Bad Mouth” and Sleater-Kinney’s “Youth Decay.” (HuffPost)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Floyd County News & Tribune fronts a polka party at the Strassweg Auditorium in the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, Indiana. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Eli Lake is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a national security correspondent. Josh Rogin is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a senior correspondent. (Huffington Post) | Simon Dumenco is editorial director at Advertising Age. Previously, he was a columnist there. (Ad Age) | Fran Unsworth is now director of the World Service Group at the BBC. She’s deputy director of news and current affairs. (The Guardian) | Chris Moody will be a senior correspondent for CNN Politics Digital. Previously, he was a political correspondent for Yahoo News. (Politico) | Jeffrey Schneider is founding his own PR firm, Schneider Global Strategy. He’s a senior vice president and spokesperson at ABC News. (ABC) | Sruthijith KK is now editor at Huffington Post India. Previously, he was editor of Quartz India. (Medianama) | Job of the day: U.S. News and World Report is looking for a Congress reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Read more

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PolitiFact Ohio gives Rachel Maddow a ‘Pants on Fire!’

PolitiFact Ohio

Rachel Maddow’s claim that Ohio’s budget calls for a “mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state” is not true, PolitiFact’s Ohio outfit says.

“Maddow was referring to a new requirement that women seeking abortions first receive ultrasounds to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present,” PolitiFact and Plain Dealer reporter Henry J. Gomez writes. Gomez got his hands on the budget, which says “only that an examination shall be performed externally.”

“That puts Maddow’s ‘vaginal probe’ claim about as far as can be from the truth, into the realm of the ridiculous,” Gomez writes. Read more

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Is Truth-O-Meter the real issue in Maddow’s latest blast at PolitiFact?

The Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking site PolitiFact has drawn another heated rebuke from MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, who accuses it of “ruining fact checking” and being “truly terrible.”

But at the risk of looking like a homer — the Times signs my checks as its media critic — I think Maddow’s gripe with PolitiFact boils down to the same thing that’s rankled other critics: the site’s Truth-O-Meter rulings. (Additional disclaimer: Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times.)

On Tuesday, Maddow took issue with PolitiFact ruling as “Half True” a statement from tennis legend Martina Navratilova that “in 29 states in this country you can still get fired for not just being gay but if your employer thinks you are gay.” That number is the amount of states with no statewide law banning employment discrimination for sexual orientation.

But PolitiFact noted that several factors work against making blanket statements based on a lack of state laws. Some government employees have protections against sexual-orientation discrimination even in those 29 states. Cities in states lacking such laws have passed their own legislation banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are two examples.) Some employers have union rules and written internal policies barring such discrimination. And some laws banning gender discrimination can also protect gay people, depending on how a case is argued.

But are such exceptions enough to make Navratilova’s statement “Half True”?

I’m betting that’s what bothered some who read the PolitiFact analysis. I would have given Navratilova’s words a rating of “Mostly True,” since a) PolitiFact didn’t seem to calculate how many people might be protected by these exceptions; and b) the exceptions seem like minor ones. As I see it, “Half True” overstates the case because it implies a substantial error or falsity.

The Truth-O-Meter, which assigns statements to six categories on a scale from “True” to “Pants on Fire” for out-and-out falsehoods, has been both PolitiFact’s most successful and most controversial element.

On the one hand, it provides a handy, quick method for branding PolitiFact, recognizing its rulings and communicating its decisions. Anyone looking to laud or blast a statement can use this shorthand; Daily Show host Jon Stewart even used his smartphone to read former GOP candidate Herman Cain a “Pants on Fire” ruling during the program’s visit to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

But on the other hand, the Truth-O-Meter can provide an easy source of criticism. Maddow also blew up at PolitiFact in February 2012 when the site ruled “Mostly True” a claim by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that “Americans are majority conservative,” citing a 2011 Gallup poll that found 40 percent of Americans identified as conservative, compared to 21 percent liberal and 35 percent moderate.

Again, this is ruling I would dispute, because 40 percent is a long way from 51 percent. I probably would have ruled it “Mostly False,” because the real number isn’t a majority, even though it is the largest category of the three measured by the poll. (After taking a lot of criticism, PolitiFact eventually changed its ruling to “Half True.”)

PolitiFact’s explanations of its rulings are an effort to go beyond the literal truth of a fact or set of facts to judge the overall impact of a statement. In politics, it is easy to lay out three true statements and reach a false conclusion; the subjective Truth-o-Meter rulings are a way of addressing this issue. And by laying out the facts it weighed in reaching a ruling, PolitiFact lets the reader make his or her own decision. As long as the facts PolitiFact presents in its arguments are true, criticism that the site is “ruining fact-checking” overlooks much of what it does.

Some critics have asked whether PolitiFact has set out to tweak liberal sensibilities with some of its rulings, perhaps offering a harsher Truth-O-Meter setting to look even-handed in political squabbles. People who work on the site insist that isn’t happening, but readers can look over PolitiFact’s rulings and decide for themselves.

That’s an important difference between PolitiFact and Maddow’s latest critique of it. Even while lambasting PolitiFact for a supposed error, Maddow never fairly explained the facts assembled by the site to challenge Navratilova’s statement, dismissing them as “unrelated information.” And that makes it tougher for Maddow’s viewers to judge if her analysis was fair.

So in this case, it seems, both sides might have a little to learn about fair arguments and rulings. Read more

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Rachel Maddow, others cite outdated CBS poll data after SOTU

Near the end of her Thursday night show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow issued an on-air correction for a mistake made the night before.

It seems that she mentioned a CBS poll about the State of the Union speech that indicated viewers had a very positive reaction to it. The problem: it was a poll of last year’s SOTU. Here’s the transcript of her describing the mistake and offering a correction:

MADDOW: Correction. Last night, we used this CBS news poll when talking about reaction to the president’s State of the Union speech. It shows, obviously, a very positive reaction to that speech. So far, so true.

What we know about polled reaction to the president’s speech this year was very positive and that CBS poll did gauge reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union.

However, that CBS poll gauged reaction to last year’s speech, not this year’s. The year on the dateline posted at the CBS Web site was easy to overlook. For whatever reason, this particular CBS poll befuddled everybody left, right and center yesterday. The Raw Story, the conservative Web site, Hot Air, the widely read Political Wire blog, which is right down the middle, and not to mention lots of TV shows, including this one — all used it as if it was reaction to the 2012 speech when it was actually reaction to the 2011 one.

Of course, it is cold comfort to us that other people made the same mistake that we did. Bottom line is we screwed it up, too. It was our mistake and I very much regret the error.

See, I think that’s what you’re supposed to do when you screw up. You say you were wrong. You say you’re sorry. You fix it. It is no fun, but it is simple to do.

Watch the correction here. (Update: I previously tried to embed the segment, but it doesn’t seem to be working.)

The Left Call also reports that MSNBC programs “The Ed Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” also used the poll incorrectly. (The Ed Show transcript for Friday is not yet online, so I don’t know if they issued a correction. I was also unable to locate a correction on the Last Word’s site.)

Here’s the Raw Story correction:

Due to an internal error, Raw Story published this piece after Obama’s third State of the Union in 2012. This poll was actually conducted about the 2011 State of the Union. We apologize for the error.

And one from The Moderate Voice:

We ran a post before on a CBS News story we picked off of a highly reliable and must-read site that aggregates news stories and blog posts but it turned out to be a year old. We regret the error. When we get a new news story with polling that is properly dated we’ll run it. We weren’t the only website to run this old story and not realize it was old — but we don’t intend to make the same error again.

Correction: This post originally stated that Maddow’s correction aired on her Friday show. It in fact aired on Thursday. Read more

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Maddow: ‘I don’t think I always fit the caricature of a liberal’

The Daily Beast
She says evidence of that is her occasional criticisms of President Obama. Rachel Maddow also tells Howard Kurtz that she misses ex-colleague Keith Olbermann but dismisses “suspicions” that MSNBC is toning things down; the breakup, she says, “really wasn’t about the rest of us.” Read more

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