How conservative media now see the presidential race

Good morning.

  1. After the dust settled in Nevada and South Carolina
    It was no surprise that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC had their first-string ready to go Saturday night, as opposed to sending out the reserves the previous Saturday night to report the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The latest primary votes were structured, up their alley and brought predictably solid performances among hosts, pundits and reporters. (Poynter) They espoused the conventional wisdom that Hillary Clinton is probably on her way to capturing the Democratic nomination (The New York Times), even if "a history of deflections, deception, and untruths" could plague a general election run. (The Atlantic) But it's more intriguing to check out the post-mortems from conservative press about what's happening in the ever fascinating Republican race.

    "They Myth of Trump's Inevitability" cautioned "Not so fast, Donald. We have had three contests so far, and the field has narrowed from 12 candidates before Iowa to five now. But Trump’s numbers have bounced around from 24 percent in Iowa to 35 percent in New Hampshire to 32 percent in South Carolina." (National Review) There was talk of Marco Rubio's comeback but qualifiers that he's got a long way to go. (Weekly Standard) But wait: "Voters Don't Like Rubio the Way Elites Do." (American Conservative) Some still couldn't figure out what the heck some Trump policies consist of, notably economic ones. (American Spectator) And, of course, there was the "end of the Bush dynasty" theme. (New American) But that one was touted by the left and the right. One of the more curious possibilities was thrown out for musing by Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host and Fox News contributor, suggesting a Trump-Rubio ticket. (LifeZette) Swallow hard, Marco. But he, and others, might be reminded of how monumentally wrong the media has been throughout this spectacle. (Amherst)

  2. A reporter's very hot scoop
    Lucas Peterson, who writes for The New York Times' Frugal Traveler blog, boarded a Megabus in Chicago bound Sunday for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He tweeted about the frustration of being informed that they had to turn around to "switch buses." Lucky Lucas, he then was able to tweet about the bus proceeding to catch fire and explode. (Gawker) The passengers, if not their luggage, got out and Peterson was able to tweet shots of the bus aflame. He presumably thus presented at least a temporary marketing disaster for the company and reason to try Greyhound next time. You can almost hear the Megabus PR shop. "You're serious, a guy from The New York Times was aboard?!"
  3. Scarborough, CNN and built-in conflicts
    CNN has suggested that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough is in the tank for Donald Trump, as have others (present company included). Scarborough says that's baloney and that CNN can't accurately report on MSNBC. (The Daily Beast) The Washington Post's sharp Erik Wemple argued Sunday on CNN that "media criticism and media reporting in this country has matured to a point where I think people who consume it understand that there are built-in conflicts. We all report on each other." (CNN) This isn't a new problem. A fair number of folks never understood how my old paper, the Chicago Tribune, could avoid shilling for the Chicago Cubs when we owned the team, and some who consume media surely don't quite get Bloomberg News' aversion to covering Michael Bloomberg or the company. Then there's Sheldon Adelson owning a Las Vegas paper and the perception bind in which that places its reporters. Outsiders are slow to grasp the ethics of covering one's own interests. Meanwhile, if you want a solid piece today on Bloomberg's Hamlet-like indecision about running for president, you'll find one — but not in Bloomberg. (POLITICO)
  4. Bibi and the press
    "Quietly, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s long-serving prime minister, has extended his reach over every corner of the Israeli media. The country’s largest newspaper acts so openly as his mouthpiece that two cabinet ministers have likened it to Pravda, the Communist Party organ in the former USSR." (CJR)
  5. The "other" White House Press Corps
    I can attest it is an eclectic lot. On any given day one might find hanging around the briefing room "a retired college professor, a courtly Indian gentleman whose newspaper doesn’t actually exist at the moment, a 71-year-old freelancer, an Uber driver, a woman in an ever-present down vest who files reports on Twitter and Facebook, and a man who likes to tweet out photos of himself posing in the briefing room." (The Washington Post)
  6. Flap over releasing names of students accused of sexual assault
    The Utah State Records Committee has voted that eight colleges don't have to release names of students found responsible for violent or sexual violations. "Annie Knox, the higher education reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune who filed the records request, said the newspaper is considering appealing the decision to a district court. The paper has 30 days from the committee’s vote to decide." (Student Press Law Center)
  7. Attorneys inflict damages
    In Delhi, lawyers apparently beat the crap out of journalists covering a case involving a university student leader. (Committee to Protect Journalists) There have been no arrests.
  8. Woof, woof
    Two of the three best-read stories from The New York Times sports section this week were "C. J., a German Shorthaired Pointer, Wins Best in Show at Westminster" and "The Lone Wolf at the Westminster Dog Show," about a Toronto shrink who was the one and only judge of the best in show. So much for stories about my beloved Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants. Even the Mets. More relevant, as for that psychiatrist, imagine the moonlighting possibilities Sigmund Freud could have exploited if only there'd been a Vienna Dog Show.
  9. The new media economics
    From news industry analyst Ken Doctor, this thought on what's playing out locally and financially among newspapers companies including Tribune Publishing and Gannett: "The result: a disaster whose death spiral seems to be accelerating. When I’ve given talks, I’ve gotten a lot of nods from people in the industry when I show one single slide: A two-liter bottle of Coke selling for $1 next to a one-liter bottle priced at $2. That’s essentially what local publishers have done in product and pricing of print over the last five years, doubled the price and halved the product, a halving that, of course, carries through to their digital offerings." (Nieman Lab)
  10. Lessons of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
    Amid Harper Lee's death, the cultural significance of her book was a primary topic of discussion. But what about it as a primer on writing, including for journalists? (Poynter)
  11. Sheldon Adelson's new newspaper
    So before checking out "Downton Abbey" (have to keep my marriage intact, after all) last night, I wanted to see coverage of the Nevada Democratic presidential vote on the casino mogul's new newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. And there it was, splashed across the top of the website: Word from their "eye-patched man-about-town" Norm Clarke. "Britney Spears' manager Larry Rudolph insists the pop star was 'by no means endorsing' Hillary Clinton when Spears posted photos of herself posing with the Democratic presidential candidate last week." (Review-Journal) Whew. I was worried for a bit. Bernie Sanders can breathe easier.
  12. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
    Cara Kelly is now editor of Entertain This! at USA TODAY. Previously, she was editorial product manager for emerging news products at The Washington Post. (Mediabistro) | Sharita Erves will be news director for KARD and KTVE in Monroe, Louisiana. Previously, she was weekend morning anchor at WITI in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: The Asheville Citizen-Times is looking for a breaking news reporter. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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    James Warren

    New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S. News & World Report. Former managing editor and Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Tribune.


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