May 14, 2015

Good morning. Boomers, want to feel old? The last episode of “Seinfeld” aired 17 years ago today. Meanwhile:

  1. Krauthammer vs. Obama: Better than Mayweather vs. Pacquaio?

    A day after President Obama eviscerated Fox News Channel’s treatment of the poor as “leeches,” Fox stalwart and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer responded on the radio show of ideological soulmate Hugh Hewitt: “The idea that Fox is constantly showing, you know, sponges and leeches, and never shows the waitress trying to make it, it’s just sort of the mythological world that he lives in. Or he may be cynical. I mean, he may know it’s all nonsense,” he told Hewitt. “I mean, I can’t tell. I mean, after all, you probably need a psychiatrist to figure that out. But it’s either cynical or just hopelessly deluded on this.” It took five years to schedule the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquaio fight. Maybe we can be faster with an Obama-Krauthammer debate to presumably be simulcast by MSNBC, Fox and Comedy Central (where Jon Stewart on Wednesday detailed Fox’s flagrant lies in denying derision toward the poor). Maybe Krauthammer would at least agree with Dr. Phil as moderator. Hopefully nobody would ask for refunds after this one. (Hugh Hewitt)

  2. Why Facebook’s New York Times deal suggests its quest for domination

    Writing in TechCrunch, Josh Constine suggests that Instant Articles, home for the new content partnership, “is the culmination of Facebook’s quest to absorb the Internet.” As he sees it, “It’s a power play afforded by Facebook dominating referral traffic. Some sites get more from Facebook than Google, while Twitter’s contribution is tiny by comparison. After years of suckling on the News Feed teat, publishers have grown dependent on Facebook. But competition for space in the News Feed is growing faster than how much attention readers pay to it. That’s causing a natural decline in the reach of Facebook Pages on the News Feed, which threatens their referral traffic.” His bottom line: “When Facebook said ‘jump,’ publishers like The New York Times and BuzzFeed said ‘how far inside?’” (TechCrunch)

  3. So what were inaugural Instant Articles in the big deal?

    If you thought The New York Times, BuzzFeed and the initial partners would unload future Pulitzer entries on Day 1, you were wrong. It was a rather eclectic, benign assortment of tales, including “13 Steps to Instantly Improve Your Day.” (The New York Times)

  4. After Deadly Amtrak Crash, a question: Why no seat belts on trains?

    Vox raises the issue in a smart story that includes a summary of American and British research on the matter. Clearly, there is a case to be made by safety experts for NOT having belts on trains. (Vox)

  5. Another Amtrak question: What was Lester Holt doing in a helicopter?

    The Pavlovian tradition of network anchors rushing to a scene, lest one look like a chair-bound New York effete, repeated itself after the crash. Lester Holt, who has supplanted a man criticized for his Iraq War tale of being in a chopper, was high above Philadelphia for the entire show. It added little, except perhaps for some imminent Jon Stewart riff. Meanwhile, Tom Brokaw, the predecessor to suspended Brian Williams, made the rounds hawking a book. He would not elaborate on his well known qualms about Williams’ actions. (Adweek)

  6. How to make a fast $1,000 off Politico

    While many in media are crunching budgets, Politico is expanding and wants help in apparently assisting its H.R. department, albeit without fulltime pay or benefits. A memo offers $1,000 for referrals of great job candidates. (The Washington Post)

  7. Congrats, Peter Baker

    The New York Times White House reporter has again won the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation award for distinguished reporting on the presidency. That’s well deserved (and the second time) for Baker, a prototype of a great multi-platform, high-quality reporter. Meanwhile, this summer vacation tip: Go see the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a little known knockout. And even fun for the kids.

  8. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    Newark, New Jersey’s Star-Ledger led with an image of the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  9. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Denise Warren is now president of digital at Tribune Publishing. Previously, she was vice president of digital operations for The New York Times. (Chicago Tribune) | Raney Aronson will be executive producer at “Frontline.” She is deputy executive producer there. David Fanning will be executive producer at large at “Frontline.” He is executive producer there. (The New York Times) | Susan Kravitz is now global head of sales at Say Media. Previously, she was vice president of U.S. digital sales at Discovery Communications. (Email) | Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for a social media reporter. Get your résumés in! (Mediagazer) |
    Send Ben your job moves:

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Correction: An earlier version of this newsletter noted that Seinfeld ended on this date 28 years ago, it was actually 17 years ago.

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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.…
James Warren

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