A few years back, Fox News head Roger Ailes moved to Garrison, NY, built a house, bought the local newspaper, and got involved in local politics. New York Magazine has the story of Ailes' efforts to remake the small town in his own image, and the rage, paranoia, and narcissism those who've interacted with him have come to expect.
Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
"What are you f**king playing at?” Mr Murdoch asked Mr Kelner in a loud voice and in front of dozens of bemused journalists."This week, 300,000 copies of the UK's Independent newspaper were distributed for free advertising the paper's claim to editorial independence stating, "Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – you will".
According to the Financial Times, Murdoch's son James subsequently stormed into the Independent's newsroom brandishing a copy of the edition, protesting it besmirched his father’s reputation. "Lively times," the Guardian observes.
You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
WANTED: EDITOR OF A SUCCESSFUL LIB-LEANING BLOG AND NEWS ORGANIZATION LOOKS TO HIRE A PUBLISHER. Say what you will about the relative merits of Talking Points Memo or whether or not it's the triumphant example of why we don't need "real" newspapers or journalists any longer (previously on Mefi  ), but it does seem we've turned a corner (or perhaps jumped the shark?) when editors hire publishers instead of the other way around.
The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
Endorsement: Kerry for President Ok. The NY Times endorsed Kerry. And now the Washington Post. But now the Orlando-Sentinel, a paper that has not endorsed a Demcorat in the past 40 years! "Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound. This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush. Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president...."
Astroturfing gone bad. Why aren't newspaper editors fighting this? They've seen it before. Its one thing to offer a press release and another to ask visitors of the Bush-Cheney website to mail their newspapers the same form letter.
Nader Pro and Con (omnibus). The L.A. Weekly brings you about 20 prominent liberals' statements on whether they are voting Nader or Gore, and why ... captures pretty much all of the nuances in once place.
Bush receives more newspaper endorsements. Also, editors are predicting a Bush win. While I wince and grimace at the thought of that man in office, I also think the editors are deluded in thinking they have much influence over their readers' voting habits.