Media Buzz

When You Can’t Turn Off the News

Dahlia Lithwick: “In other words, if you work in media, you would be well within your rights to have had a tequila shot with your breakfast every day this week. It’s all just terribly sick and sad and the constant stream makes it hard not to be sick and sad all the time. We’ve long since stopped describing news consumption as drinking from a firehose. It went from firehose to tidal wave a year ago. Nevertheless, we’ve persisted.”

“Perhaps the most common refrain journalists hear from strangers is ‘I feel bad for you. I feel sad that following all this is your job.’ The truth of the matter is that there is not enough hazard pay in the world. It’s hard not to want to shut it all off and just hope that some combination of Michael Avenatti, Bob Mueller, and the 2018 elections might restore normalcy. Normalcy would be nice, because weeks and months of being the head/desk emoji is hazardous to one’s mental health. Our brains, messed up from all that banging, still know something is amiss. It feels like the only way to exert any control at all over the insanity would be the capacity to turn it off.”

“And, of course, turning it off is exactly what a president who wants to kill the news is hoping for.”

Show Starring Avenatti and Scaramucci Is Being Pitched

“A television show featuring Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who is suing President Trump on behalf of a pornographic film actress, and the former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was pitched to two cable networks in recent weeks,” the New York Times reports.

“The prominent television agent Jay Sures discussed with executives at CNN and MSNBC the concept of a program where the two men would square off.”

An Evangelical Journalist Finds His Calling

New York Times: “While Mr. Trump attacks major news organizations and suggests revoking media credentials for outlets he deems ‘Fake News,’David Brody and his network enjoy a closeness to the White House that is foreign to most reporters. In return, Mr. Trump gets a direct line to his most supportive voters, the conservative evangelicals who make up CBN’s core audience. Their allegiance is critical to his success; more than 80 percent of white evangelicals who went to the polls in 2016 voted for Mr. Trump.

Said Brody: “The access has been phenomenal. I’m very appreciative to God for allowing it.”

Trump Threatens to Take Away Press Credentials

President Trump suggested in a tweet taking away news organizations’ press credentials over “negative” coverage.

Said Trump: “The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

It’s Time to End the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Margaret Sullivan: “It never has been a particularly good idea for journalists to don their fanciest clothes and cozy up to the people they cover, alongside Hollywood celebrities who have ventured to wonky Washington to join the fun. But in the current era, it’s become close to suicidal for the press’s credibility.”

“Trust in the mainstream media is low, a new populism has caught fire all over the Western world, and President Trump constantly pounds the news media as a bunch of out-of-touch elites who don’t represent the interests of real Americans.”

“The annual dinner — or at least the optics of the dinner — seem to back him up.”

Nate Silver: “The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is one seriously screwed-up ritual. Like, it’s literally like some weird shit you’d read about in an anthropology textbook.”

‘We Must Never Be As Wrong As This Again’

This is quite an editorial in the Montgomery Advertiser:

On the day when people from across the globe come to our capital city to consider the sordid history of slavery and lynching and try to reconcile the horrors of our past, the Montgomery Advertiser recognizes its own shameful place in the history of these dastardly, murderous deeds.

We take responsibility for our proliferation of a false narrative regarding the treatment of African-Americans in those disgraceful days.

The Advertiser was careless in how it covered mob violence and the terror foisted upon African-Americans from Reconstruction through the 1950s. We dehumanized human beings. Too often we characterized lynching victims as guilty before proven so and often assumed they committed the crime.

Read the whole thing…