Archive for November 8, 2012

Mark Whitaker’s Victory Lap

Posted in CNN on November 8, 2012 by icn2

CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor Mark Whitaker takes to the pages of to…uh…talk about how good his network’s election night coverage was…

A lot has been written about how cable news has become increasingly dominated by talk and opinion, because that’s what drives TV ratings. But as we began our planning for Election Night more than a year ago, CNN decided to go in the opposite direction and double down on our strength: reporting.

We pared back on the number of analysts in our studio and sent more reporters into the field. We invested in new state-of-the-art sets in our Washington bureau that allowed us to display electoral data more clearly and vividly than we ever had before.

We relied on two anchors, Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, who have always been more interested in conducting great correspondents than being soloists themselves. We asked our incomparable international reporters to keep track of what the rest of the world was saying about America’s vote—and we actually put them on our U.S. airwaves to talk about it.

We did it because we value facts more than opinions, but also because these days that’s what sets CNN apart. And we were glad to see that, for this historical night at least, it was what the public appeared to crave as well.

An average of more than 8.8 million viewers watched the evening’s coverage on our U.S. network, more than any other cable news network, and others followed it on CNN’s international networks around the world. The reviews are also in, and they tell us that our investment in covering the election as journalists was welcomed. “CNN Destroys Cable Competition on Election Night,” was only one gratifying headline, on a post by Erik Wemple, the media critic for The Washington Post.

Yeah, well CNN still had too much analysis from pundits on election night. Worse, the next morning the network went off the talking head pundit deep end; first with Soledad O’Brien, which was to be expected since that’s what she essentially does on CNN now, but then followed by Kate Bolduan and Joe Johns and their own pundit freak show which was neither expected nor desired. In total, CNN had between seven to eight hours of pundit programming after Midnight PST Wednesday.

CNN isn’t squeaky clean on the overuse of pundits Mark. Not by a long shot…


Free for All: 11/08/12

Posted in Free For All on November 8, 2012 by icn2

What’s on your mind?

Lawrence O’Donnell Profile

Posted in MSNBC on November 8, 2012 by icn2

The Dorchester Reporter’s Bill Forry profiles Lawrence O’Donnell… (via J$)

The trajectory of O’Donnell’s life — and that of his family — was changed forever in 1975 when his father decided to take on a racially charged wrongful death lawsuit involving the Boston Police Department. James Bowden, a husband and father of two, had been gunned down on a Mission Hill side street that January by a pair of Boston cops who presumed he was a robbery suspect. He wasn’t. And the cops’ account of how and why they opened fire on Bowden didn’t pass the smell test — even though the BPD’s perfunctory review of the incident had cleared them of any wrong-doing. When Bowden’s widow came to seek Lawrence O’Donnell, Sr.’s, counsel, she got it, in part, because of his memory of losing his dad in violent fashion.

Shortly after his dad filed the civil lawsuit, members of the now-infamous “TPF” — or Tactical Patrol Force— paid young Lawrence a visit at the Combat Zone parking lot where he was working nights. One of the cops clocked him over the head and two others stuffed him— handcuffed— into the back of a cruiser. The aim was pretty clear: The insular TPF crew needed a chip to horse trade with the elder O’Donnell at the courthouse the next day. Instead, a judge tossed out their trumped-up charge a week later. The message— if it was meant to intimidate the O’Donnells— had the opposite effect. Three years later, their firm scored a huge win and a $250,000 judgment for the Roxbury widow of Mr. Bowden. The TPF, which continued to wrack up brutality complaints in the years after Bowden’s murder, was itself put down by the police commissioner in 1979.
Continue reading

The Post vs. Matthews

Posted in MSNBC on November 8, 2012 by icn2

The New York Post editorializes against Chris Matthews…

Is there a smaller, more unprincipled man in the national political debate than Chris Matthews of MSNBC?

No, there is not.

Bereft of decency and devoid of soul, what mattered most for Matthews is that his candidate — in this case, President Obama — somehow was boosted over the top.

And if millions of his fellow citizens encounter appalling deprivations along the way — well, to Matthews, they’re just eggs to be broken for the Obama omelet.

“I’m so glad we had that storm last week,” he said Tuesday.

By which he meant Hurricane Sandy, which sowed death and destruction all along the East Coast — especially in the New York metropolitan region.

“The storm brought in possibilities for good politics,” he added — referencing polls suggesting Sandy gave Obama a critical jolt.

Never mind the 100-plus deaths.

Never mind the destruction.

Never mind the tens of thousands still huddled without heat or power on Staten Island. Or Breezy Point. Or the Rockaways and Coney Island.

In case you missd it, Matthews apologized for it already…