ICN’s 2014 List (Because You Have to Have a List At The End Of The Year)
Mediaite put out another Best and Worst list for 2014. But I’m not going to run through it item by item like I did last year because they pivoted off what they did last year and there’s not enough relevant stuff for me to chew on. So this time I’m just going to pick certain categories they used as well as come up with a few that they should have used but didn’t…
But first, an update…
Last year when I did this I said this about the Worst New Hire category…
Baldwin would probably get the nod but not so much because he was a bad hire but because his show was so awful. However part of me is hedging because I’m wondering if next year I’ll be looking back on this year wanting to scratch out Baldwin’s name and replace it with Ronan Farrow’s.
As I feared, I am having to retroactively scratch out Alec Baldwin’s name and replace it with Ronan Farrow’s for Worst New Hire of 2013. Now on to 2014…
Biggest Story of the Year
Mediate started out with Biggest Story of the Year and gave it to Feguson. I don’t think you can give it to Ferguson yet. It depends on whether Ferguson changes America permanently. That isn’t something you can determine at this stage.
In any case, I would have replaced that with either MH370, Ukraine’s turmoil and the return of the Cold War, or the rise of ISIL. All three of those stories dominated the world’s news coverage in ways Ferguson never could and never will.
Most Overblown Story of the Year
Mediaite gave it to Ebola in America. Yeah it was overblown but nowhere near as overblown as CNN’s coverage of MH370. And yes, you can have the Biggest Story of the Year also be the Most Overblown Story of The Year…if you screw it up like CNN did.
Our Bad Media’s relentless coverage of Fareed Zakaria’s plagiarism problems.
Most Overlooked Story of the Year/Biggest Media Fail/Worst Reporting
Mediaite had Worst Reporting but I’m going to expand that to include Most Overlooked Story of the Year and Biggest Media Fail. And the winner goes to everyone who didn’t write about Fareed Zakaria or just made passing reference to the scandal that enveloped him, CNN, Time, Newsweek, Slate, and The Washington Post.
If most of the rest of the media writers out there (excluding a select handful like Politico’s Dylan Byers who really stepped up his game on this one) had shown 1/4 of the determination and resolve of @blippoblappo & @crushingbort, instead of shrugging their collective shoulders like they did, CNN would not be sitting in the relatively comfortable position it currently sits in.
Shame media writers. Shame.
Best TV Pundits
None. How can you have a Best in a category that is by definition awful?
Worst TV Pundits
Too many to mention.
And now, instead of getting into a Best Host/Worst Host thing like Mediaite did, I’m going to come up with a new category: Biggest Embarrassment To Network X Whether They Realize It Or Not…
Biggest Embarrassment to MSNBC Whether They Realize It Or Not
Ronan Farrow/Al Sharpton (tie) – Farrow for his inept hosting and awful show, Sharpton for being at the network in the first place and having too many conflicts of interest.
Biggest Embarrassment to FNC Whether They Realize It Or Not
Keith Ablow – I would love to make this a tie with Bob Beckel or Todd Starnes but Ablow blows both of them out of the water. It’s a caricature of a caricature inside a satire enveloped by a tragedy.
Biggest Embarrassment to CNN Whether They Realize It Or Not
I already mentioned Zakaria several times here so I’m disqualifying him from further notation. So that leaves…
Don Lemon – Black holes, marijuana in the air, penis biting, gang signs, saying you weren’t trying to do exactly what you were trying to do. CNN has finally found its replacement for Rick Sanchez.
Note: I was sorely tempted to make this a tie with Carol Costello. However, unlike Lemon, Costello has at least acknowledged her horrendous gaffe, apologized, and shown contrition (though not enough contrition for some). Lemon just keeps on chugging along, apparently operating under the belief that any press, no matter how damaging it may be, is good press for an ambitious prime time cable news host wannabe.
Best New Hire
Nobody stood out so I don’t think anyone deserves this award.
Worst New Hire
Ditto. There weren’t a lot of new hires in 2014 and of those nobody really face planted.
Biggest Media Relations Mess
The Weather Channel’s PR campaign during its carriage dispute with DirecTV. If you believed the Weather Channel, it was practically a national resource, essential TV, and not having it put people’s lives in danger. Fortunately most people are not that insane.
Worst Collective Decision By A Network
CNN’s decision to stick to its totally non-operative statement that it had looked at the Fareed Zakaria controversy and found that he worked within their standards. That statement came out before the most damaging examples of Zakaria’s alleged plagiarism came out.