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.

Best Reporting

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.

31 Responses to “ICN’s 2014 List (Because You Have to Have a List At The End Of The Year)”

  1. Keith Ablow doesn’t just represent political tools, past and present. He represents an entire profession, while popping out the psychiatric Pez that serves as bias-confirmation for Fox viewers. Unlike Beckel and Starnes, he’s a two-fer.

  2. bushleaguer Says:

    Good list, Spud. Merry Christmas to you and to everyone else here!

    Just my 2 cents in regards to Most Overlooked Story/Biggest Media Fail – my choice would be Afghanistan. We still have thousands of troops in the country who are both training the Afghans and fighting the Taliban. Where are we at with Afghanistan? When can we expect the Afghans to take the lead in defending their own country? Are we still working on infrastructure? How many schools have we set up and are they safe? What about the burgeoning opium production……are we going to just let that be?
    Anyone from the media want to ask any of these questions? Anyone? Bueller?

  3. You don’t have this category, but Worst New Show – which I thought would be Ronan Farrow Daily, but I’ve started liking it lately – goes to Outnumbered. Roger Ailes has finally completed the pornification of news media with an entire show built on the Leg Chair. Then he throws in “one lucky guy”, which used to be relegated to plots on Vivid Video. It’s embarrassing.

  4. “charicature of a charicature”

    My intent is not to be a jerk, but the above should be spelled caricature.

  5. !#$#@$%@ Fixed.

  6. I’ve had to let spell-check deal with that word more than once.

  7. bushleaguer Says:

    joe – everything you said re: Outnumbered is true, with the exception of it being an embarrassment.

    It’s genius. Think of all the married men who get to tune in and gaze at those long, glistening legs glowing under those studio lights. Suddenly the wife walks into the room, looks at the TV and then turns to her husband and yells – “What the heck are you watching?” Every husband can just turn to his wife and truthfully say – “Honey, it’s the news.”

  8. “Worst Collective Decision By A Network
    CNN’s decision to stick to it’s 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.”

    ^^Whether you agree with how CNN and Zakaria dealt with the plagiarism charges you have to agree they worked. I’m agnostic on them, as I think Fareed Zakaria is one of the best, if not the best, foreign affairs host/analysis on TV and the whole story was very confusing mess, at least to me.

    The story is now history; Zakaria has lost almost none of his reputation and CNN successfully navigated a ‘scandal’ that could have gone very differently if the took the apology/suspension route.

    It seems to me; that if you only deal with the results of the decision; and not the guilt or innocence of Zakaria (which we can debate); this is one of the best collective decisions by a network; not the worst.

  9. “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.”

    ^^There was no real “scandal that enveloped” Fareed Zakaria because, as you say, almost no one wrote about or only made passing reference to the story. There were some charges made by anonymous bloggers and a few follow-up stories but that’s it.

    It’s a bit like the IRS scandal; something may have happened but the story is too confusing and it’s advocates never were able too make the story easy to understand; so the MSM mostly stayed away. And like in the IRS story the MSM may know something the ‘scandal’ promoters don’t – there is no real story here.

  10. – Outnumbered –
    What’s funny is when you hear fans of the network brag about what great ratings that show gets, right before deriding CNN for the Rowe/Ling/Bourdain parade. Bushleaguer and Joe have succinctly described what Outnumbered is about, and it ain’t “news”.

  11. I appreciate the sarcasm in your case with “genius”, Bushleaguer, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that word applied unironically to Ailes because he had the “genius” to grab news consumers with hot babes. They say this like “sex sells” is a new concept Roger discovered! Drives me crazy.

  12. Good list and great writeup.

  13. Oh, and Merry Christmas, ICNers.

  14. savefarris Says:

    Biggest Media Fail

    This one needs to be broken out by network:

    CNN: Carol Costello:
    Dear Carol,
    Thanks for singlehandedly undercutting the entire #waronwomen narrative we’ve been building for over two years now. Thanks!
    Sincerely, the White House

    FNC: BenghaziYes, it was a avoidable failure. Yes, people needlessly died when they could have been saved. But as Lt. Weinberg observed, “You object once, so we can say he’s [a spectacularly incompetent President]. If you keep after it, it looks like a bunch of fancy [media] tricks.”

    MSNBC: Bridgegate: Never were so many words spilled about such a nothingburger. We never got to a David Shuster-level “He’ll be indicted over the weekend”, but we came AWFULLY close. Was made even worse when later in the year MSNBC did exactly what Christie was accused of over Ferguson/Garner.

    Most Overlooked Story of the Year

    The 2014 Wave. The thing that everyone saw coming but didn’t want to talk about very much. This is less on the cable outlets and more on the networks. ABC went 2 months without mentioning the midterms?!? That’s outright malpractice.

    Biggest Story in 2015 That Actually Happened in 2014 Only Noone Covered It As Such

    The Gruber Videos: It was almost impossible to ignore the story about the author of the bill extemporaneously validating critic’s legal arguments against the biggest piece of legislation in the last half-century, but boy did a lot of networks try!

  15. savefarris Says:

    Biggest HTML Fail: The last post.

    Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!!

  16. Yes, people needlessly died when they could have been saved.

    No, that is not true. No matter how many times crappy rightwing media says it. There was no rescue option considered viable by the time it was known that the attack was in progress. No one left those men behind.

  17. Nice job, farris.

  18. “We never got to a David Shuster-level “He’ll be indicted over the weekend”, but we came AWFULLY close.”

    ^^Not really. The case is still under investigation by the US attorney. Last I heard multiple indictments against Christie staff and cronies, were possible – maybe in January.

    But who knows, unlike Christie, this US attorney doesn’t try his cases in the media.

  19. savefarris Says:

    MSNBC will no longer have someone on the inside of the White House.

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-personal-chef-hang-apron-6-years-082225857.html

    It’s not to late for Sharpton and Valerie Jarrett to get hitched!

  20. ^ Dude, try to make some effort to address the topic of the thread you’re posting to.

  21. Some Best/Worst action. I think Washington Examiner is known as conservative-skewed (perhaps no more than CJR to the Left), but not letting conservative outlets off the hook.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/here-are-the-5-best-and-9-worst-moments-for-media-in-2014/article/2557839

    http://www.cjr.org/darts_and_laurels/the_worst_journalism_of_2014.php?page=all

  22. The most underreported story is the drop in gas prices. Yes, it’s great for consumers, but it is impacting Russia, ISIS, undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.

  23. “Yes, it’s great for consumers, but it is impacting Russia, ISIS, undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.”

    ^^Plus tar sands oil and Iran and Venezuela. It’s the reason the Saudi’s allowed it to happen.

  24. Undermining the need for fracking? Huh?

  25. Come on @lone. Lower gas prices mean there’s no need for fracking. Just like there’s no need for wind or solar power either! And we can all go back to driving Hummers and sports cars!

    Makes perfect sense.

  26. “Come on @lone. Lower gas prices mean there’s no need for fracking.”

    ^^Lower gas prices doesn’t mean “no need for fracking”; just that when gas prices drop to a certain point the cost to get the oil out of the ground using this method is prohibitively high.

    But ,of course, you knew that.

  27. Worst Déjà Vu: oh goodie, another missing plane in the South Pacific!

  28. @fritz

    Then why didn’t you address that when @dan said, “…undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.”

  29. “Then why didn’t you address that when @dan said, “…undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.”

    ^^What???

  30. @fritz

    @dan said, “The most underreported story is the drop in gas prices. Yes, it’s great for consumers, but it is impacting Russia, ISIS, undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.”

    Instead of saying, “Lower gas prices doesn’t mean “no need for fracking”,” you said, “Plus tar sands oil and Iran and Venezuela. It’s the reason the Saudi’s allowed it to happen.”

    In other words, you only addressed the idea that lower gas prices will end the need for fracking, when @lone and I were snarking about it. So my question is/was, why did you address that in your initial response?

  31. Blue
    First, not to speak for Dan, but his comment doesn’t say low oil prices undermine (or end) the need for fracking. It says it “undermines the need for Keystone”.

    It’s a list.
    “the drop in gas prices…is impacting Russia, ISIS, undermining the need for Keystone and possibly fracking.”
    If there was a link between Keystone and fracking there would be another ‘and’ (instead of a comma) after ISIS.

    Second, I never “addressed the idea that lower gas prices will end the need for fracking”; I just added three items to Dan’s list: “Plus tar sands oil and Iran and Venezuela.” There are many more I could have mentioned. I also commented on the main reason why I thought oil prices were falling; “It’s the reason the Saudi’s allowed it to happen.”

    You and LS just misread Dan’s comment and couldn’t resist the excuse for misplaced snark.

    Third’ lower oil prices could, if they continue for some time, not so much undermine the need for (or end) fracking; but rather the ability to produce oil using this method in a cost effective way.

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