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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 08:04 AM ET, 06/27/2012

Media news derivatives: June 27

In case you missed it---First: Newt Gingrich spends week in, week out turning in guest appearances on Fox News Channel. Second: Gingrich’s campaign winds down, and the candidate claims that CNN is less biased toward him than is Fox News. Third: Gingrich pretty much disappears as a guest from Fox News.

Mediaite delivers an elbow squarely into the jaw of the Erik Wemple blogger. The gist: Why is it news that Gingrich would be absent from Fox News airwaves? After all, Fox News chief Roger Ailes made the following quip after Gingrich in April complained that CNN was less biased than Fox in the Republican primary: He’s “trying to get a job at CNN because he knows he isn’t going to get to come back to Fox News.”

Fine, but Ailes in that case was addressing Gingrich’s possible status as a paid analyst/contributor to Fox. A guest is something altogether different — it’s a newsmaker, someone to be interviewed for the benefit of viewers. Think the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal would stop seeking interviews with a politician if he called them biased?

Elsewhere:

*Nora Ephron has died.

— Huffington Post does a quick summary of a life.

— Women’s Wear Daily writes of its tempestuous relationship with Ephron.

— The New York Times:

“Everything is copy,” her mother once said, and she and her husband proved it by turning the college-age Nora into a character in a play, later a movie, “Take Her, She’s Mine.” The lesson was not lost on Ms. Ephron, who seldom wrote about her own children but could make sparkling copy out of almost anything else: the wrinkles on her neck, her apartment, cabbage strudel, Teflon pans and the tastelessness of egg-white omelets.

— San Jose Mercury News breaks down the Twitter response.

— The Washington Post:

As a young woman, Ms. Ephron modeled her self-deprecating and deadpan writing style on Dorothy Parker, part of the Algonquin Round Table of sophisticated New York writers and humorists that also included Robert Benchley and S.J. Perelman. Of the philandering husband in her 1983 novel “Heartburn” — modeled on her marriage to former Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein — Ms. Ephron wrote he was “capable of having sex with a Venetian blind.”

*NBC-owned television stations are watching the tweets of their employees.

“We ask them to think and use common sense,” [station group ombudsman Kevin Keeshan] says. “Don’t post anything we’re not prepared to broadcast.”
Keeshan says the policy is necessary to protect the reputations of both personnel and the news organizations they represent a time when “there is a tendency to be more flip and looser with the jargon and vernacular of the times on social media.”
Any news person who wants to post an opinion on an issue of note has to clear it with a manager first. The company’s policy also calls on news staffers to “clearly identify themselves” as NBC Universal employees across the medium, he says.

*Dylan Byers of Politico takes an in-depth look at the woes of CNN. Two main conclusions: 1) There’s an identity crisis at the network; 2) The protestations of executives that they’re a premium news service — and not a vehicle for a mass audience — are tough to take seriously.

In meetings, [Washington bureau chief Sam] Feist has said that people should think of CNN as a premium channel for news, the way CNBC is a premium channel for finance. That thinking benefits CNN, because people never judge CNBC based on its ratings, which are very low. But it is also a radical admission for a network that, from its launch in 1980 until 10 years ago, was the leading cable news network on television — and one that the industry may therefore have a hard time taking seriously.

*Suspended Politico reporter Joe Williams tells Mediaite: “I gave [Breitbart.com] the rope, but they did the hanging.”

By  |  08:04 AM ET, 06/27/2012

Tags:  newt gingrich, fox news, nora ephron, san jose mercury news, new york times, huffington post, joe williams, politico

 
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