The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: Feb. 2

In case you missed it — Why didn’t CNN’s Soledad O’Brien fire umpteen follow-up questions at Mitt Romney yesterday morning after he made his revealing statements about what socioeconomic classes he is and is not worried about? C’mon, Soledad.

Also: The new Jodi Kantor book, “The Obamas,” contains a episode that tracks back to a high-profile fight last fall over another book, Ron Suskind’s “Confidence Men.” The passage, in which an Obama aide uses abusive language in a meeting, lends some credence to stories that there were gender issues in the work environment at the White House.

Also also: Free Ben Smith.


*Politico reporter Jonathan Martin referred to the conservative counties in the Florida panhandle as “cracker” counties in an MSNBC segment previewing the vote in that state. ’Zat offensive? According to Big Journalism, yes. According to the Internet, uh, not really.

*Politico’s Tim Mak on Twitter this a.m.: “Joe Scarborough, on the ‘Breaking News’ banner on his show. ‘What are we, CNN? Take that down.’ ” There can never be too much needling of CNN over its “breaking” moments.

*Mediaite’s Nando Di Fino, with a breakdown of all the January ratings spin? Did MSNBC win? Yes, that’s what they say — at least vis-a-vis CNN. Did CNN win? Yes, that’s what they say — at least vis-a-vis MSNBC. Did Fox win? Yes, but they don’t say anything. Get the de-spun take here.

*You knew what Jon Stewart was going to satirize last night. Here’s the Romney quote that he had the most fun with: “There’s no question, it’s not good being poor.” Stewart: “They’ve got to play tennis on public courts. Ride rental ponies. When their butlers tuck them in at night, I can only imagine the thread count on their linens.”

*When Sarah Palin does her analysis segments on Fox News, she often opens with bland analysis, a few cliches — that is, it takes a little warming up before she starts going all counterfactual and offensive. In the segment below, with Bill O’Reilly, she breaks a land record in reaching for slime and distortion. Within 20 seconds, she says this:

That brutality will help Obama only if Americans can concede Obama’s point that he recently made, and that is that America has gotten lazy.

Shocker that O’Reilly didn’t point out that just about everyone else has now acknowledged what a crock this whole lazy claim is.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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