The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: Feb. 7

In case you missed it — Media-related stuff pertaining to the Republican presidential primary is a bit idle right about now. So things are a bit quiet.

Which means that the homophobic tweets of Roland Martin can get all the attention they deserve. The CNN analyst is now on Round 2 of fashioning unsatisfactory apologies for essentially inviting people to beat up on those who enjoyed David Beckham’s underwear ad. This is what he said: “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.”

The statement that Martin released last night is a classic media culpa, complete with the line, “I am sorry for any offense my remarks caused.” Leaving open the possibility, of course, that they didn’t, in fact, cause any offense whatsoever.

Also: Why Ross Douthat was off-base about the alleged bias in media coverage of the Susan G. Komen meltdown of last week.


*Convicted felon/newly minted blogger Jack Abramoff hints that he’s got the skinny on more law-breaking in federal Washington. But Abramoff says he’s not going to venture into tell-all territory, according to the New York Times: “I can’t be the agent of causing someone to go to prison,”Abramoff said in an appearance in Washington Monday.

*Paul Carr hammers David Carr for celebrating the work of BuzzFeed. Paul Carr says that David Carr jumped too fast to credit BuzzFeed for its commitment to original content, citing its scoop that John McCain was due to endorse Mitt Romney following the Iowa caucuses. Paul Carr says David Carr overstated things in citing the McCain scoop as evidence of “news muscles.”

That’s it. Oh, and they’ve added a “2012″ category to contain future scoops of that magnitude. A button which, by the way, sits beside the site’s other categories: ‘“LOL,” “cute,” “win,” “fail,” “omg,” “geeky,” “trashy” and “wtf?”’.

Though I do believe that BuzzFeed has gotten a disproportionate share of media attention over the past month and one week — a bit of it supplied by me — it ain’t right to diminish what BuzzFeed has been doing on the original-content front. The relatively few staffers that have come on board to cover politics have been journalism machines for the LOL-friendly site. In addition to those cited by David Carr in his column (“Matt Buchanan from Gawker Media; John Herrman from Popular Mechanics; Rosie Gray from the Village Voice, and Doree Shafrir from Rolling Stone”), I would add the maniacally industrious Zeke J. Miller and the resourceful Andrew Kaczynski. Paul Carr claims that the work the BuzzFeed reporting team is doing is “[h]ardly stuff that will make the New York Times politics reporters lose sleep . . .

Not a fair standard: New York Times politics reporters are reputed to be deep sleepers.

*Joe Scarborough, enraged by the Obama administration’s birth-control mandate vis-a-vis the Catholic Church. “The Catholic Church is being attacked by so many people out there in the blogosphere and the far left.”

*Howard Kurtz continues flogging his point that the media campaigned for the apology/retrenchment of the Susan G. Komen foundation last week. “As a reporter, as a journalist, I try to provide both sides. On this issue, a lot of people are not interested in both sides. They feel very, very strongly, either pro-Komen foundation or anti-Komen foundation on this sensitive subject. And so the coverage, while it made kind of a bow in the direction of finding out people who thought that what the Komen did was a good thing, because they are opposed to abortion or don’t like Planned Parenthood, the majority of the way the story was framed, the tone of the story, in most media outlets was that this was a very dumb thing.”

Then Kurtz concedes, “Komen foundation handled it stupidly.”

So what’s the problem, Kurtz? Coverage reflects reality!

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


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