In case you missed it — Daily Mail shows everyone how to drive web traffic. Don’t link, that is.

Also: Mitt Romney tells an interviewer that it’s easy to dis a moderator at a national debate, and that the tactic plays to the crowd. Then, hey, give it a shot, candidate.


* Here’s a great story by Ivan Goldman about his time writing for The Ring, a boxing mag. How hard was it for Goldman to tear himself away from this beat?

I’d always told myself that if I ever sat ringside at a fight in which a boxer was actually killed, I’d quit. Then one night in Carson, California, I watched Victor Burgos, a mediocre but game junior flyweight out of Mexico, get hammered into a coma by the freakishly hard-hitting Vic Darchinyan. Burgos lasted into the twelfth round before collapsing. He survived a coma and brain surgery. Weeks later he left the hospital and melted into a barrio across the border. His promoter was Don King, and King’s spokesman at the time told me that King had paid Burgos’s hospital bills. Perhaps he provided for him in other ways as well. Perhaps not. The fight was in 2007. About a year ago I spoke with a bantamweight who had run into Burgos down in Tijuana. I asked how he was doing, hoping for a fairy-tale answer. The bantam just shook his head. Well, I still hadn’t seen a fighter die in the flesh. Not exactly.

* Can’t believe this — Fox News Channel beat the other cables on State of the Union coverage. People flooded the post-address programming.

*Joe Pompeo goes deep on Rolling Stoner Michael Hastings. It’s all good stuff, except for the scene lede, which ledes nowhere; it captures Hastings smoking a cigarette before entering a building. Oh well, Pompeo sums up Hastings’s new book in this fashion:

Some of the more revelatory passages include Hastings’ unmasking of the anonymous McChrystal staffer quoted in the Rolling Stone piece as pretending to confuse “Biden” with “Bite me”; insider dish about the tensions between Petraeus and his rivals; accounts of unnamed female TV reporters using their breasts to get access to military subjects; and, of course, lots of gratuitous alcohol consumption by McChrystal and his aides. The book also describes boozing of a more somber nature during a scene in which Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin organize an impromptu Irish wake at the Ritz Carlton near George Washington University Hospital, where U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke died on Dec. 13, 2010. And at least one nugget has gone viral — a passage in which a cranky President Obama complains about having to take pictures with troops on a visit to Baghdad. After the website BuzzFeed highlighted the anecdote, The Drudge Report gleefully promoted the item.

“You’re not gonna get a link on The Drudge Report unless there’s [present participle expletive] news in your book,” said Hastings.

* And talking about going deep: Media Matters for America spent more than a few hours mining coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline debate and news coverage. Its findings? A crude and massive tilt in favor of pipeline proponents. According to the left-leaning research mill, the media was credulous about the job-creation angle, too eager to quote advocates of the proposal, and so on. Here’s the nut graph:

A Media Matters analysis shows that as a whole, news coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline between August 1 and December 31 favored pipeline proponents. Although the project would create few long-term employment opportunities, the pipeline was primarily portrayed as a jobs issue. Pro-pipeline voices were quoted more frequently than those opposed, and dubious industry estimates of job creation were uncritically repeated 5 times more often than they were questioned. Meanwhile, concerns about the State Department’s review process and potential environmental consequences were often overlooked, particularly by television outlets.

* The following Univision interview with Newt Gingrich is being hailed as the toughest that the speaker has faced in a long time. Gingrich, to his credit, does a nice job of countering the Lewinsky-open marriage equivalency question. Jorge Ramos badgers Gingrich, saying that people think it’s ”hypocritical to criticize President Clinton for doing the same thing you were doing at the same time.” Easy answer for Gingrich: Clinton, perjury, felony!