In case you missed it — Sarah Palin last made news in . . . when was that? I kinda forgot about it, and about her as well. But you can always count on Fox News to remind us that she’s still around!
Also: Because of its cover photo showing someone with an assault rifle, the December 2011 issue of the Atlantic Monthly has been withheld from an inmate in a California women’s facility. The official stipulation for the denial is a prohibition on the books: “no warefare or weaponary.” The Atlantic is appealing the ban in hopes of getting the mag to the inmate. Should the magazine prevail in that appeal, Erik Wemple Blog offers the state four other grounds on which to make the denial.
Also: Shame on the Ron Paul campaign for blaming the media.
*WaPo’s Dana Milbank writes about all the dirty little secrets of covering the New Hampshire primary. Stuff he wouldn’t want his editor to know about.
Forget door-knocking. In reality, it’s more trainspotting. Reporters hang out at candidate appearances — and restaurants — talking primarily among themselves and comparing notes on which canned events they attended. (Did you see Santorum in Salem? No, I went to Romney in Hudson so I could catch Newt in Nashua.)
*California media organizations collaborate! On a trip to check out a bullet train in Spain, one that’s supposed to be most like the one that California authorities “envision.”
What makes the Spain collaboration even more unique is that the news organizations got involved in the early planning process and then trusted a small team from two newsrooms to execute. The Bee produced the text stories, photos and video. California Watch produced the multimedia and graphics and split the editing duties with Fresno. There was no meddling or micromanaging from other partners.
How did we get to this point?
The seeds for the high-speed rail collaboration were planted a year ago, when we launched the new California Watch Media Network. Members of the network subscribe to a set number of stories produced by the state’s largest investigative reporting team. Members also get our story lists so they know what we have in the works. The first members of the network included The Fresno Bee, The Sacramento Bee, The Orange County Register, The Bakersfield Californian and the San Francisco Chronicle.
*Step up, journalists, and advocate for your interests. Here are three issues that Josh Stearns of SaveTheNews.org claims journos need to be on top of: 1) enhanced disclosure for TV news, including revenues from political advertisements; 2) media consolidation; 3) and the tax status of nonprofit journalism outfits.
*Media Matters puts some highlighter on the exchange below between Fox host Eric Bolling and key Romneyite Jennifer Horn. Interviewer and interviewee stroll through the segment in perfect ideological lockstep: Bolling: “We’re all on board if Mitt’s it, but until then we just have to make sure he stays as far right as possible. That’s my job.”
Horn responds: “That’s all of our job.”
I’ve long been interested in dredging up a copy of Bolling’s job description, so he saved me some work with his on-air disclosure. It’s tendentious work, pushing a candidate toward the extreme end of the political spectrum. Doing so complicates so many of the other tasks that viewers may expect of a suit-wearing guy on a TV news channel, such as reporting the facts and being fair. But at least we now know where Bolling’s coming from.