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17 May 2011 16:18


Tech: Washington Post disputes Pew’s findings on Drudge influence

  • Washington Post cries foul on pew study: You may recall this research report by Pew, which claimed that Drudge Report (which, content aside, looks a lot like a Geocities page we made for a middle school project in the mid-90s) drove 15% of the Washington Post’s online traffic. David Carr even wrote a piece on the thing which feted Drudge. The folks at WaPo have responded, calling the report inaccurate and citing their own numbers, which credit 2.5% of their total traffic to Drudge. Pew used Nielsen data from three months in 2010, but three different companies working for WaPo failed to measure a percentage that cracked double digits over the same three months. source

18 Sep 2010 15:12


Politics: Michael Bloomberg decides to put his muscle behind the center

  • Backing Harry Reid and Meg Whitman. Pushing for cooperation. Where have you been? The NYC mayor, known for both his high-spending ways and his love of the iPad, has been starting to put some of his weight into a bunch of key national political campaigns lately. Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, has been making a concerted effort to help encourage more agreeability in Congress. Could Bloomberg, who thinks the Tea Party is a fad, run for president? He’d be someone we’d at least look at. source

07 Aug 2010 14:53


Politics: Dear AlterNet: Good job uncovering that Digg conspiracy

  • Digg’s prone to this kinda thingLook, there’s a reason why Digg is last year’s social media model. This, honestly, is why. It’s too easy to influence the results via collusion. And while AlterNet obviously leans left, the level of research into the story definitely leaves no doubt of a massive right-wing conspiracy to influence what gets on the front page of Digg. As they point out, this is actually a scandal, whereas the Journolist thing had the hype of a scandal but wasn’t anywhere near this bad.
  • The influence game Look, we have no real interest in Digg. We think human aggregation is more interesting than thumbs. But we have to say – in the game of influence, there’s a big difference between having an opinion and forcing an agenda. The journalists on Journolist? Their big crime was having an opinion. The guys at DiggPatriot? They forced an agenda and acted like they did nothing wrong. Which one is worse? It seems obvious now, doesn’t it? source

20 May 2010 22:12


U.S.: Texas’ Board of Ed about to pass controversial textbook changes

Fans of politicized textbooks, you’re in luck. Despite protests, Texas’ outsize influence is likely about to set the agenda for classrooms nationwide. source

21 Jan 2010 10:28


U.S.: Great. The Supreme Court turns off campaign funding limits

  • 5-4 douches beat cool people once again source

09 Jan 2010 19:59


Politics: Fox News’ Roger Ailes: Most powerful guy in the country?

  • Is Roger Ailes more powerful than Rupert Murdoch? We know that’s a controversial statement, but hear us out. The Fox News chief not only made more money than Murdoch himself last year (and put up the kind of numbers that made him deserve the paycheck), but the level of influence the guy wields arguably has a wider reach in politics. It’s something that’s directly affected elections and regularly pushes the news cycle forward. And it makes some members of the Murdoch family (who aren’t Rupert) uncomfortable.

A media icon with massive influence

  • Regardless of whether you like what he is doing, Roger Ailes is one of the most creative talents of his generation. He has built a media empire that is capable of driving the conversation, and, at times, the political process.
  • CNN political analyst David Gergen • Regarding the influence of Roger Ailes, who runs Fox News and has since 1996. Ailes got his start with the Nixon campaign and often brings that sort of political experience to the channel, controlling the conversation with pinpoint focus. source

Three events that defined Roger Ailes’ career

  • Don’t sell TV short Back in 1967, Ailes, then a producer on “The Mike Douglas Show,” bluntly told Richard Nixon that television wasn’t a gimmick and he needed to focus on it. His hardnosed response led to a role in the administration, the role of which was played up in the book “The Selling of the President 1968.” source
  • Willie Horton, superstar Ailes is largely responsible for turning convicted murderer Willie Horton into a household name during the 1988 presidential election. Horton was released from prison in Massachusetts on Michael Dukakis’ dime, and Horton’s face dominated TV during the era. It also helped to ensure a George H. W. Bush victory. source
  • America’s Talking Before the consultant started Fox News, Ailes conceived the talk-show-focused MSNBC precursor America’s Talking, which had a cult following (and led to the success of Chris Matthews) but ultimately faltered. In 2009, Fox started using the “America’s Talking” tagline. How ironic. It’s almost like a dart in NBC’s eye. source

Fox News rules the ratings

  • eight the number of consecutive years the network has led the cable news ratings roost
  • 16% increase in 2009’s ratings Fox News had over 2008; crazy part – it wasn’t even an election year
  • 96% increase in Glenn Beck’s ratings after moving to Fox News from Headline News in 2009 source

How much money does Roger Ailes make Fox News?

  • $700 million the amount Fox News makes in profit for News Corp. yearly – more than all the other major TV news outlets combined
  • $23
    the amount Fox News head Roger Ailes made last year – which is more than Rupert Murdoch, his boss made last year source
  • Too much influence? Some of Rupert Murdoch’s own family members have questioned just how much influence the guy has in the News Corp. corporate food chain. “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to,” said Matthew Freud, who’s married to Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth. source

Could he run for president? It’s possible

  • Friends have suggested he run in 2012. Ailes has influence and knowledge so strong that he could realistically have a shot if he took his political knowledge to the polls. “I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years,” says well-known Republican pollster Frank Luntz. “No one knows how to win better than Roger.” Ailes denies such claims, but the option’s always open just in case. source

15 Nov 2009 10:46


Biz: Mommy bloggers or mommy hawkers? Consumerism critics take note

Frito Lay and Nestle have swooned blogger Andrea Deckard over the last year. She says the trips inform readers. Critics say it’s clever marketing. source

01 Sep 2009 10:28


Music: Jay-Z: Huge Grizzly Bear fan. Who’da thunk it?

  • The thing I want to say to everyone – I hope this happens because it will push rap, it will push hip-hop to go even further – what the indie-rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring. It felt like us in the beginning.
  • Jay-Z • Regarding Grizzly Bear specifically (he was recently spotted at a show with Beyonce) and indie rock in general, and how what they’re doing inspires rap. He says that if they can break really big (well, Grizzly Bear did go top-ten on the Billboards earlier this year) “it will force hip-hop to fight to make better music.” • source

15 Aug 2009 14:18


U.S.: Feel the deluge of health care political ads? There’s a reason why

  • $57 million on political ads, most of it in the last 45 days source

13 Aug 2009 10:39


U.S.: Dick Cheney’s about to tell us how he really feels about Bush

  • It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times – never apologize, never explain – and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.
  • A colleague of Dick Cheney • Discussing Cheney’s thoughts on his former boss, George W. Bush. According to the colleague, Cheney was upset that, at some point, Bush took to heart public criticism and stopped listening to his advice. While Cheney has spent much of the last few months in the public eye, taking Barack Obama to task on his foreign policy, Cheney’s been working on a memoir airing the dirty laundry between the two men. Expect it to be out in 2011. We hope there’s multiple chapters about the time he shot that dude in the face. • source