Rupert Murdoch excused himself from his British newspaper interests, Chris Hayes attempts to distinguish MSNBC from Fox News, and the world loses one of its first and most fierce media critics to ever swing at the inside baseball. These are your Monday Morning Media Briefs:
News Corp godfather Rupert Murdoch capitalized on a weekend in which he could bury news about himself, by burying news about himself. The bejoweled Mr. Murdoch has removed one of his many hats—his directorship of News Corp’s British tabloids—more likely than not because it is collectively the Von Dutch Trucker Hat of his media empire: A classically bad look, that continues to get worse by the day. Here’s the Murdoch Spin. Here’s a John Gapper column about it with a great drawing at the top of Murdoch cutting himself in half, ha. At this juncture, it’s difficult to properly assess the significance of this news, seeing as how Michael Wolff has yet to pen a vaguely conspiratorial column explaining this as further evidence of Mr. Murdoch’s enjoyment of tea sandwiches spread with Terrine of Plump Impoverished Children. Also, someone at The Daily Beast called this a “Saigon Moment” which is a little melodramatic and hyperbolic but also kind of hysterical and British of them, so it works. [Financial Times, Daily Beast]
The acerbic and brilliant Scottish-American columnist and author Alexander Cockburn died on Saturday at 71, from complications relating to cancer. Among his many achievements, he famously started The Village Voice‘s media column, Press Clips, and was a first-wave media critic, the likes of which this writer and many others like him do a piss-poor imitation of, to this day, in obtuse, failing tribute. Cockburn is survived by his daughter, two brothers, and several nieces and nephews, notes the Times, in a thorough obituary for the man. [NYT / Media]
In a lengthy Q & A with Talking Points Memo, MSNBC’s weekend blogger anchor Chris Hayes shares the best advice he’s ever received: “My mom once told me: If you’re on the fence about going to a funeral, you should always go.” Honestly: Better than we’d hoped. He also tries to explain the difference between MSNBC and Fox News, which, whatever it was, Dylan Byers at Politico astutely picked apart: “The problem with Hayes’ distinction is that, no matter how you get from point A to point B, you get there.” [TPM, Politico]
Also from this weekend’s Times Magazine, further kvetching about “curation” and Why It Makes People Angry, as if this isn’t a third-wave debate that doesn’t date back to 2005 (concerning bloggers as threatening the existence of everything sacred). Which is besides the fact this particular piece begins with the words “Years ago, in my penurious and somewhat traumatic 20s,” a “GERIATRICS X-ING” traffic sign for wordage consumption, if there ever was one. [NYT Magazine]
Despite a This American Life story that was media reporting’s version of a PETA video where one watches adorable baby chicks get ground up into McNuggets, the Chicago Tribune is sticking with hyperlocal journalism factory farm Journatic. But don’t worry, it’s okay: They hired a consultant. That always helps. [Jim Romenesko]
Scandal rocks Garden & Gun: They retouched a dog on the cover! Hilariously, in this NYT story on the old, storied, and not-at-all-new tradition of magazines retouching photos, the Garden & Gun dog was the lede. [NYT / Arts]
Buzzfeed’s John Hermann gives credit where it’s due: Some Kid On Reddit did an excellent job rounding up news on the shooting in Aurora, and no doubt, half the people covering it for outlets on the Internet took their cues from him, because that’s how it works now. Elsewhere, someone on Reddit is still really concerned about misandry. Also, there needs to be a single-serve Tumblr for every time Buzzfeed writes about Reddit (as opposed to simply culling content sans-credit from it). It should be called IS THE BUZZFEED REDDIT MOBIUS STRIP ONRAMP OPEN TODAY? DOT TUMBLR DOT COM. [BuzzFeed]
Finally: The lovely albatross of the Observer‘s media desk for the last year and a half has been liberated from abdicated the position, and this writer will be filling in the interim. Please send your tips, gossip, rhetoric, legal threats, inspirational quotes, and freshman year poetry—along with, while we’re at it, your nominations for Media Power Couples, Bachelors, and Bachelorettes (which, due to unpopular demand, we’ll be doling out again soon)—right this way.
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