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February 9th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Rate media coverage of Pres. Obama?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are keeping a close eye on President Obama - just three weeks into his administration - but they're also focusing on the so-called "fourth" branch of government, the media.

Rate media coverage of Pres. Obama?

President Obama answers questions from the press on AIr Force One,

A new Gallup poll shows 38% of those surveyed don't think the press has been tough enough in its coverage of the new president. 11% say "too tough", while almost half - 48% - say "about right."

It's not surprising that Americans' views on media coverage of President Obama breaks down along party lines. Another recent poll showed most Democrats find it "about right", while most Republicans say it's "not tough enough." Independents are about evenly split.

When it comes to those who believe the media haven't been tough enough on President Obama, Gallup found an overwhelming majority of these people - 85 percent - are at least somewhat concerned that the news media won't be able to fulfill its duties of providing oversight of the administration.

You may recall this was a big deal during the Bush years - the public was quite critical of the media - saying they weren't tough enough in their questioning, particularly during the run-up to the Iraq war.

In just a few short weeks in office - President Obama has been all over the media - popping into the press room, doing sit-down interviews with network and cable news anchors, holding town hall meetings, and tonight his first prime-time news conference.

Here’s my question to you: How would you rate the media coverage of President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

February 6th, 2009
01:13 PM ET

How important is saving America’s newspapers?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"How to Save Your Newspaper: A Modest Proposal.” That's the cover story of TIME magazine this week. In it, Walter Isaacson – former managing editor of Time and the current CEO of the Aspen Institute – as well as my former boss here at CNN – writes how the crisis in journalism has reached meltdown proportions. He says we can now imagine a time when some big cities will no longer have a newspaper, saying that last year more people in this country got their news online for free than paid for it by buying newspapers and magazines.

How important is saving America’s newspapers?

News outlets now primarily rely on advertising revenue and not on newsstand sales and subscriptions.

Isaacson describes how news outlets now primarily rely on advertising revenue and not on newsstand sales and subscriptions. He says that in order for newspapers to survive they will have to charge for content by way of subscriptions. He also suggests introducing an easy payment system – like how people buy songs on i-Tunes or use an EZ pass.

It's clear that with the decline of advertising dollars, newspapers are in deep trouble. Publisher McClatchy reported a $21.7 million loss for the fourth quarter. It says it plans to cut about $100 million this year, it's unclear how much of that will come in the form of layoffs. Other companies like the New York Times, Gannett and Lee Enterprises have already reported lower profits in that same quarter. And, Rupert Murdoch's giant media conglomerate News Corp posted its biggest ever quarterly net loss this week, taking a write-down of $8.4 billion.

The CEO of another struggling company, the Sun-Times Media Group, says he'll resign at the end of the month – after the company announced last month it would close a dozen of its weekly papers and ask union workers to take a pay cut.

Here’s my question to you: How important is it to save America's newspapers?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Journalism • US News Media
January 23rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama’s press room visit: Was substantive question unfair?

ALT TEXT

President Barack Obama took an impromptu tour of the White House press work area yesterday. The president made the surprise visit on his second full day in office. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press room yesterday he was asked how he justifies his new policy banning lobbyists in his administration when his pick for Deputy Secretary of Defense lobbied for Raytheon.

President Obama said he just came to visit and this is what happens. He added that he wouldn't be able to stop around informally to visit if he gets grilled every time.

When the reporter from Politico pressed further the President got serious and, by some accounts, sounded irritated. He said, "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

During the 10-minute visit, President Obama was also asked if he's been able to work out or play basketball. And the President asked some questions of his own about who sits where and so on, as he checked out reporters' offices, shook hands with members of the press corps and noted how small the space is.

Here’s my question to you: Was it unfair to ask President Obama a substantive question during an informal visit to the White House press room?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 9th, 2009
05:59 PM ET

What Would You Ask Palin?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sarah Palin is back again. Now she's taking shots at Tina Fey, Katie Couric, John McCain and the media.

The former Vice Presidential candidate gave an exclusive interview to conservative John Ziegler for a documentary on how Barack Obama got elected.

What would you ask the governor?

In it, she lashes out at Tina Fey and Katie Couric for exploiting her during her 12-week odyssey as John McCain's running mate. She said a Saturday Night Live skit crossed the line when Fey, who parodied Palin, said marriage is a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers. It was a reference to Palin's then-pregnant and unmarried daughter.

Palin blamed the McCain campaign for the often referenced interview with CBS news anchor Katie Couric in which Palin couldn't name the newspapers she reads. She says it's all McCain's fault for granting additional access after the first interview with Couric went poorly. Poorly is an understatement. Palin came off as functionally illiterate.

Today Palin's office released a statement accusing the media of taking her statements out of context to, "create adversarial situations." She also says the media would have gone easier on her and her family if she'd been on the Democratic ticket. It should be noted that the conservative Ziegler went pretty easy on Palin, refusing to ask any difficult questions including, for example, what newspaper do you read, Governor?

Here’s my question to you: Is there anything you'd like to ask Sarah Palin?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Sarah Palin • US News Media
August 18th, 2008
06:20 PM ET

News media objective in presidential race?

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Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is whining about the media - again. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, wants to meet with the president of NBC News to protest the network's coverage... saying it's abandoning "non-partisan coverage" of the presidential race.

McCain's not happy with what NBC's Andrea Mitchell said on "Meet the Press" yesterday, when she questioned whether McCain may have known about some of the questions at the faith forum Saturday night ahead of time. John McCain was supposed to be held in a so-called "cone of silence" during Barack Obama's interview, which happened first. But it turns out McCain was in his motorcade on the way to Rick Warren's church during the interview.

Watch: Cafferty: Media objective?

McCain's campaign insists the Arizona Senator didn't hear the broadcast of the event in the car and didn't hear any questions. They say the insinuation from Obama's camp that McCain cheated is outrageous and they're going after Andrea Mitchell for "simply repeating Obama campaign talking points".

This isn't the first time McCain has been critical of the media's coverage of the race. The campaign recently put out a video spoofing how much the media love Obama.

A recent Pew Poll found 48% of those surveyed say they're hearing too much about Barack Obama, compared to 26% who feel the same way about John McCain. But, a media study that came out last month found that NBC, ABC, and CBS were tougher on Obama than they were on McCain during the first six weeks of the general election campaign.

Here’s my question to you: How would you rate the objectivity of the news media in covering the presidential race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: US News Media