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February 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why doesn't Palin want news media to cover some of her speeches?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sarah Palin may be talking; but it sounds like she doesn't want the media to hear her.
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The Orlando Sentinel reports that Palin is banning all video and sound recordings at two high-profile, big-ticket speeches in Florida in the next month.

Sponsors of these speeches say the rules for the events are set by Palin's agents. Members of the media can buy a ticket like anyone else - for a couple hundred bucks, that is. But no pictures, audio or video recording allowed. Also, Palin has banned media in most cases at her book signings - except for brief photo-ops.

You'd think someone considering a run for the White House in 2012 would want as much media coverage as possible. Which is what happens whenever the former VP candidate opens her mouth. The media just eat it up.

But that may be part of the problem too: Take Palin's widely covered Tea Party speech for example, where media coverage was allowed: While the base loves what she's selling, Palin has come under lots of criticism for the crib notes she had scribbled on her hand.

Meanwhile new poll numbers suggest Palin may want to reconsider a potential White House run. A Washington Post-ABC News survey shows only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable view of her - 55 percent have an unfavorable view.

Plus a whopping 71 percent say Palin is not qualified to be president - that includes more than half of Republicans. Only a quarter think she is qualified to sit in the Oval Office. Wonder who those people are?

Here’s my question to you: Why does Sarah Palin not want the news media to cover some of her speeches?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media • Sarah Palin
November 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Does Tiger Woods owe an explanation?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

He's the most recognizable name in sports and arguably the greatest golfer who ever lived. But Tiger Woods has a problem.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/30/art.tiger.woods.jpg caption="Tiger Woods has canceled plans to attend his own golf tournament."]

Woods earns millions playing golf and hundreds of millions more in endorsements. One estimate has him as the first billionaire sports star. The mind-boggling endorsement money is based in part on Woods' squeaky clean image and his ability to persuade the rest of us to buy the products he's selling.

But last week a tabloid alleged that Woods has been having an affair with a New York nightclub hostess. According to the Associated Press - the woman has denied having an affair with Woods.

Then last Friday at 2:25 in the morning, Tiger crashed his SUV leaving his driveway - hitting a fire hydrant and then a tree. The neighbor who called 911 said Woods was unconscious at the scene of the accident, and police said he had cuts and bruises on his face. He was taken to the hospital and treated and released.

For three days Woods refused to meet with state police to talk about what happened. He still hasn't and he's not legally obligated to.

The airbags on his car didn't deploy, but his face was cut and swollen. Police say when they arrived they found Woods' wife over him - claiming to have broken out the rear window of his SUV with a golf club to help him escape.

Then yesterday a terse statement from Woods on his web site saying it is all a private matter and nobody else's business.

Finally - late this afternoon, word that Woods has canceled plans to attend his own golf tournament in California because of his injuries.

Here’s my question to you: Does Tiger Woods owe anyone an explanation?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Media Coverage • News Media
September 21st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should gov't bail out newspaper industry?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is open to the idea of bailouts for the struggling newspaper industry.

The president says although he hasn't seen detailed proposals, he'd be happy to look at bills before Congress meant to aid newspapers. One bill in the Senate, known as the Newspaper Revitalization Act, would give tax breaks to newspapers if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

In an interview with the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Toledo Blade - The president calls himself a "big newspaper junkie," and says that good journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy."

He talks about the challenge of maintaining journalistic integrity and fact-based reporting in the light of a changing news landscape. Mr. Obama says he's concerned about the trend toward more blogs that have a lot of opinions but not much fact-checking.

And there's no question that newspapers are a dying breed... Thousands of journalists have been laid off and several newspapers have been closed in the last few years. The industry is also reeling from the economic downturn; trying to find a way to hold onto readers while newspapers lose advertising revenue to the Internet.

But the government propping up the newspaper industry could be a very slippery slope, as it could very easily put the press "in bed" with the very people they are charged with protecting us from - the government.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government bail out the newspaper industry?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media
September 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

News media responsible for outbreaks of rude behavior in U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Ask the president and he'll tell you it's the news media's fault that the country has descended into a screeching, yelling, nasty batch of rudeness and lack of manners.

Serena Williams argues a call by the line judge which led to her disqualification during the Women's Singles Semifinal match of the U.S. Open.

President Obama appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows - which is a lot even by this visible president's standards. The idea was for Mr. Obama to continue selling his health care plan to the American people, which by the way, some Republicans now say is dead.

But during several of these interviews - although President Obama insisted he wasn't doing media-bashing - he seemed to do media bashing.

Right here on CNN, the president called out the three cable news networks, and said the easiest way to get on any of them is to "say something rude and outrageous." He said if people are polite and sensible and don't exaggerate about their opponent, it's harder to get noticed by the press.

President Obama said that instead he'd like to see "all of us reward decency and civility in our political discourse."

The president went on to say news organizations can't get enough of the conflict, calling it "catnip to the media." He says in the 24-hour-news cycle, the extreme elements on both sides get the most attention. And he's right.

Just last week in the Cafferty File, we reported on celebrities from Kanye West to Serena Williams to Congressman Joe Wilson behaving badly; and about what their uncivilized behavior says about the rest of society.

Here’s my question to you: Are the news media responsible for the recent outbreak of rude behavior across America?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media • U.S. Global Image • United States
July 31st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Will truth about Jackson's death come out?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It might be a long time - if ever - before the public finds out what really happened to Michael Jackson. The Los Angeles coroner's office has now indefinitely delayed releasing the results of Jackson's autopsy.

After meeting with police, they say further investigation is necessary. Initially - the coroner said they might release results next week.

This is nonsense. Jackson died June 25 - more than a month ago - and officials still can't say what killed him. Investigators are trying to find out what substances he had in his body and if a powerful anesthetic - that's only supposed to be administered in hospitals - played a role.

Meanwhile search warrants filed in a Nevada court suggest that Jackson was a drug addict. Investigators believe searches of Dr. Conrad Murray's home and office will turn up evidence of excessive prescribing, prescribing to an addict, unprofessional conduct and finally, manslaughter.

A source tells CNN that Dr. Murray allegedly gave Jackson the anesthetic Propofol in the 24-hours before he died. Murray continues to deny that he prescribed or administered anything that could have killed the pop star.

It seems like the events surrounding Jackson's death will drag on forever - as those close to him play the blame game; and probably more than a few of them hope to get their hands on Jackson's estate, estimated to be worth at least $200 million.

Here’s my question to you: Will the truth about Michael Jackson’s death ever come out?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media
July 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should federal government be involved in saving news media?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The news media are fighting to survive - and Dan Rather thinks the government should help rescue them. The former CBS anchorman is calling on President Obama to create a White House commission to help save the press.

Dan Rather believes journalism has declined to a point that it is time for the government to intervene.

Rather says such a commission could make recommendations on saving journalism jobs and creating new business models to help the industry survive. He says there are precedents for this kind of national commission - which have helped other failing industries.

Rather says the stakes couldn't be any higher. He told the Aspen Daily News: "A truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom." And he says it's not just journalists who should worry about the fate of the press; but rather every citizen.

He also talked about "the dumbing down and sleazing up" of what we see on the news; and blames that on the blurry line between news and entertainment - along with corporate and political influence on newsrooms. He claims about 80-percent of the media is controlled by a handful of corporations.

Rather also talks about the decline in investigative and international reporting; and says the loss of reporters covering the two ongoing wars hurts our nation.

The bottom line as he sees it: If somebody doesn't step in and take action... the nation will lose its independent media.

Here’s my question to you: Should the federal government be involved in saving the news media?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • News Media
July 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Has Palin been treated unfairly by news media?

ALT TEXT

Sarah Palin delivered her farewell speech as she officially resigned during the annual Governor's Picnic at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. (PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC ENGMAN/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While stepping down as Governor of Alaska - Sarah Palin is blasting many who she sees as critics, including the news media.

In the kind of speech only Palin can give, she said freedom of the press was an important right... and one that soldiers have died to protect... adding, "So, how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up."

Palin also said, "Our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone."

The former governor didn't elaborate on her criticism of the media... but in the past she's talked about her and her family being unfairly treated by reporters and bloggers. However, she didn't seem to have a problem with the media when she was using her family to try to get elected last fall.

Palin also criticized so-called Hollywood starlets who are active against gun rights, along with the "partisan operatives" who filed ethics complaints against her. She even went after one undefined group who she said, "seem to just be hell-bent on maybe tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism and suggesting American apologetics." ... Say what?

As for Palin's future - she's being equally vague... Concluding yesterday's campaign style speech by saying only: "Let's all enjoy the ride."

Palin has plans to write a book and campaign for other Republicans. Some think she'll end up hosting a radio or TV show or hit the speaker's circuit. Others say Palin has her eye on the White House in 2012.

Here’s my question to you: Has Sarah Palin been treated unfairly by the news media?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media • Sarah Palin
July 22nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Does Obama risk media overexposure?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama will hold his fourth prime time news conference tonight - after only six months in office. That's the same number that Former President George W. Bush held in eight years.

As the president takes his pitch for health care reform directly to the American people - much like he did for the economic stimulus package - some are wondering if we're seeing too much of him. Politico suggests the challenge for the White House in the coming weeks will be not to overuse the president.

And it's not just press conferences - President Obama has held more than a dozen town hall meetings in eight states, along with one in France. He has also been out with major addresses on everything from the economy to detainees and torture policy, Iraq, and America's relations with the Muslim world. In fact - hardly a day goes by that President Obama isn't on television talking about something.

By one count, President Obama has given more interviews to TV networks than any recent president at this point in his first term. The risk is that people will start to tune him out.

When asked about the president's nine health care speeches in nine days - press secretary Robert Gibbs says: "I don't think he can probably say enough."

That will be for the American people to decide. The president's approval ratings have begun to trend down and are now at the lowest point of his presidency - 56 percent.

Here’s my question to you: Does President Obama risk overexposure in the media?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media • President Barack Obama
June 29th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How much Michael Jackson coverage is too much?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been pretty much impossible to avoid news coverage of the death of Michael Jackson since Thursday afternoon... Cable TV, network news prime-time specials, the tabloids, special edition newspapers, the blogs, you name it....

And, as is often the case with these celebrity stories, it seems like there won't be an end any time soon. This one may be especially lengthy, because of new questions that keep popping up every day - including how Jackson actually died.

The family has asked for a second autopsy and they are "quite clearly troubled" about the circumstances surrounding the singer's death. An autopsy performed by a county medical examiner was inconclusive. It could take another four-to-six weeks to get the results of toxicology tests.

Jackson's doctor's role in all this was immediately questioned, although his lawyer insists he didn't inject Jackson with painkillers.

The story will also drag on due to questions surrounding what happens to Jackson's three children; his mother has been granted temporary guardianship of the kids. But, there's a hearing set for early August for permanent guardianship and you can expect that to be a circus.

Not to mention the worldwide media attention that will be focused on a possible global memorial service as well as Jackson's funeral. Big story… but the coverage is even bigger.

Here’s my question to you: How much Michael Jackson coverage is too much?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media
May 18th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Would you notice if your daily newspaper disappeared?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are plenty of contenders, but San Francisco might become the first major American city without a daily newspaper. The San Francisco Chronicle continues to lay off staffers in an attempt to stay afloat. The city's mayor, Gavin Newsom tells the British magazine The Economist that if the newspaper does disappear, "People under 30 won't even notice."

The mayor's office later clarified those comments, saying Newsom was talking about the physical version of the paper; and that lots of young people get their news online, like on the San Francisco Chronicle's web site.

And that's exactly the point. The internet and the recession are threatening the survival of newspapers around the country. As they see fewer advertising dollars coming in, more personnel including reporters get laid off.

Several cities have already lost the print versions of a daily newspaper; like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Denver's Rocky Mountain News. And the health of even larger newspapers - including The New York Times - has been called into question.

The Economist asks whether it matters if the daily newspaper is killed. After all, technological change has destroyed lots of popular products, and we've survived. But news isn't just a product; in a democracy, the press exists to investigate and criticize the government.

And local newspapers are the best source of aggressive reporting on local issue - school boards, municipal courts, city councils and the like.

Nonetheless, the end of the daily newspaper wouldn't necessarily mean the end of news organizations. Instead they'll have to find a business model that works online. Right now, most online news content is free. That doesn't pay the bills either.

Here’s my question to you: Would you notice if your daily newspaper disappeared?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Journalism • News Media
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