Media Navel Gaze

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The weekend was shattered by news that an assassin shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (R-Ariz.) outside a Safeway, where she was hosting a "Congress at the Corner" meet and greet with constituents and killed Federal Judge John Roll and five others;

  • The unemployment rate slipped to 9.4 percent in December from 9.8 pct in November (mostly because some of the jobless left the market discouraged) and payroll rose a modest 103,000, a poor showing all around;
  • BP could now face criminal charges after a National Commission determined that the "spill" was a "failure of management";
  • President Obama chose William Daley, former commerce secretary (so pro business) as chief of staff;
  • Jersey Shore started its new season amid the Snooki book (note the singular use of book, most likely) tour;
  • The Consumer Electronics Show kicked off in Vegas last week, clogging the Twitterverse with updates;
  • And for the week (and the year for that matter), the Dow rose 0.84 percent to end at 11,674.

Glenn Beck Hires Former HuffPo Exec to Run Site

Right-leaning Glenn Beck has hired Betsy Morgan, who once ran the left-leaning Huffington Post, to run his four-month-old site called The Blaze (which he named after the biblical burning bushes/Moses story??). Some journos commented on why Morgan would seemingly change courses (she said, according to The New York Times, that she was apolitical but likes brands??).  More interesting: the trend to personalized journalism, with the ultimate form taking shape last week with the launch of Oprah's OWN.

A Truly 21 Century Headline

Above the fold on The New York Times Sunday: "U.S. Subpoenas Twitter Records Connected to Wikileaks Case."  Would many know what that meant as early as 12 months ago?  Social media is beyond fast start.

Huck Finn 2.0

An Auburn University professor in Montgomery, Ala., has "edited" or "sanitized," as some critics said, Mark Twain's Huck Finn by replacing the "n" word with slave (although Saturday Night Live Weekend Update said the replacement word was "homey") more than 200 times in the book. The professor, Alan Gribben, claims he edited the classic so that it would be more acceptable at high schools. No word whether the new edition will keep Huck and Jim out of rap lyrics now, but jury out if it is better than the gay-themed criticism I was assigned to read on the novel in grad school called, "Come Back to the Raft, Huck, Honey."

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