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Media Navel Gaze: February 9, 2015

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The mea culpa doesn't always work. Or so learned Brian Williams last week when his apology that he "conflated" stories about whether he was riding in a downed helicopter in Iraq actually caused more reputational damage, when what really blew up was Twitter with #BrianWilliamsMisremembers and others critical of the story and his stories, forcing the NBC news anchor to step down from evening news duties for a few days. Other bigs fell last week, media-wise, with Sony Co-Chairwoman Amy Pascal stepping down following the hacking scandal.


  • The jobs picture strengthened considerably with new figures on Friday that showed non-farm payroll up 257,000; based on upward revisions to prior months, job creation has now hit the 1-million mark over the past three months alone;
  • The Dow rose 3.8% for the week to end Friday at 17,824, with the jobs report actually taking a little steam out of the recent rally amid concerns for higher interest rates;
  • RadioShack declared bankruptcy;
  • Anthem hit by hackers, affecting 80 million customers for one of the largest cyber attacks for a health-care in history;
  • Pope Francis will address Congress on his US visit, the first pontiff to do so;
  • The Devil Wears Ellies: Vogue won Magazine of the Year at the Ellies last week and parent Conde Nast grabbed the most at six; Vice won top video award;
  • Scout Redux: A lost copy of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird sequel was discovered, with print runs expected to be high and Amazon already taking orders; and
  • Serial fans: Adnan was granted appeal.

LatAm News

  • Brazilian oil company Petrobras, amidst its ongoing corruption investigation, replaced its senior leadership team, including its CEO Maria das Graça Foster, and named Banco do Brasil President Aldemir Bendine as the new face of the company, which was met with pessimism by Brazilian financial markets;
  • Argentine President Cristina Kirchner this week met with Chinese officials, striking a flurry of bilateral agreements totaling US$21 billion, cementing socio-economic relations between the two nations during a time where Argentina has struggled to repair diplomatic relationships abroad;
  • The Andean Community (comprised of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú) rejected an Ecuadorian proposal to apply an exchange-rate adjustment to imports on Colombian and Peruvian goods following the devaluation of these nations' respective currencies. The group, also known as CAN, cited a lack of sufficient evidence proving that the devaluations have had a significant enough impact on Ecuador to warrant a monetary adjustment;
  • Bolivia's nearly two-year old complaint against Chile in a maritime access dispute continues. Bolivia's attorney general Héctor Arce recently expressed renewed confidence that his nation would win the dispute, which is being heard by the International Court of Justice and whose next hearing /will be in May. End of Story

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