Media Navel Gaze: January 12, 2015

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The media itself and freedom of speech and expression became the focus of new stories around the world all week following the fatal Paris terrorist attacks on the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo (a bit of translation/explanation: Charlie is a take on Charlie Brown and Charles de Gaulle, one of the early targets, and Hebdo is short for weekly in French); The hunt to track down the Islamic extremists, who believed the weekly was insulting Prophet Muhammad, was like watching a movie with French police killing three terrorists by Friday, and many others killed by the terrorists (at least 17 at one count); Displays of unity in Paris by world leaders and citizens were the broadcast subject all weekend with more to follow. Charlie is expected to publish a million copies of its next issue:


  • Mitt Romney said he may consider a run for the White House;
  • The Justice Department may file criminal charges against retired General Petraeus amid allegations of passing along confidential information to a girlfriend;
  • The US unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in December (versus 6.7% a year ago) and job creation grew by 252,000, a report clearly overshadowed by global news but one that was viewed as mixed (hourly wages were lower), suggesting Fed to remain "patient" on raising rates;
  • Stocks ended a volatile week, with the Dow ending at 17,737, down 0.5% so far this year;
  • The White House proposed a plan (still vague) that community colleges become free;
  • Facebook's Zuckerberg started an Oprah-like book club by selecting The Loss of Power as one of his first books of 2015 in his resolution to read more; sales soared, obvi; and
  • In a somewhat comic correction, The New York Times last week noted that it referenced a country called Kyrzbekistan, which does not exist. End of Story

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