Media Navel Gaze: May 16, 2011
The Week Unpeeled
Last week may have been historic on the global front (OBL), but headlines this week were pretty historic on the Wall Street front (Galleon Group). Chiefly, Raj Rajaratnam, who has been called countless times in headlines as big as the hedge-fund chief from Sri Lanka as the "titan" of the industry, was found guilty of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy in the biggest insider-trading case in the US and in a case that used wiretapping tactics to uncover the crimes (made for TV, right?) Post-verdict coverage focused on profiles of the US attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, interviews with jurors and nicknames from the jury room on the lawyers ("Napoleon" and "George Washington") and further crackdowns (getting even better for TV, right?). Much more sure to come.
- Facebook (in the headline of The New York Times on Saturday) was forced to "explain" a secret after it hired Burson-Marsteller to pitch reporters to write stories about privacy concerns of rival Google's Social Circle. The Daily Beast broke the story that Facebook was behind the smear campaign, the beginnings of which can be read from emails here. USA Today got first whiff of the unfriendly campaign when Burson pitched reporters to the publication against Google. No doubt the smear now sets with Facebook and BM but at this point not all parties seem to be explaining themselves but industry pundits have been loudly explaining how the tactics are "deceptive," "slimy" and "cowardly";
- Deal machine chugged along on Wall Street with Microsoft making a $8.5 billion bid for Skype;
- LinkedIn set sights on its IPO at a $3-billion value;
- Stealthy Glencore continue to steal headlines ahead of its IPO, estimated to be as high as $11 billion;
- Ashton Kutchher will replace "#Winning" Sheen on the Square Root of 6.25 (for those with high Twitter IQ);
- And in other job swaps: Ann Curry will become co-host of "Today," replacing Meredith Vieira; and Audie Cornish will become the new news of NPR's "Weekend Edition"; and
- For the week, the Dow lost 42 points to end at 12,595.