Media Navel Gaze: October 3, 2011
The Week Unpeeled
Wall Street may have been “occupied” by protestors, but the markets were otherwise pre-occupied with ongoing and somewhat deeper concerns about the economic outlook for the US and Europe last week, with stocks ending the third quarter as the weakest since the financial crisis. The Dow lost 240 points on Friday to close at 10,913, or down 12 percent for the quarter. Elsewhere:
- CBS’s “60 Minutes” lost Andy Rooney —92 years old!—who has played the curmudgeon on the news program for more than three decades or 120 quarters;
- Tumblr raised $85 million in venture capital in a move that valued the blogging service at $800 million;
- Warren Buffett, in a move he has been known to criticize, bought back tens of billions of dollars of his company’s stock, highlighting the amount of cash on the sidelines at big companies like Berkshire Hathaway;
- Reebok got kicked in the butt that it is trying to tone and was told to pay customers $25 million for false claims that its EasyTone shoes are no better than maybe even flipflops;
- Tainted melons from Colorado were linked to at least 15 deaths and many more illnesses in one of the deadliest food-borne outbreaks in a decade;
- One of the US’s most-wanted Al Qaeda terrorists was killed in Yemen in a CIA drone attack;
- Chelsea Clinton joined the IAC board;
- Former US State Department Assistant Secretary James Rubin left Bloomberg View in a kinda surprise move; and
- Amazon discovered Fire.
Reuters Adds Marquee Names
As read on Romenesko, who posted a memo from Reuters, Jim Impoco, Bethany McLean and Geraldine Fabrikant are joining the news organization as columnists. McLean, who wrote for Fortune and “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” will focus on “finance both high and low,” and Fabrikant of The New York Times “will put a human face on business focusing on the bold-face names…who make the world go round.” No word if those are both high and low.
Twitter Highlight Need for ‘Readers Beware’
Twitter helped to fuel two hoaxes last week, underscoring that not all are careful readers and many more seem to be hungry for drama. First, the sartorial publication, The Onion, published a piece that Congress was taking schoolchildren hostage, with House Speaker John Boehner cited as a spokesperson for the group. Really? In Twitterspeed, the story spread with many falling for the spoof, at least by claims on Twitter, which themselves may have been fabrications as well. Second, news that Radiohead was appearing at the Occupy Wall Street rally hit the virtual waves, hoaxing protestors and onlookers as well as Radiohead but probably boosting attendance which may have been the point all along. The rally, however, did have an old-school media event, with the publication of “The Occupy Wall Street Journal,” reportedly making its debut on Saturday, with the editor, Arun Gupta, saying, “This is a real-world occupation, not a virtual one. You can’t pass the Internet from one person to another, but you can pass a newspaper.”