Media Navel Gaze: September 28, 2015
The Week Unpeeled
The papal visit to America truly made media coverage otherworldly in scope of exuberance, as Pope Francis touched down in Washington, New York and Philadelphia (the last leg was the official reason for his tour to begin with, but who knew?), mixing messages that were both "pastoral and political" and greeted almost everywhere with rock-star-like status. (Except Yogi Berra's death at 90 last week, which received more coverage in The New York Post at 11 full pages than the coverage for Pope Francis that day); Ironic that the Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit first to American -- Seattle and then to DC -- got little ink in comparison to other news last week.
- On the financial front, Pope Francis seemed to have an influence, as the Dow rallied a bit on Friday, not breaking with papal tradition; the blue chips have risen on average 1.23 percent when a pope addresses the United Nations (perhaps invite him back!). Despite a papal lift, the Dow ended the week down and closed at 16,314, off 8.5 percent for the year;
- Also off: The National Review fired Ann Coulter and no longer will run her syndicated column online;
- And even further off: John Boehner quit as Speaker of the House to some surprise, especially the sudden timing of the announcement;
- Volkswagen CEO quits after revelations that the car maker cheated on emission tests that affected some 11 million cars ("I am endlessly sorry") in an endlessly unraveling story that is being called by some media commentators as a crime of the century;
- NPR Serial may have set its next storyline on Bowe Bergdahl, a former POW under controversy for questionable disappearance; and
- Best Yoga Berra obit headline on first page of The New York Times, "Yankee Built His Stardom 90% on Skill, Half on Wit."
- Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy was in New York this week addressing key policy issues related to Brazil's economic outlook as the Brazilian Real this week hit an all-time low against the Dollar, piercing through the R$4.00 range;
- Mexico on Wednesday will execute the second phase of its "Ronda Uno" ('round one') oil rig offering, part of a long-term strategy to better open the country's energy resources up to private investors; and
- President Obama will meet with Cuban President Raúl Castro on Tuesday, the second meeting since the two nations restored diplomatic ties.