Media Navel-Gazing: January 17, 2011
The Week Unpeeled
Not only the Zodiac reportedly changed last week but leadership at the Republican National Committee shifted to Reince Priebus (some at first thought this was one of the new astro signs) of Wisconsin, who replaced what most would call the non-stellar (trying hard for a Zodiac theme here) Michael Steele;
- Arizona-shooting coverage continued to focus on the why's amid strong praise for President Obama's memorial speech (Peggy Noonan, brilliant speech writer and tough usually right-leaning critic, applauded the president in her Wall Street Journal piece over the weekend, "Obama Rises to the Challenge";
- JP Morgan Chase reported a 47 percent increase in profits for the fourth quarter; and
- The Dow ended at a 2.5-year high close of 11,787.
Positive Economic Outlook Continues
The US economy as measured by the gross domestic product is expected to grow by a 3.2 percent annual rate in 2011, based on a survey of economists from The Journal released last week. On the jobs front, the 56 economists on average said they expect the unemployment rate to decline to 8.8 percent by the end of the year, from 9.4 percent now.
Great Debate: Tiger Mom Takes On Modern Family
In one of the better journo-inspired debates, the Tiger Mom story ("Why Chinese Moms are Superior") from last week's Journal has triggered nationwide kitchen-table, office and radio-talk-show conversations on how best to raise a family in what has become one of the most discussed stories published by the newspaper in recent memory (the most comments ever posted on a story on WSJ.com, a whopping 6,700!). So the Mommy Wars are on. The Journal followed this weekend with the Western Mom account of raising kids, another first-person direct response to Amy Chua's book excerpt a week earlier. Playing catch up, The New York Times placed two stories (are copy editors paying attention over there?!) on the subject Sunday, one in the Styles section as a story about the story (with great quotes from Chua on the fallout from the article and the real point in the book versus what was inferred from the excerpt) and another in the magazine, "No More Mrs. Nice Mom." No matter where you stand on the issue, it was pretty refreshing to see such debate on a topic heat up as the week went on. Almost like a good summer read that catches fire, but a topic flamed by social media interest.