Media "Bigfeet" Stumble

"Although we're not yet through the national conventions, 2004 is emerging as a snakebitten election for America's media 'Bigfeet' - our news organizations and TV's non-stop talking heads," writes Joel Connelly. "They've been wrong so much of the time already." During the Democratic primaries, the punditocracy erroneously anointed Howard Dean the frontrunner; more recently, they've largely ignored the worsening mess in Iraq while declaring that Iraq is putting Kerry on the defensive. Why are the big media doing such a poor job?


Big Box Buys Buddies

"Stung by criticism of its labor practices, expansion plans and other business tactics," Wal-Mart "has become a sponsor on National Public Radio," underwritten the "Tavis Smiley" talk show, and "plans to award $500,000 in scholarships to minority students at journalism programs around the country." A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said there's "no hidden agenda," but "we've really been in the spotlight and I think t


A Herculean Effort to Get Your Gold

"An event once notable for celebrating the spirit of amateurism has achieved an almost unimaginable level of crass commercialism," writes PR commentator Paul Holmes. The Olympics' organizers "are clamping down on anything that might allow TV audiences a glimpse of a non-sponsor's logo. People carrying bottles of Pepsi (or any bottled water not made by Coca-Cola) will have them confiscated ...


Media Is Sell

"Remember how the broadcast networks explained that they would cover only three hours of each of the four-day Democratic and Republican conventions because they are nothing more than infomercials?" asks Lisa de Moraes. Well, ABC and CBS will run "infomercials for products in which the networks have a financial interest" on their Friday newsmagazines. ABC will feature Victoria Gotti, of "Growing Up Gotti" on A&E, owned in part by ABC.


Bizarro Media Analysis, Part II

"At this late stage, media companies have grown so large and powerful, and their dominance has become so detrimental ... that there remains only one alternative: bust up the big conglomerates. ... We've done this before: to railroad trusts in the first part of the 20th century, to Ma Bell more recently.


Trading Places

"Two senior United States trade negotiators who sealed the trade deal with Australia have accepted plum jobs representing U.S. medical and drug companies," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Ralph Ives, the current U.S. trade representative for pharmaceutical policy, will become the industry group AdvaMed's vice-president for global strategy. Claude Burcky, head U.S.



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