Media Briefing for Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13th, 2006

?Gotcha? journalism is pervasive at this time in history. PBS’s Frontline Tuesday night looks at the coverage of former Spokane, Washington Mayor Jim West was outed as gay and found to be using his city hall computer to contact young men, including teenagers. The local newspapers even had someone pose and contact the mayor, who was disgraced, and subsequently died. The gay community was unsympathetic to the mayor because he was closeted and virulently anti-gay in his political stands, apparently as a ruse. The Boston Globe reviews this Frontline telecast.

Recently a Texas assistant district attorney committed suicide as an episode of NBC Dateline’s “To Catch A Predator? was being videotaped. The New York Times reported on the suicide.

A Pittsburgh pastor committed suicide after a Pittsburgh TV station televised a news promo showing him entering an adult book store. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette provided details.

A Texas weekly newspaper outed a gay bed-and-breakfast owner for ?living the gay lifestyle? with an adult partner, and he took his own life. says the victim was outed for no other reason than he was gay.

CNN’s Larry King Live interviewed Bill Maher, in which Maher named names about the sexual orientation of certain Republicans, but then deleted that portion in rebroadcasts of the show. The New York Times reports

Too little classical music on the radio, specifically NPR? Yes, says a new study. The Washington Post examines the study.

Former Beatle Paul McCarthy’s choral composition will be broadcast on NPR Tuesday night.
The NPR website provides details of the works being performed.

Antiques and auctions are associated with PBS stations — on air — but the Springfield, Massachusetts PBS station is holding a tag sale at its building — off the air for local residents – offering videotapes and other equipment. The media blog has a posting about it.

Time keeps slipping into the future? Ratings service Nielsen is redefining ?live viewing? to mean anything watched with 25 seconds of when it is televised. Media Daily News reports.

Car makers are targeting the children in their marketing, to get them brand loyal early. The Wall Street Journal reports car makers hope the children will influence parents.

Teenagers need less multitasking and more down time, says a Philadelphia therapist featured weekly on NPR’s WHYY-FM 90.9. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the doctor says teens drastically need more time.

A high school student sounds off in the newspaper saying the FCC has created indecency policy that is impossible for broadcasters to follow. The teen says the FCC is trying to be a lapdog.

Kermit the frog is caught saying things he wouldn’t say on TV. But the New York Times caught him and the famous Henson puppets.

Al Jazeera, reviled by George W. Bush and by mideast dictators alike, is going global. The New York Times reports.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has a new book that echoes his nightly CNN newscast at 6 p.m., his blistering attacks on the War On The Middle Class. Mr. Dobbs, a Republican, excoriates both the Republicans and Democrats.

NBC Dateline lays off 17, as part of the wide ranging layoffs now going on at NBC. Variety reports the 17 being cut does not include buyouts.

Billionaires are now vying to buy the Tribune Company. The Associated Press says they include some famous names.

Newspaper giant Gannett is among those interested in Tribune. The Chicago Tribune reports on its own company.

Tribune’s big city TV stations WPIX channel 11 New York, KTLA channel 5 Los Angeles and WGN-TV channel 9 are for sale.
Tribune’s Los Angeles Times is following this part of the story.

Radio’s largest company, Clear Channel, is also seeking buyers. Media Daily News reports on Clear Channel, owner of 1,200 of the most powerful FM and AM stations in the country, plus TV stations as well.

The black community is concerned that black sitcoms are being given low priority.The Detroit News says that with the merger of UPN and WB into one network, CW, all black sitcoms have been relegated to one night: Monday.