Media Matters

Media Matters

Rachel Maddow Is Smirking

By 1.22.14

Rachel Maddow is smirking today. That, of course, doesn’t distinguish this from any other day. Maddow’s smirk has become part of her now-predictable style, along with the chirpy delivery, the dressing-up of partisanship as wonky pragmatism, and the endless repetitious snark after playing clips. (“What was the name of the act there? Hoot-Smawley? Known to everyone else as Smoot-Hawley?”) But Maddow has particular reason to be self-satisfied today. Chris Christie is trailing Hillary Clinton in a new poll by eight points, thanks to the Bridgegate scandal that Maddow’s network, MSNBC, has been covering relentlessly.

Media Matters

The Ingenious Satire of Anchorman 2

By 1.7.14

Anchorman 2 is only two hours long, but based on its intensive marketing, which went on for almost a month ahead of the movie’s release date, any viewer could reasonably expect a life-changing theatrical experience. Will Ferrell showed up in character, as suave ’60s news anchor Ron Burgundy, in every SUV commercial, late-night talk show, local news broadcast, obscure Midwestern dive bar, and small-town parade float from sea to shining sea between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He released a book, a Scotch-flavored (well, butterscotch) Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and a Scotch-flavored Scotch, all designed to either promote Anchorman 2 or to begin a slow process of global domination. His media saturation was supposed to build excitement for the sequel. It ended up being almost better than the picture itself — and a better critique of the media industry.

Media Matters

The Faces of Facebook

By 10.8.13

When technology — or anything — becomes all the rage, it’s only en vogue thing to do is speak out against it. So for years I’ve interacted with social media sites, mostly Facebook, Twitter sparingly, determined to benefit from the good they offer, reject the bad, and move forward without becoming that curmudgeonly person who harps on about the dangers of technology.

Alas, I’ve succumbed.

Facebook offers good qualities as a virtual institution, which is really what it’s become. It provides a way people can keep informed and connected, laughing and crying. This can be a good thing. I’ve often discovered important news or personal anecdotes that have saved me from embarrassment (It is? Happy Birthday then!). It’s also good to peek in on the lives of some friends, if just to know they’ve recently gotten a new job or lost a loved one.

Media Matters

The Faces of Facebook

By 10.8.13

We like them, we like them not.

Media Matters

The Kook Who Knew Too Much

By 6.27.13

Crazed ‘famewhore’ Barrett Brown becomes a symbol of our paranoid era.

Media Matters

The Newsies’ Bogeymen

By 5.1.13

Journalists still scared of the Koch brothers don't understand capitalism.

Media Matters

Washington Examiner Gets in on Big Government

By 3.22.13

By pulling the plug on its print edition, a publication joins the centralizers.

Media Matters

More Pants Than Fire

By 12.11.12

PolitiFact's Lies of the Year fall short in any mental fact check.

Media Matters

There We Went Again

By and 11.16.12

Confronting a huge yet ignored lesson of Election 2012 -- the Obama media's enduring power. 

Media Matters

Dispatches From the Alley

By 11.15.12

A report from Mrs. Kelley's neighborhood, where a clearly pointless vigil continues. 

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