Remembering A Decade Of Bill O’Reilly Hip-Hop Feuds

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Remember, early on in this innocent decade, when it was a big deal when Bill O’Reilly started criticizing rap music? Now, it seems to happen all the time.

For someone opposed to the immorality and hedonism that he sees embraced in rap lyrics, O’Reilly knows how to start a hip-hop-style feud with some of the big names in the industry, including Ludacris, Nas, and Cam’ron.

Eight notable beefs between O’Reilly and rappers, starting off with Ludacris (semi-NSFW):

>>>First up: O’Reilly vs. Ludacris

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Mediaite’s Colby Hall And Tommy Chistopher On The Ed Morrissey Show!

At 3pmET Mediaite’s own Managing Editor Colby Hall will be appearing with intrepid Washington, D.C. reporter Tommy Christopher on The Ed Morrissey Show with the noted Hot Air blogger. We will discuss the Mediaite Top 50, as well as talk about the top stories of the year, and the innovative first year of Mediaite. Via Hot Air:

Today, on the Ed Morrissey Show (3 pm ET), we’ll welcome Mediaite’s Colby Hall and Tommy Christopher! We will discuss the Mediaite Top 50, as well as talk about the top stories of the year, and the innovative first year of Mediaite.

Now you can join the conversation in the chat room! Be sure to register at Ustream to participate in our raucous live-chat sessions. (And if the log-in prompt doesn’t come up in the chat box below, use this link instead.) Jazz Shaw of The Moderate Voice and The Monster moderate the chat, and they have Troll Gun Trivia Contest running before the show, for those who get there early — and are registered!

Check it out at 3pm at Hot Air.


Poll: Who Is The Top Online Editor Of 2009?

computerIf 2009 was a tough year for magazines and newspapers — and boy, was it ever — it was a bang-up year for the editors of the blogs listed below. Somewhere between these varied and influential websites lies the future of journalism and media. Whether that scares you or excites you probably depends on whether you still get your news in print or are accustomed to starting your day via the Twitter app on your iPhone or Blackberry.

Below is a list of online editors who have manned the helm in 2009 and ushered in the brave new media world with the most success, vision — and yes, traffic. Some you will be familiar with; some might be new names. Either way, we are asking you, our loyal, smart, and attractive readers to share your thoughts on who had the biggest year in the Online Editor category (scroll down for poll):

    Harvey Levin, TMZ.com: Twelve months ago the Harvey Levin-run TMZ.com was the main online competition of media publications like the National Enquirer and People. These days, TMZ is the main competition of just about everyone. Yes, everyone. In six short months a “TMZ.com reports” reference has quickly morphed into the equivalent of what a network news breaking news report used to be. Back in June, the website was the first to report Michael Jackson’s death — first by close to an hour due in part to the MSM’s reluctance to rely on the site as a respectable source. That is changing. The day after Thanksgiving, TMZ was also the first to report on Tiger Woods’ car crash into a fire hydrant at 2am — which, as we know, led to a much bigger crash, gawked at by the most respectable publications. It’s quite likely sports journalism — all journalism — will never be the same. On that note, maybe you’ve heard that TMZSports.com is launching next year.

    Gabriel Snyder, Gawker: Since Snyder took over as managing editor of Gawker.com last November, the flagship of Nick Denton’s Gawker media empire, the site has moved to a 24-hour schedule and hired a full-time reporter, both of which have resulted in a measurably increased presence in the MSM, and measurably increased traffic online. And with the hiring of overnight blogger Azaria Jagger and the return of Gawker alum Doree Shafrir he’s even managed to (finally) put some women back on the masthead. In traffic terms, the site has doubled its uniques from around 1.8M a month to the current 3.5M, and its pageviews have increased 63% to just over 30M. Also, they may own the next decade and/or the last, depending.

    AJ Daulerio, Deadspin: In can be argued, and has, that no one has changed the way sports is covered more than Deadspin (though Tiger Woods is giving them a run for their money). Under the editorialship of Daulerio, who took over for Will Leitch when the latter departed for New York mag last year, the site has broken a whole lot of rules, not the least of which was publishing every tip they’d ever received about ESPN employees after the network blew them off a story (only to leak it to the New York Post). Though Daulerio will have his hands full when TMZSports bursts on the scene.

    Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report: The fact that Drudge is even on this list after so many years is testament to the man’s ability to sniff out a good headline and make it even better. It’s also a testament to the idea that website design isn’t everything (or anything!). Suffice it to say, the bare bones, right-leaning, one-page, mostly content-free website has the ability to shuffle hundreds of thousands of clinks through a single link in under and hour. If traffic is the coin of the new realm, Drudge is still king.

    Ed Morrissey/Allah Pundit, Hot Air: Michelle Malkin may be the money behind Hot Air, but conservative bloggers Ed Morrissey and Allah Pundit are its strong, successful, always entertaining voice. The site, which clocks impressive enough traffic to inspire comparisons to Daily Kos, also boasts a variety of sometimes conflicting conservative views, which have only further aided in its must-read status.

    Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish: After all this time, and all the new players on the field, Andrew Sullivan is still a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Says Politico’s Ben Smith (a veritable powerhouse in his own right): “He’s the most widely read political blogger in the country, easily, and played, I think, a more important role than people realize in creating the Obama narrative.” All true, and something that made his obsessiveness over the genealogy of Sarah Palin’s youngest child that much more disturbing.

    Nikki Finke, DeadlineHollywood: The fact Finke just recently signed a rumored $15 million deal to move her addictively read blog to Mail.com seems almost secondary compared to the amount of power this woman wields over Hollywood (if you missed Tad Friend’s New Yorker profile of her, it’s worth your time). She is so feared by Hollywood titans that when Gawker put out a call for an updated picture of the blogger — with a $1000 bounty — they had no takers. She is the definition of someone who is not read by everyone, just everyone that matters (or wants to) in Hollywood.

    Fred Mwangaguhunga, Media Take Out: The Drudge-styled site, founded and run by Mwangaguhunga, claims to be the “most visited urban website in the world.” And they may be right. The site, which covers black celebrity gossip, boasts an enormous readership and regularly breaks big stories. To wit: they called Lady Gaga’s decision to pull out of Kanye West’s tour a day before it was reported elsewhere, and — if this can be called a scoop — they were the first to run the infamous nude Rihanna pictures.

    Ray Wert, Jalopnik: When Wert took over Gawker’s car blog in 2006 the site was averaging 2.2 million page views. This month they are on track for 27 million page views. You can do the math on that but the short version is traffic has increased a LOT. Who knew people loved cars so much (says a New Yorker)? Truth is plenty and under Wert the site has become a highly specialized trade blog, requiring an extended level of expertise from both its editor and writers. Also, bikini slide shows don’t hurt.

    Jessica Coen, Daily Intel: If only every magazine had demonstrated New York’s foresight in getting into the blogosphere while the getting was good (ahem, Conde Nast) perhaps this ad downturn would not have been quite as devastating as it’s been. Meanwhile, Daily Intel, under the leadership of former Gawker alum Jessica Coen, continues to be a must-read in the media world, not to mention dominate the Gossip Girl beat.

    Adam Ostrow, Mashable: You may or may not be aware that a lot of people read Mashable. As in 10 million monthly uniques. The site is a destination for just about everyone whose interested in coverage of latest technologies, trends, as well as “individuals that are driving the current evolution of the Web.” As editor in chief of the site, Ostrow definitely counts among those individuals.

    Choire Sicha/Alex Balk, TheAwl: Launched earlier this year by two of Gawker’s most popular alum, the site has attracted a loyal readership (and it must be said, great commenters) due to its mix of short, smart and bloggy and long, smart, and original. Read obsessively by savvy, in-the-know media, (some might argue too cool for school) Internety types, it might reasonably be described as the 2.0 answer to the (sadly) long-defunt Spy magazine. Let’s hope it doesn’t suffer a similar fate in the year to come. Smart and profitable are sadly a rare breed on the Internet these days.




Stephen Colbert on Glenn Beck: “He Raised the Stupid Bar and Now It’s Nearly Inapproachable.”

stephen_colbert_x200beck_9-15The Atlantic’s Jim Warren, former managing editor and Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune, attended the Second City 50th anniversary event in Chicago, which featured alumni of the comedy institution — including a very forthcoming Stephen Colbert. Colbert, who sat for a panel discussion with writers of “The Colbert Report,” moderated by NPR’s Peter Sagal, talked about the jokes he held back at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, what he thinks of Glenn Beck and why he couldn’t help himself from liking Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

First Glenn Beck. According to Warren’s report, Colbert talked about the paradoxical difficulty of mocking Glenn Beck’s outsize TV antics:

“I said, ‘Let’s start doing some Glenn Beck stuff but in praise of Glenn Beck,’” said Colbert. “But every time we do one, he will have done something dumber. He raised the stupid bar and now it’s nearly inapproachable.”

“I worry that if we use that as a model….if somebody doesn’t believe what they’re saying, it’s very hard to out-stupid them,” said a decidedly analytical Colbert. “Because then there’s no place to sink our hook into, there’s no mountain to climb there. I can’t climb Glenn Beck since there’s nothing there.”

Great, now I can’t get the image of Colbert climbing all over Glenn Beck out of my mind. Okay, this should help.

Colbert also talked about the chilly, chilly reception he got at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner (or, to many who clapped their hands in astonishment and delight when watching it on the Internet afterward, a day that shall live in awesomeness). From the Warren report:

When the dinner was over, “I don’t think I’m dying. I go to sit down and nobody’s meeting my eye. Only [the late journalist-turned-White House spokesman] Tony Snow comes over and says I’m doing a great job.” Then Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia came his way and told him he was brilliant.

“I said, oh, s-, don’t let me like Antonin Scalia!”

(Funnily, Colbert used Scalia as an example of someone who he thought might not get it when he discussed the event in the fall of 2008 at the New Yorker Festival. He also mentioned how no one would meet his eyes, saying: “I thought, ‘It’s gonna be hard to get out of this room.’ No, it was not.”)

Warren also talks about the jokes Colbert self-edited out of his speech while he was up there, assessing Bush’s reaction, and also assessed the comedic chops of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow — but you should click through and read his report for that, and for the rest of his thoughts on it. He was there, after all.

Colbert Dishes On Bush, Glenn Beck, and MSNBC [The Atlantic]


The Mediaite Obligatory This Week’s Biggest Movie of All Time Post: Avatar Edition

4054023555_b99ef4f041-1Snowstorm aside, it’s hard to deny that Avatar is the big movie story right now. James Cameron rumored-to-have-cost-on-the-order-of $500 million giant blue kitties vs. space marines mega-predetermined blockbuster made something like $77 million domestically and $242 million worldwide, a good but not earthshaking result, given the range of industry projections (see above re: snow).

And while some people think it blue,  the general consensus was that it was pretty ok (or, for Roger Ebert, “extraordinary” and “sensational entertainment” and “a technical breakthrough” that “recrowned” Cameron king of the world). It has earned an impressive 84% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (though our own Robert Quigley noted that “the plot and characters were dull.”) But what Quigley did note — and what everyone is noting —  is that what was really ok was the tech.  That, we can all agree, is and will be a big deal. Upshot: Avatar was visually impressive, is the consensus, if a bit thin on plot. Continue reading "The Mediaite Obligatory This Week’s Biggest Movie of All Time Post: Avatar Edition"

Balloon Boy’s Parents Deflated: May Be Fined $46,000, Sent To Jail (Update)

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Since mid-October, you have probably been wondering: Balloon Boy’s parents Richard and Mayumi Heene, what ever happened to them? Are they rich and famous yet? Answer: no.

Well, in fact, their sentencing is today, and they could wind up the exact opposite of rich and famous: fined $46,000, and in jail.

Take it away, Associated Press:

Richard and Mayumi Heene are scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges that they carried out the stunt in October to promote a reality TV show. The husband faces up to 90 days and jail, and the wife faces up to 60 days …

… The Heenes also face possible restitution for search and rescue costs. It wasn’t immediately known if District Judge Stephen Schapanski would take up the issue at Wednesday’s hearing.

The Larimer County District Attorney’s Office estimates total costs at $46,000, according to [Richard Heene's attorney David] Lane.

One heartening finding, via the Denver Post: ”The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said Monday it appears the Heenes acted alone in the publicity stunt and that no media outlets conspired or made promises.”

So: Richard Heene — who called the media about his son’s ‘disappearance’ before he called 911 — hijacked the news cycle and spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars out of his own ambition and pluck.

Bon voyage, 2009!

Update: Yup: 30 days in jail for Richard Heene, 20 days in jail for Mayume Heene, restitutions TBD. (via LA Times)

(image via the Houston Chronicle)


Washington Post Slammed By DC Paper For Ignoring Snowball Gunplay

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This weekend, when the story of a police officer pulling out a gun at a snowball fight in DC erupted and spread online, the Washington Post was initially dismissive, despite having an eyewitness on the scene who said that the officer did indeed pull out a gun. They didn’t get the story quite right until days later; to dispel all doubt, the officer admitted he pulled a gun. In a scathing blog post, the Washington City Paper surmised as to how the Post slipped up: a snooty attitude towards the Internet.

The City Paper’s Erik Wemple took the Post apart for fetishizing ‘traditional reporting’ as defined by talking to officials, despite the fact that the consensus on the Internet was more than wild rumor:

the reason why the Post screwed this up is that they all have linkophobia. If you link to an outlet—such as, God forbid, the Washington City Paper—you’ve lost. You got scooped and all your colleagues are going to look down on you. Linking is a huge sign of weakness—you just can’t do it. Far better to, like, call a top police official, buy his version of events, and just place it in a post, regardless of the contradicting evidence that’s already posted elsewhere…

What is important is that in one item, Fisher articulated a longstanding WaPo policy:

1) Link to other organizations only when belittling them;

2) Be sure to contrast the inadequacy of the linkees to the great Washington Post;

3) Make sure the link to Washington Post content spans many more words than the links to lesser organizations.

For all of the talk about the demise of print and the crumbling newspaper economy, it’s a fair bet that the Washington Post can whip any blogger at reporting. Right? Maybe not always.

Here’s an ABC 7 segment on the video that sparked the controversy:



(Washington City Paper via The Awl)