Bill O'Reilly vs. Matt Lauer on who's responsible for Houston's death; Murdoch in London, Myler in New York, CNN in Syria
11:35 am Feb. 16, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
Should the media feel complicit in the death of Whitney Houston?
That's what Matt Lauer and Bill O'Reilly debated this morning on the "Today Show." Lauer challenged the Fox News host's assertion in a column published yesterday that: "The media has no bleepin' clue how to cover the death of Whitney Houston. That's because she was slowly dying for years and many in the press simply averted their eyes."
"Bill, I have seen dozens of stories over the years detailing the addiction, the erratic behavior, the denial of addiciton," said Lauer.
"But they were sensationalized stories," O'Reilly replied. "They were sensationalized to exploit the woman's condition. Not to try to help her. You know what we do in the media? We wink-wink it. We Snoop Dog it. We Willie Nelson it. 'Hey, oh yeah they're stoned. That's fine!' And what message does that send? That it's OK."
You can watch the clip of their exchange below:
Leaving aside the tenor of the media's Whitney Houston death coverage, there's no doubt been plenty of it.
"Based on early and preliminary data, Whitney Houston’s death is showing up as one of the top stories of the week in the mainstream media," Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism, told Capital.
We'll know exactly how much coverage was devoted to the late Houston in the seven days between her death and funeral by next week, when P.E.J. releases its weekly news-cycle analysis.
The headlines and TV news segments will surely reach a saturation point on Saturday, when the private, invitation-only services are scheduled to begin at noon at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. As Capital first reported yesterday, the Associated Press' good standing with Houston's publicist led not only to the wire's initial scoop about the diva's death last Saturday, but also exclusive access to funeral, which it will livestream as the sole "pool camera" allowed inside. The rest of the media will have to file their reports from a designated press pen outside the church, the funeral director overseeing the preparations told us.
In other news...
CNN has officially severed its ties witih Larry King (i.e. no more specials). [Los Angeles Times]
Sun journalists have demanded a meeting wiht Rupert Murdoch, who's in London doing damage control. [Bloomberg]
The paper's alleged bribery of public officials reportedly totaled tens of thousands of British pounds. [Reuters]
Your handy info-graphic to keep track of who's who in the News Corp. scandal. [ProPublica]
Colin Myler's commissioning lots of Catholic coverage in his new post at the Daily News. [New York Observer]
An interview with The New York Times' new Jerusalem bureau chief. [Dylan Byers]
Editorial independence is at issue at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. [New York Times]
The papers' C.E.O. was caught red-handed lying to David Carr. [Romenesko]
The Huffington Post has tapped an Al Jazeera English host as the first on-air personality for its forthcoming streaming video network. [Ad Age]
"The circulation of The Economist has passed the 1.5 million mark for the first time. It has achieved print circulation of 1,487,010 in the latest ABC period [ABC UK/US July-December 2011], combined with a digital-only paid circulation of more than 100,000 in December 2011." [via press release]
The head of Atlantic Media is bankrolling a lavish island retreat for his senior employees. [BuzzFeed]
Can AOL patch up Patch? [Fortune]
CBS Corp. logged a profit increase in its latest earnings report. [New York Times]
CNN is the only network with a correspondent in Syria right now. [TV Newser]
The return of Politico TV? [TV Newser]
Newt Gingrich is fading from the airwaves. [Mediaite]
Spin magazine's size is increasing. [Adweek]
Longtime Forbes publicist Monie Begley is leaving the company. [New York Post]
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