Piers Morgan makes his case; plus a special Manti Te’o girlfriend-hoax media-wag round-up

Piers Morgan, all fingers. ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

PIERS TO YOU

In a wide-ranging interview with Politico's Dylan Byers, CNN host Piers Morgan addresses everything from his explosive Alex Jones interview and high-brow-meets-low-brow aesthetic, to his cable news competitors and ignominious firing from The Daily Mirror.

But here's the nut:

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Morgan’s show has been on air for two years, but it’s only in the past five weeks, since the shooting in Newtown, Conn., that the CNN host is getting any real attention. In a departure from the down-the-middle ethos that has governed CNN since its inception, the highly opinionated Brit has been an outspoken advocate of gun control, inviting his opponents on air night after night — alongside mayors, scholars, law enforcement officials and pundits — to entertain their argument against tighter gun laws while publicly admonishing them for it, even referring to some of them as “idiots.”

Many champion Morgan’s ongoing dedication to the gun issue and his commitment to hearing out a multitude of voices. “I’m delighted that Piers has tackled our national public health crisis of gun violence. And if he can boost ratings while tackling a serious issue, more power to him,” Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times columnist and a recent guest on the show, told POLITICO. “We need examples of TV shows that make money as well as make people think.”

But the approach grates on Morgan’s critics, who think he generates controversy for the sake of self-promotion.

You can read the rest at Politico.

MANTI TE'O GIRLFRIEND-HOAX LINKS

Catfish guys say they're "looking into" whether the hoaxer behind the "Lennay Kekua" persona had other victims [ABC News]

One reason Notre Dame's "support" of Te'o might actually be a distancing maneuver [Deadspin]

The guy Deadspin identified as the likely hoaxer told auditioners for "The Voice" a feel-good car-crash sob-story while trying to get on the show [Us Magazine]

Sports Illustrated reporter Pete Thamel, whose SI cover story cemented the Te'o mythology, saw some "red flags" when he reported the story; he goes back to his notes [Sports Illustrated]

All the questions big sports media didn't ask about the girlfriend story, but should have [Deadspin]

In the Deadspin newsroom with managing editor Tom Scocca, just after they hit "publish" on the biggest sports story of the year [Erik Wemple]

"The ultimate subject of the [Deadspin] investigation ... [is] the press corps." [Jack Schafer]

Times public editor audits her paper for its Te'o coverage, and sports editor Joe Sexton gives candid answers. [The New York Times]

Gawker Media wasn't immediately able to monetize the scoop. [Ad Age]

On Capital...

Media roll out plans for Inauguration Day, stressing how 'multiplatform' they'll be

Morrissey signals to fans his autobiography is coming, but who's publishing it?

In other news...

Assessing Oprah's "high wire" Lance Armstrong interview. [A.P.]

A breakthrough for OWN? [The New York Times]

Knopf is defending Lawrence Wright's new Scientology book against attacks from the church. [The Huffington Post]

Drama at the American Society of Magazine Editors over the elimination of their annual awards' profile-writing category. [W.W.D.]

Dean Starkman on the "meltdown" of longform newspaper journalism. [C.J.R.]

Karl Rove has re-upped with Fox News through 2016. [Politico]

Big Apple radio battle for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity rights. [New York Post]

The Washington Post's Mexico bureau chief is in hot water for "not intentional" plagiarism. [The Wrap]

The Tribune Company has a new chief executive post-bankruptcy. [NYT/Media Decoder]

Quote of the day...

Many reporters are no longer given *time* to report. For print (or whatever you want to call today’s newspaper/magazine biz), they’re too busy blogging, Tweeting, dashing out “breaking news” alerts/writethrus, and otherwise upping online page views with right-now quick takes. For TV, they’re too busy “going live” from “location” to actually go out and, you know, find out anything, much less make an effort to confirm it. Many if not most reporters abhor this, but going along is the way they keep their jobs. And we all know how few of those are left.

Diane Werts

On Twitter...

On TV...

Michael Hastings describes how Rahm Emanuel got physical with him while he was reporting:

From our inbox...

The A.P. taps "Rock Center" talent:

Jake Pearson, an enterprising journalist with newspaper and television experience, has been hired by The Associated Press as general news reporter in New York City.

Pearson has for the last year and a half worked on the NBC primetime news magazine "Rock Center" with Brian Williams, where he contributed to the show's exclusive airing of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's first interview, and investigations exposing an Internet crime ring and the sexual abuse of high school foreign exchange students.

Prior to NBC News, he spent more than two years at the New York Daily News, where he worked as a general assignment reporter, mostly in the newspaper's Brooklyn bureau.

Pearson is a graduate of Tufts University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is fluent in Spanish.

CNN is touting strong year-end digital ratings for 2012:

CNN maintained its digital leadership position in 2012, beating nearly every news and information website in both unique viewers and page views. Holding its spot behind only the combined Yahoo!-ABC News Network, CNN Digital averaged 62 million unique visitors per month. For 2012 CNN’s average monthly visitors doubled Fox News Digital (31 million) and The New York Times Brand (29 million) and CNN topped the Huffington Post Media Group by 2 million, NBC News Digital by 5 million and CBS News by 22 million.

With 1.8 billion average page views for the year, CNN Digital outperformed HPMG News by 19%, NBC News Digital by 44%, Fox News Digital by 75%, CBS News by 134% and The NYT Brand by 208%. (Source: comScore Media Metrix, Jan – Dec. 2012; average monthly)

Beyond its breaking news coverage, CNN.com experienced impressive growth in key sections for the year. With 32 million average monthly page views, the site’s Travel section grew 87% YOY. Earning a 48% gain in traffic over 2011, CNN.com’s Politics section averaged 72 million page views per month and CNN Opinion grew by 52%, World by 33% and U.S. 38%.