J’accuse! Last night at a Huffington Post dinner, noted media critic Ben Affleck blamed Newsweek, and further, the entire “mediaocracy,” for the economic crisis. The violence continued this morning when the Journal received death threats. What does this tell us? Media, we’ve still got it! Onward, to our daily roundup of media news.
• Last night at a Huffington Post dinner, noted media critic Ben Affleck went off on Newsweek’s September cover story on Henry Paulson. “Newsweek, I feel like, is basically culpable for the first [$350 billion],” Affleck said. “They did like this hagiography on Paulson … Long and short of it is, Newsweek, in deciding to tell all of America that we all have to put our trust in Henry Paulson, that’s like a mediaocracy. It’s presumptuous and it damaged us in some ways.” Really? Newsweek had no idea it was so powerful. [Politico via Romenesko]
• Meanwhile, magazine publishers are being cornered by distributors Anderson News and (Ron Burkle’s) Source Interlink, who claim they are faced with imminent collapse if publishers do not increase their fees by seven cents for each copy of their magazines distributed to retailers. To distribute or not to distribute? That is the question… [MediaInk/NYP]
• Even happy-go-lucky Google is giving up on print. The organization is closing the Google Print Ads operation that helped newspapers garner advertisements through auctions. [NYT]
• Keith Kelly does the math, and a burger at Michael’s would take up the entire business-lunch budget of a Times staffer. [MediaInk/NYP]
• Speaking of: Maybe the Times getting into bed with Carlos Slim isn’t the worst thing in the world? Maybe? [Big Money]
• Fox News, for its part, hasn’t forgotten where its bread is buttered. The network followed Bush Jr. to Texas where he delivered a “homecoming” speech for a cheering crowd. It was the only network to cover the event, but one can assume others would have followed if Bush had finished the speech like your homecoming king: with a swig of vodka and an embarrassing break-dance. [Show Tracker/LAT]
• Remember how Newsday editor-in-chief John Mancini disappeared? He’s back! Mancini returned to the office yesterday, explaining that there had been “a difference of opinion” with the paper’s owners at Cablevision, but implying that the editorial side won over the mean business bosses. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]