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January 10, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 10, 2014

The Central African Republic’s leader, Michel Djotodia, just stepped down today, after only nine months on the job. He was not well-liked and took power in a coup, so rejoicing in the streets followed.

Aitzaz Hasan’s death this week should be a lesson of selflessness for the world at large—the Pakistani teen died after tackling a suicide bomber who tried to attack his school, saving hundreds of lives.

The contractor that screwed up the launch of Healthcare.Gov lost its contract with the federal government today. Wonder why.

Signs CNN is past the point of salvaging: Jeff Zucker had to deny a rumor that he was about to hire Jay Leno.

Dropbox is down. Some random hackers are taking credit, but the company says they’re BS’ing.

22:57 // 8 months ago
June 26, 2013
They are all watching a network not to be named, George, and for whatever reason there is a delay, and so when they hear it they are going to, trust me, erupt and you and I won’t be able to hear each other.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom • Offering a comment to ABC News regarding the Prop 8 Supreme Court decision, which he learned about from the reporter who contacted him. Why’s that? Well, here’s the thing: CNN, which famously got burned by a Supreme Court ruling last year, has been playing it extra cautious this time around, so much so that all of the other networks had the decision long before CNN did. And Newsom’s staff was watching CNN for the news. Hear that? That’s what overcompensation sounds like. Classic Zucker.
21:50 // 1 year ago
May 28, 2013
0:43 // 1 year ago
April 28, 2013
I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate.

That’s what Obama said about CNN at last night’s White House Correspondents Association dinner.

Let me explain why that is such a great line. CNN sees itself as “in the middle” between left and right, MSNBC and Fox. Just recently, in fact, CNN president Jeff Zucker praised the middle as the place to be. But CNN also sees itself as a great newsgathering organization that is all about truthtelling rather than ideology. “Keeping them honest,” as Anderson Cooper, face of the brand, likes to say. 

Put them together and what do you have? Keep ‘em honest, but stay in the middle. Which doesn’t work. For what happens when one side is BS-ing us more than the other? What happens when independent and honest reporting shows that these people on this side are mostly right in what they’re saying, and those people on that side are distorting the case?

CNN wants to believe, tries to believe and I think does believe that this problem does not exist. Therefore we have to remind them about it, because it does exist. And that’s what Obama did: “cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate” is saying to CNN: Accuracy and truthtelling will be sacrificed to your ideology— the middle, no matter what it takes.

(via jayrosen)

The sad part is, they had all these problems before they hired Jeff Zucker. And then they hired Jeff Zucker, a man whose entire recent career has been built on tone-deaf failures to understand his network’s audience, whatever that network might have been.

(via notemily)

13:58 // 1 year ago
November 29, 2012
CNN is proud of being nonpartisan, and makes a point that it doesn’t take sides like Fox or MSNBC. Problem is, you can’t define a strong network just by what it isn’t. And too often that’s been CNN’s approach: it still has great reach and strong reporting when it matters. But day to day it seems too driven by being the network that doesn’t bother anyone. There’s too much smileyness in its daytime programming, too much reflexive blandness on shows like Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room. CNN’s nonverbal message, too often, is “please don’t get mad at us.”
CNN Picks a New Boss: Will It Be Saved, or Has it Been Zuckered? | TIME.com (via markcoatney)

CNN spent seemingly hours focusing on the fact that Romney and Obama had lunch together today. Meanwhile, who cares. I can go to lunch with anyone any day of the week, but I don’t expect the a 24-hour hard news network to report on it like it’s worth spending any of my time on. That’s CNN’s problem in a nutshell. 

Here’s Jeff Zucker’s problem in a nutshell: His biggest success as a network exec is running a show which was obsessed with topics like this one. Basically, a network obsessed with fluff just hired a human being obsessed with fluff and expects things to change. With Jeff Zucker at the helm, CNN is now like eating a stale marshmallow burrito with a tortilla shell made of hardened, worn, week-old marshmallows. Nobody wants that.

(via markcoatney)

15:01 // 1 year ago
November 27, 2012
19:59 // 1 year ago
June 6, 2011
9:40 // 3 years ago
January 21, 2011
For me, that chapter’s ending, but for all of you it’s an exciting new beginning. With Comcast, I leave you in good hands and have no doubt that you will continue to do great things. I look forward to following your progress.
Departing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker • In a memo to his employees on the company’s financial performance, the last such report before the soon-to-complete Comcast deal. Zucker, the man probably most responsible for the Jay Leno/Conan mess, is leaving a company he’s worked at for a solid 25 years. Sorry, we’re finding it hard to type. We have something in our eyes. source (viafollow)
15:24 // 3 years ago