"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.
Legalized Press-titution – THE NEW YORK TIMES
- Striking without leverage is not the wisest move.
As negotiations fell completely apart, The New York Times today see 1,100 members of the journalist's guild and supporters walking out on strike. For…24 hours. That is hardly a message of strength, but to help boost their cause, the strikers are asking consumers to forego any interaction with the paper today as a sign of solidarity.
This is an even more questionable position, as they may end up discovering that people will find it rather easy to stay away.
No online headlines or Wordle for this NYT addict today. Spread the word: steer clear of the Times during one-day strike. Solidarity with their workers, who deserve a just contract at long last! https://t.co/YgnKr0MTTX— Andy Levin (@Andy_Levin) December 8, 2022
Reporting on the Mirror – THE NEW YORK TIMES
- As a sign of how vital our work is – please do not play games!
In this bid to coax New York Times consumers to back their cause, the workers realize there is one particular challenge in getting customers to stay away.
In trying to get readers to join their strike digitally I love that Wordle is one of the sticking points challenges to getting people to stay away from the paper, and less the journalism. pic.twitter.com/9fTkYp9Fr7— Brad Slager: Polling For Soup (@MartiniShark) December 8, 2022
Low Octane Gas Lighting – THE NEW YORK TIMES
- "We refuse to work! (Also, hit me up, I have a deadline…)"
This bold unionization move is proving difficult to maneuver for some of The Times' journos. Ron DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw details how she was contacted by a reporter about an upcoming article. It is the usual expected hit piece – evidenced by the claims of transphobia involving a Pushaw comment that never addressed the topic – by writer Maggie Astor.
Amusingly, Astor gives Pushaw a deadline to respond of Thursday, when she is supposed to not be working.
Reporting on the Mirror – WASHINGTON POST
In related news, the word was spread that the Washington Post was looking to possibly spin off a division it created a few years ago. The advertising tech software has broadened into creating apps and analytical tools, and they are considering making it a standalone enterprise or even a sale.
This might be explored for the sake of revenue enhancement. Buried in the article on this enterprise is some chilling data that underscores the paper's financial challenges alluded to this year. It turns out that over the year, WaPo has lost 500,000 subscribers.
- "The Post is on pace to generate around $600 million in revenue in 2022 and has over 2.5 million subscribers, down from three million in January 2021, the people said. The company isn't expecting to make a profit this year."
News Avoidance Syndrome – VARIOUS OUTLETS
- The troubling appearance of a scripted press briefing is apparently no trouble at all.
In the White House press briefing Monday, Karine Jean-Pierre fielded a question about South Carolina becoming tabbed as the first state to hold a presidential primary. KJP turned to her notes to answer, and she did answer succinctly – to another question altogether.
Now it is remarkable to see little to no response and critique in the press over this monumental error on her part. There is no concern over her having cribbed answers and a scripted presser. There is also no general criticism of her persistent incompetence, as we see her flummoxed at the podium and reading an incorrect answer in preparation for a question.
Recall when Kayleigh McEnany was routinely scorched by the White House press corps for having her binder at the podium so that she could have facts at the ready while answering extemporaneously, but this – this fiasco of a display warrants no outrage.
Pathological Media Amnesia – THE ATLANTIC
- Jemele Hill hates people posturing as experts on a topic they know little about – just like her.
As the news about Brittney Griner being released from Russia in a highly questionable prisoner exchange scorched across social media today, many people were commenting on the fact that a former US Marine, Paul Whelan, has been held in that country for far longer. This bothered columnist Jemele Hill.
The former ESPN personality lashed out at those criticizing the move by our state department.
Did not know there were so many hostage experts with geopolitical expertise on Twitter …— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 8, 2022
Ms. Hill appears to be bothered that people who are not properly trained in State Department protocols are offering their opinion on multinational negotiations involving Griner. You know, such as former sports reporters who do not have any governmental service experience.