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The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Townhall Media

"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.


Reporting on the Mirror – KWWL-TV

  • A great piece of white Christmas video for the holiday weekend.

As much of the country is becoming inundated with a polar ice frost this Christmas weekend, one amusing collection of segments comes out of Iowa. With a blizzard blowing into town it basically meant the cancellation of all sports, and as a result of that, and shortened staff due to holiday vacations, the sports guy was pressed into service to cover the outdoor conditions. 

Mark Woodley was called on to go out and make live outside broadcasts in the 3:00 am hours, and he delivered some damned amusing candid remotes. Savor the honesty.

Matching Media Memorandum – THE NEW YORKER

  • Pro Tip: Maybe do not bring up falling customer support in a discussion about not doing your jobs.

As we mentioned yesterday, people began questioning how the press managed to miss the questionable backstory of Congressman-elect George Santos, and Michael Barbaro of The NY Times tried to push the responsibility off on the readers. Joining in on the blame-shifting is Alberto Riva, who wanted to highlight the fact that subscriptions have been dropping off for news outlets as if this explained the sloth in the reporting.

When the topic concerns journalists who were not doing their jobs, mentioning how people are not subscribing sufficiently becomes a case where you actually justify their decision.

Anti-Social Media – WASHINGTON POST

Paul Farhi provided an update on those oppressed journalists who found themselves suspended last weekend from their Twitter accounts after reposting the links to the website tracking Elon Musk's plane. It seems that a few journos remain suspended, and this is due to their refusal to take down the tweet(s) violating the Twitter TOS.

- "Twitter has privately demanded that the suspended journalists delete the tweets that drew Musk's ire in the first place — a condition the reporters have refused to accept. The result is a stalemate: The suspended journalists remain in Twitter purgatory, unable to access their accounts."

You have to appreciate the presentation of shock/surprise as if Musk enforcing a standard that countless suspended accounts had to abide by for many years becoming applicable to journalists is somehow out of line.

Legalized Press-titution – NBC NEWS

  • Maybe Jamie Raskin pull-out posters will become an item from the network.

Ryan Nobles was interviewing Jamie Raskin in the wake of the release of the January 6 Committee findings, and during their talk, the politician had to excuse himself for an incoming phone call. The excitable reaction from Nobles is, shall we say, palpable. 

Egads, man, have some dignity. I'm sure he'll autograph the back of your press badge, or something else for you, if you just play it cool.

Pre-written Field Reports – MSNBC

  • We want very strongly for this to be accurate…

This being the season of giving, of brotherhood, and of forgiveness finds us here at Riffed-FTH in a charitable mood. It is for that reason when presented with this evidence of a journalist displaying a rather sophomoric work ethic we are going to take the side of him being sarcastic for the sake of mirth.

Truly, we want this to be the case because otherwise Ari Melber's bosses should have him in and have a word about the diligence in his reporting.


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