Last week’s notes on FNW were just two steno pages. This week — 4 and a half.
Segment one: Pope Benedict XVI
- Jim Pinkerton came out swinging at NBC’s Brian Williams phrasing: ‘the church not yet ready for big change.’ Pinkerton says the emphasis was on the yet - showing MSM bias toward the conservative pick.
- Cal Thomas didn’t like headlines like “God’s Rotweiller” and “The Enforcer.” He said there is a presumption in the American media that the Vatican should “rubber stamp” what ever people want to do instead of being a “barricade against cultural death.” He went on to point out the old maxim: “The 10 Commandments aren’t voluntary.”
- Jane Hall countered by saying that Americans are polling differently from what the new Pope stands for, and that there ought to be debate and a discussion of his views.
- Ellis Henican of Newsday (sitting in for Neal Gabler this week) said that the Catholic Church should be covered like secular organizations “let’s have opinion, let’s have debate about it. What’s wrong with that?”
- Jane Hall noted that FNC’s Tom Bird thought the Vatican pool coverage was well produced — and acted as a kind of good PR move for the Church.
- Pinkerton had a great, albeit John Kerry-esque point (which I’ll cut down for clarity): “(The) Pulitzer Prize… beckons… for whatever reporter… demonstrates… Ratzinger is not a Nazi.”
Segment two: Pay for play
The panel discussed several instances of technology experts on morning shows, such as Today’s Corey Greenburg (and other examples at ABC & FNC) taking money from the company’s whose products they pitch.
- Ellis: “(There are) not that many rules in our business, but one of them is that you don’t take money from people you are covering.” He also called it a “cardinal sin.”
- Cal calls this inevitable — and made some odd reference to a Broadway play with paid-placement.
- Jim Pinkerton says that the coverage shows that he does not think Greenburg is sorry.
- Eric Burns quote his “good friend for over 30 years,” NBC EP for Broadcast Standards David McCormack as saying “Some products that they might talk about may be quite topical, and to ignore them would be peculiar.” Now quoting Burns: “But, to let someone not on the take discuss that would be more ethical!”
- Coulter on Time magazine. Every member of the panel thinks the picture nonsense is overblown. Jane noted that the cover might not be great, but the article inside gives her “a pass.” Jim: “She’s trying to make more news.” Cal: “Who doesn’t want their picture on Time” Ellis: (on the picture being bad): “I don’t think she believes that anymore than we should invade France.”
- NBC’s new hit Revelations. Not much of substance - though Jane talked about how many think The Simpsons is the best example of how families deal with religion.”
- Larry King to testify in the Jacko case.