November 21, 2017

Americans Are Watching Netflix at Work and in the Bathroom


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About 37 percent of Americans who streamed shows or movies outside their homes said they did so at work. Credit Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Behold the versatile public restroom: It’s a refuge, a place to steel one’s nerves and, for some, a personal theater.

According to new data from the video giant Netflix, about 12 percent of Americans who watch television shows or movies outside of the home admit to having done so in a public restroom. And 37 percent say they’ve watched at work.

That’s according to the results of a survey commissioned by Netflix and conducted in the late summer by SurveyMonkey. The poll was based on responses from tens of thousands of people around the world, including 1,600 Americans, balanced by age and gender. It found that two-thirds of Americans stream movies and TV shows in public.

The use of both smartphones and streaming services is on the rise, according to the Pew Research Center. But details about how American viewing habits are changing are hard to find. Streaming companies, including Netflix, have been reluctant to share such data except when it serves their own interests, and third-party trackers have been slow to catch up.

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Still, the Netflix survey, released on Tuesday, provides some insight into a growing phenomenon: As Americans spend more time watching video on computers, smartphones and tablets, media consumption patterns and social customs are shifting.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/17/business/media/watch-netflix-at-work.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Comcast Said to Be in Talks to Buy 21st Century Fox Assets

But certain 21st Century Fox holdings became in play on Nov. 6, when acquisition talks with Disney were disclosed. Disney was also interested in buying the company’s overseas assets — along with the minority stake that 21st Century already owns in Sky, there is the sprawling Star India television and digital business — and certain operations in the United States, including the Fox movie studio, which includes Fox Searchlight, and a share of Hulu, the streaming service.

Disney and Fox are no longer talking, for now.

Verizon had expressed preliminary interest, according to people briefed on the matter, though one of them added that the company is not currently interested in pursuing a deal.

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This is all happening as the traditional media industry scrambles to contend with a struggling film business and sputtering cable networks, which have been buffeted by viewership declines and subscriber erosion. At the same time, streaming services like Netflix are surging and tech giants like Apple have arrived in Hollywood.

To compete, big players like the Walt Disney Company and Comcast have been looking to get even bigger. (Disney recently paid $2.5 billion for BamTech, a video streaming company, and said it would introduce a pair of Netflix-style streaming services.) Small conglomerates like Discovery and Scripps Media have sought refuge in each other’s arms.

And medium-size companies like 21st Century Fox have started to realize — or accept — that gaining the scale they need to compete may be out of reach. Time Warner opted to sell itself to ATT for $85 billion last year in a deal that is under regulatory scrutiny.

Comcast spent about $17 billion in 2013 for control of NBCUniversal. In 2016, Comcast spent $3.8 billion for DreamWorks.

The overseas operations of 21st Century Fox would be most interesting to Comcast, analysts said, but other assets would also complement NBCUniversal’s holdings, including a nature channel, National Geographic, and movie properties that could fuel its theme parks.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/business/media/comcast-21st-century-fox.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

F.C.C. Opens Door to More Consolidation in TV Business

Local media organizations, he has argued, would have a greater shot at competing against those internet giants by combining resources in local markets.

“It’s a simple proposition: The media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017,” Mr. Pai said on Thursday. “That’s the proposition the F.C.C. vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less. And it’s about time.”

Democrats on the commission said that rolling back the rules would hurt people who relied on local stations for news coverage.

“During the first 10 months of 2017, the F.C.C. majority has given the green light to more than a dozen actions that are a direct attack on consumers and small businesses,” said Mignon Clyburn, a Democratic commissioner, who voted against the orders. “And most Americans are unaware that the agency established to protect the public interest has traded in that role for the chance to grant the wish lists of billion-dollar companies.”

While local news audience numbers have declined in recent years, about 57 percent of Americans get most of their news from television, with local news leading cable outlets and national broadcasts, according to the Pew Research Center.

Public interest groups fear major corporations like Sinclair or CBS would grow more powerful through the relaxation of rules. Private equity investors who have purchased television stations and newspapers to flip them for a profit are also expected to take advantage of the changes.

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“Our media ownership numbers are already dismally low,” said Carmen Scurato, the director for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes greater diversity in media. “These actions on Thursday shut out our voices.”

Some academics are skeptical that the relaxation in rules will result in more robust local news coverage, as Mr. Pai envisions.

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There is little evidence that mergers in local media have resulted in more jobs and stronger journalism, said Victor Pickard, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Instead, the relaxation of rules could result in business models like that of Sinclair, which sends programming created from its station in Washington to be run at stations across the nation, critics of the changes have said.

“Media concentration has been a concern since the 1940s, and this is a major reversal,” Mr. Pickard said. He added that internet platforms did not create news content on their own so were not real competition to broadcast journalism.

“The fact that media content is coming from many sources, including the internet, isn’t evidence of real competition because that isn’t where actual journalism is coming from,” Mr. Pickard said.

Mr. Pai’s actions have also drawn strong criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some conservative media companies like Newsmax. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey and Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland called on the inspector general of the F.C.C. this week to investigate Mr. Pai’s relationship with Sinclair to see if he was giving favors to the company he regulates. Earlier this week 13 senators called on Mr. Pai to recuse himself from any actions related to media ownership because of concerns of ties to Sinclair.

Mr. Pai has rebutted the claims of coordination with Sinclair.

It is unclear who would first take advantage of the new rules. But a company like Sinclair could benefit from the elimination of a rule that prevents one entity from owning two top stations in a local market. Through its Tribune deal, Sinclair would have about 10 markets with more than one of the four top stations. And with the new rules, it may not have to divest those stations, some analysts say.

The National Association of Broadcasters, the lobbying group for television and radio broadcast station and network owners, said the rules would also help small, independent television owners, who have gone in to lobby Mr. Pai to support the changes.

“The F.C.C.’s past decisions retaining the local ownership rules depended upon the agency closing its eyes and covering its ears to avoid recognizing what is clear to any consumer with a TV remote or a smartphone — that local broadcast stations and newspapers do not exist in a vacuum and that broadcasters and newspaper owners must compete with myriad other outlets for viewers, listeners, readers and advertisers,” the group said in a blog post.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/business/media/fcc-local-tv.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Meredith Bid for Time Inc. Said to Be Backed by Koch Brothers

Earlier this year, Meredith was said to have been among parties interested in buying Time Inc. Those discussions ended when Time Inc. said it did not want to sell itself.

An obstacle that stalled negotiations earlier this year was Meredith’s inability to secure sufficient financing from banks. With the addition of the Kochs, with their deep pockets and apparent desire to make themselves players on the media landscape, that problem could vanish.

It is not clear how much influence — if any — the Kochs would have on a Meredith-owned Time Inc. if the deal were to go through.

The discussions come during a challenging time for magazine publishers, many of which are trying to remake themselves as multimedia entities. Time Inc. has lately shifted its focus away from its print magazines as it seeks to attract a sizable digital audience and pursue new opportunities for revenue growth.

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The headquarters of the Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. Talks between Meredith and Time Inc. fizzled out this year, but are said to be renewed. Credit Mary Chind/The Des Moines Register

The latest talks between Meredith and Time Inc. show the Koch brothers’ willingness to give their media ambitions another shot after they explored purchasing the Tribune Company in 2013.

Founded in 1922 by Henry R. Luce, Time Inc. was at one point among the most influential and authoritative voices in American magazine publishing, with offices overlooking Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. Through Time and Life magazines, it chronicled the ups and downs of a nation through stellar photography and weekly updates on news, sports and culture.

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Koch Industries operates oil refineries in various states and has a hand in numerous other businesses. According to Forbes, it is the second-largest privately operated company in the United States, second only to Cargill, with annual sales revenue of more than $100 billion.

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Charles and David Koch have made hefty donations to various civic and arts organizations, including Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Longtime libertarians, they are also prominent backers of conservative causes and candidates. In 1979, David Koch ran as the vice-presidential candidate on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (with Ed Clark at the top of the ticket).

The brothers have continued to influence politics through a Koch-funded nonprofit conservative advocacy group founded in 2004, Americans for Prosperity. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the group spent more than $720 million to bolster conservative policy positions and candidates.

Wilbur L. Ross, the commerce secretary, was the main speaker at an Americans for Prosperity gathering in August in Richmond, Va. At the time, The New York Times reported that the Koch brothers — once skeptical of President Trump — had moved closer to him, inspired, in part, by his plans to overhaul the tax code.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/business/media/koch-brothers-time-meredith.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Russia May Make All Outside News Media Register as ‘Foreign Agents’

The proposed Russian law appears far broader in its potential application, covering all foreign media organizations, not only state-run outlets. That has news organizations scrambling to see how it would affect their operations, and Russian rights groups are fearful of another crackdown on freedom of speech.

Russian officials, who fiercely condemned the registration requirement for RT, said they took the retaliatory measure reluctantly. “We didn’t want to pass this law,” said Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of Parliament. “This is a law that might not have existed. In Russia, we never took measures limiting freedom of speech in any of its forms.”

Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s press secretary, said of the rule that “any encroachment on the freedom of Russian media abroad is not and won’t be left without a strong condemnation.”

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Though presented as a reply to the United States’ demand that RT register, the rule could affect all foreign news media, not just American organizations.

“Numerous independent media in the country get foreign funding,” Tanya Lokshina, the Russia program director at Human Rights Watch, said in a telephone interview. “The foreign funding could become a pretext to crack down on them. It is just shockingly disproportionate and broad. The way it is written now, it appears it could be used for many different purposes.”

As written now, the Russian law would allow the Ministry of Justice to designate as a foreign agent any news media organization based outside Russia or receiving non-Russian funding, and would apply the same rules to designated news media as to nongovernmental groups under a 2012 Russian law.

Under that measure, foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations were required to file quarterly reports on their funding and activities to the Justice Ministry, open their books to an outside auditor and identify themselves as foreign agents on any published materials. Many organizations ceased operating rather than comply with the requirements.

It remains unclear what might be asked of news outlets based outside Russia and publishing online, or how the Russian government might seek to enforce the law.

“This legislation strikes a serious blow to what was already a fairly desperate situation for press freedom,” Denis Krivosheev, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, said in a statement. He said the rule would be likely to curtail the Russian-language services of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and the Washington-funded outlets Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

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“The Kremlin has been tirelessly building a media echo chamber that shuts out critical voices,” Mr. Krivosheev said, “both inside Russia and from abroad.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/world/europe/russia-news-media-foreign-agents.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Now Pass the Mic to Tatum O’Neal

“No,” she said. “It’s tacky.”

At 54, Ms. O’Neal is used to putting her foot down, she said later that day over lunch at Spago. “My entire life, I’ve been saying no to everything. No, no, no,” she said. “I want to be a yes person.”

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The actor Ryan O’Neal, left, and Ms. O’Neal, his daughter, at the National Museum of American History in Washington, in 2011. Credit Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Family Sidekicks

Ms. O’Neal was born to the actress Joanna Moore and the actor Ryan O’Neal, who split up when she was 4. In 1974, at 10, she was the youngest person to win an Oscar, for her role in “Paper Moon,” a movie she stole from her father, who was her co-star. Soon, she became his accessory in Hollywood, befriending adults like Cher, Bianca Jagger and Angelica Houston. When Ms. O’Neal was 16, her father left her in charge of her younger brother at their home in Malibu when he moved in with Farrah Fawcett in Bel Air, as she wrote about in her 2004 book, “A Paper Life.”

In 1986, when she was 21, she married the tennis star John McEnroe, then at the height of his career. They had three children and six years later they separated, with People magazine screaming: “End of the Love Match.” Their relationship was immortalized in an Andy Warhol painting, which sold in 2008 for over $300,000.

After her children were born, Ms. O’Neal became addicted to heroin. She spent years trying to get clean. She had her children taken from her. She had a public relapse and arrest in 2008. In 2011, she tried unsuccessfully to reconcile with her estranged father through a reality show called “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals,” which aired on OWN.

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The former tennis player John McEnroe poses next to “Portrait of John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal 1986” by Andy Warhol at Sotheby’s in 2008. Credit Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Years after the youthful success she enjoyed in movies including “The Bad News Bears” and “Little Darlings,” there were also new acting roles: as Denis Leary’s belligerent, alcoholic sister Maggie Gavin on “Rescue Me”; as a vacant trophy wife in “Basquiat”; as Kyra the shoe shamer on “Sex in the City.” Last month, she filmed “God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness” with John Corbett in Arkansas.

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A friend set Ms. O’Neal up with a manager recently. They were at a breakfast meeting, discussing how well Ms. O’Neal was doing. Things are good, they’ve been good for a long time, Ms. O’Neal said.

“But your arrest,” the manager said.

Some have observed that it is harder for female stars in Hollywood to come back from scandals than it is for male stars, like Mel Gibson; it was 15 years between Winona Ryder shoplifting in 2001, for example, and “Stranger Things.”

“It’s easy to become embittered,” Ms. O’Neal said. “It’s easy to cover up the embitterment with a ton of alcohol and a ton of drugs. But I choose to do what I feel comfortable with. And for me, I know what I’m the best at. And it’s acting. So I’m going to keep trying to do that even if it’s way harder for me than it is for a guy in the same position.”

Ms. O’Neal, for the record, wasn’t dying to say “yes” to a podcast. She barely knew what a podcast was. But it’s a growth industry, with 46 million monthly podcast listeners in 2017 expanding to 67 million this year, according to Edison Research, a data company.

Women host only about 10 of the top 100 podcasts on iTunes (one is Oprah’s “Super Soul Conversations,” which isn’t new material), but their voices are growing. In 2015, Werk It, a women’s podcast festival began. There’s “2 Dope Queens,” “Anna Faris Is Unqualified,” “Invisibilia” and “Another Round.”

Sheri Salata, who was co-president of OWN until 2016, and who is now a host of a podcast, “This Is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy,” believes Ms. O’Neal is a modern-day truth teller. “She has nothing to hide,” Ms. Salata said. “She doesn’t have to put pink paint on anything because throughout her life, when she had the opportunity to tell her story, she’s been incredibly honest.”

Ms. O’Neal’s son Kevin McEnroe, an author, said that people had approached them to do reality shows for years, which he felt was the worst possible thing to do. “You’ll just end up with an edited version of yourself versus what she has, which is that kind of natural charisma. And she’s funny,” Mr. McEnroe said. “With this new medium, you can see what it’s done for people in recovery like Marc Maron. You can speak openly about things, when maybe you didn’t have a chance to otherwise.”

Ms. O’Neal can’t not speak openly, but she was concerned about sounding too self-involved. She didn’t want to just talk about old Hollywood. She wanted the podcast to reflect her curiosity about life in the present. When you stop being curious, you’re in trouble, she said. She didn’t just want to rehash her stories, either — she wanted to explore other people’s stories. Which is why she brought her daughter in.

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Ms. McEnroe, 26, has a deep, gravelly voice — a combination of her father’s Queens-influenced stony delivery and her mother’s rasp — and is a fitting sidekick. She talks about being harassed as a door girl at a bar in Los Angeles. (A guy grabbed her recently and said, “Time to go to the strip club!”) She discusses her voice-over and acting auditions.

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Ms. O’Neal, left, and Ms. McEnroe. Credit Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

In the first few episodes, Ms. O’Neal and Ms. McEnroe tackled heavy topics: What is it like to have famous parents? What was it like to have a mother who is a drug addict?

Ms. O’Neal has done rehab and 12-step programs, though not currently. “In this town, if you’re not in the program, people think you must be out on the street with a needle hanging out of your arm,” she said. “I think that’s a fallacy.”

Ms. McEnroe has tried E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which encourages the person to briefly focus on the traumatic memory) and other “trauma work.” She also dabbles in alternative practices, most recently, baking in a 150-degree infrared sauna. “It was awful,” she said.

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On and off the air, her mother is noticeably sensitive to the wounds inflicted by addiction.

“We’d talk about it, and I would be triggered by something,” Ms. McEnroe said. “My mom would check in with me. ‘Are you O.K. with this? Is it bringing up feelings for you?’ Because for a long time, I got inward as a teen and stopped talking.” But, “I really want to have this conversation brought up more and not be taboo and not be strange. I don’t think it’s something that should be filled with shame.”

Learning to Listen

Ms. O’Neal would like to host John Frusciante, the musician and former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who also had a very public battle with heroin addiction. She is working on her interviewing skills. “I don’t necessarily listen as well as I’d like to listen,” she said. “But I’m learning to do that.”

For a recent episode, she spoke with Jennifer Sklias-Gahan, an actress who is married to Dave Gahan, the lead singer of Depeche Mode. The two women met in Manhattan in the 1990s.

“She’s been through it,” Ms. Sklias-Gahan said. “But she’s very intuitive and insightful and still vulnerable, which is almost impossible to keep that with the world that she’s navigated. And going through some of the things that she’s gone through. I know how hard it is as a woman.”

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At age 10, Ms. O’Neal won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in the movie “Paper Moon.” Credit Associated Press

During the podcast taping that day, Ms. O’Neal talked about how her father dropped her off to stay with Stanley Kubrick’s family for a year while he was making “Barry Lyndon.” (“So a play date forever,” Ms. McEnroe deadpanned.) Ms. O’Neal and Vivian Kubrick (Mr. Kubrick’s daughter) were 9 and 12. One night the two girls were playing in the bathtub, and Ms. Kubrick cut Ms. O’Neal’s hair off. It’s why Ms. O’Neal wore that on-trend pixie cut to the Oscars.

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There was the time she was staying at the Stanhope Hotel when she was 20 and someone broke into her room and scrawled on the wall, in her red lipstick, “Who do you think you are, Shirley Temple?” A profanity was added for good measure.

At lunch, there were more stories. The time she was in her early teens and she and Melanie Griffith, also in her teens, went to Roman Polanski’s apartment in Paris and he showed them the X-rated, sexually violent Japanese film “Realm of the Senses,” an experience Ms. O’Neal describes in her book. “He didn’t touch me or do anything at all, but that was a lot to see,” at that age, Ms. O’Neal said. “I shouldn’t have been there.”

Ms. O’Neal also said she lost her virginity at 14, on the set of “International Velvet” in 1977 to a member of the crew who was in his 30s.

Though Ms. O’Neal wrote about the experience in “A Paper Life,” she did not mention the crew member by name, and struggled with this decision. Years later, it remains painful. Like many victims, she blamed herself. She said she put on tight pants to seduce him. In old footage of “International Velvet,” Ms. O’Neal was a beautiful, fresh-faced teenager, but she was scrawny, just starting puberty. She hadn’t yet gotten her period. “I didn’t understand the difference in our ages,” she said. “I thought something along the lines of, ‘This is what people do.’”

This was part of the damage of being a child star, one with little parental supervision, she said. Ms. O’Neal said that a few years later she ran into the crew member and it was shameful and embarrassing for her.

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Ms. O’Neal at 14, the year she filmed “International Velvet.” Credit Associated Press

Many therapists will tell you that you have to go backward to go forward. At the opening of her podcast, Ms. O’Neal declared, “I was going to start with something super-highfalutin’,” then added as an afterthought, “I’m bumbling my way towards enlightenment.”

Her daughter quizzed her a little about this and Ms. O’Neal explained that for her, it was about distancing herself from her past so that she didn’t always live in the pain of what happened to her. That she wanted to find a sense of empathy for the people who have hurt her. She wants to release all of the damage that happened in her life.

“I’m nowhere near any kind of enlightenment,” Ms. O’Neal said, in her typical self-depreciating delivery. “So I just want to preface that.”

But Ms. McEnroe disagreed. “I think you are,” she said.

“You do?” Ms. O’Neal said, her voice rising an octave.

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“Yeah,” Ms. McEnroe said. “You’re on the road. That’s all you can be.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/style/tatum-oneal-podcast.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

If Bernie Bernstein Existed, He’d Be a Terrible Journalist

It should be noted that many people hear the heavily accented voice saying “Lenny Bernstein,” which is the name of a health reporter at the paper. The caller is not him.

We get it, a lot of people distrust the media and suspect the worst out of reporters. But here’s what the call got wrong.

Most American journalists don’t pay for interviews

Kris Coratti, a Washington Post spokeswoman, said the publication has a policy that specifically prohibits paying sources. (So does New York Times policy.)

The Society of Professional Journalists admonishes “checkbook journalism” as undermining credibility and corrupting the motives of sources.

“Grown-up journalists don’t pay for news,” said Chris Roberts, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. “People are willing to say things for money that may or may not be true. It helps us to understand the motives more clearly when that is one less reason to tell things that are not true.”

The practice is more common outside the United States. More than half of journalists in the United Kingdom said it was O.K. to pay for sources in special occasions, compared to 5 percent of American journalists, according to a study published last year by the University of Oxford. In the U.S., paying for sources is usually limited to tabloid newspapers or gossip sites like TMZ.

And as a Washington Post reporter noted, $7,000 is a lot of money for a newsroom.

‘We will not be fully investigating these claims’

That would be a very silly thing for a reporter to say. It would be like a plumber saying “we will not fully fix the leak in your pipe.”

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“A journalist worried about his or her reputation would only want to put verified or supported claims in a story carrying their names,” said Andrew Seaman, the ethics chair for the Society of Professional Journalists.

An ethical reporter would also be unlikely to phrase their request the way the robocall did. Asking for someone “willing to make damaging remarks” would be brazenly partisan in a way most mainstream reporters try to avoid.

“Journalists wouldn’t normally ask such leading questions,” Mr. Seaman said. “They’re after the truth, whether that leads to a scandal or exoneration.”

Bernie Bernstein?

There’s also the matter of the name itself. It seems intended to play into anti-Semitic sentiment.

Discrediting media

The call appeared designed to stoke distrust in the news media, feeding people’s worst fears of salacious, unethical and overtly partisan reporting.

It came at a time when the news has not been flattering for Mr. Moore, especially a Washington Post report in which a woman said he made sexual advances on her when she was 14. Five women have now accused him of sexual misconduct, and a growing number of Republicans have dropped their support or called on him to leave the race.

Mr. Roberts, who was a reporter and editor for The Birmingham News between 1989 and 1998, said the robocall fit into some people’s skepticism of the national media.

“Alabamians, and many from the South, seem to be tired of outsiders coming in and pointing out their flaws, and this goes back for decades,” Mr. Roberts said.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/business/media/bernie-bernstein-washington-post-fake.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Advertisers Delete Tweets Around Calls to Boycott Sean Hannity

“Some staff didn’t realize that we have a practice of not engaging in boycotts,” a spokeswoman said of the deleted tweet. “Senior management at Realtor.com became aware over the weekend of the error, and the tweets were taken down Sunday and the policy was posted on our corporate website.”

Volvo Car USA apparently responded to a tweet from a consumer on Monday to say, “We have spoken with our media agency and have advised them to cease advertising on the show.” But that message has disappeared. The company did not respond to requests for comment.

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A video posted on social media showed a man kicking a Keurig coffee maker into a swimming pool after setting it on fire. Credit @GMBSEEME, via Reuters

Some brands have been swept up in the boycott talk without having advertised on Mr. Hannity’s program in months. Nature’s Bounty, for example, has responded to consumers’ tweets in recent days to say it does not run ads on the program. Some connected that to Mr. Hannity’s comments last week, but a spokeswoman said in an email that the company had not advertised on the show since the summer.

Reddi Wip and Hebrew National, both owned by ConAgra Foods, have also been linked to the boycott after saying on Twitter that they had removed Mr. Hannity’s program from their advertising plans. But a spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the show had not been part of its media spending for “several months.”

“We should have replied with a more thorough tweet,” Lanie Friedman, the spokeswoman, said in an email, “so people realized this was not a recent decision.”

Some brands, including Eloquii and 23andMe, do appear to have pulled their ads from Mr. Hannity’s show based on Twitter statements. But they declined to elaborate on their reasoning.

This most recent issue started Thursday after Mr. Hannity discussed allegations against Mr. Moore, who has been accused of making sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his early 30s. Mr. Hannity, during his radio show, seemed to justify Mr. Moore’s reported conduct by calling one of the encounters “consensual.”

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Later, on his TV program, Mr. Hannity said he “misspoke,” though he went on to discuss the possibility of Mr. Moore’s accusers lying for money or political purposes. Calls for a boycott followed.

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Brands may be exercising caution based on the backlash that Keurig experienced. The brand waded into a maelstrom when it said it planned to halt ads on Mr. Hannity’s show, partly because it was responding to a tweet from Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters.

Keurig’s chief executive said in an email to employees on Monday that while it was appropriate for the brand to pause ads on the program, its decision to express that in a tweet was “highly unusual” and “done outside of company protocols.”’ He apologized to employees for any negativity they endured from the “appearance of ‘taking sides.’”

During his show on Monday, Mr. Hannity lauded the support from his fans but asked them to stop destroying the machines, calling Keurig a “victim” of Media Matters. He said on Tuesday that he planned to give away 500 Keurig machines and accepted the company’s “apology,” without noting it was directed to employees.

Through it all, Ms. Alaimo said, the messages from the brands have become muddled.

“What all of these companies need to do right now is publicly articulate what their policies are with respect to advertising, and under what circumstances they would pull their ads from broadcasters,” she said.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/business/media/sean-hannity-advertisers.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Journalist Swept Up in Inauguration Day Arrests Faces Trial

“The government has not informed me as to why Mr. Wood’s case involved any greater degree of culpability than of the other journalists who were ultimately not charged,” Mr. Cohen said in an email.

On his website, Mr. Wood said that “resistance cultures and conflicts” were his beat. He works as a commercial photographer on the side, his lawyer said.

An April 3 indictment, which lists eight charges against Mr. Wood and 211 other defendants, “does not single out Mr. Wood for anything arising from the demonstration,” Mr. Cohen said. A spokesman for the Justice Department said he would not comment on pending cases.

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Officers in riot gear holding a line against protesters on Jan. 20 near the Capitol in Washington. Credit Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, suggested that the Justice Department’s reason for proceeding with its case against Mr. Wood might lie somewhere in his 42-minute Facebook Live video of the Jan. 20 demonstrations.

Mr. Wood’s lawyer, however, said the video showed that his client was innocent of the charges against him.

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The footage shows Mr. Wood taking digital-camera photographs, usually from the sidelines, as he live-streams the event. Several times he runs to the front of the group of demonstrators to get a different shot.

Occasionally Mr. Wood is heard letting out a cry of “Whoo!” as he captures protesters in the act of spray-painting buildings and throwing rocks through windows. A few times he turns the camera to himself, showing his reactions as the protest escalates.

“I could see someone at the D.O.J. saying this is what a protester does,” Mr. Leslie said.

According to Reed Brody, a lawyer who represented the reporter Amy Goodman, who faced rioting charges in 2016 after covering the protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, a journalist’s attitude toward a protest is not germane.

“Obviously, journalists are not above the law — they can’t break windows,” Mr. Brody said. “They can be sympathetic to the people that they cover, and they can draw attention to the people that they cover. But you can’t arrest and you can’t charge journalists for covering events.”

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Toward the end of the video, as the police are about to move in, Mr. Wood is seen identifying himself as a member of the media.

Mr. Cohen said Mr. Wood had done nothing illegal. “I believe the government understands the import of charging Mr. Wood but still continues to do so, despite the First Amendment issues,” Mr. Cohen said.

Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America program coordinator for Committee to Protect Journalists, said the law must distinguish between those who covered demonstrations and the participants.

“Criminal laws should require criminal intent, and so if a journalist is covering the story, that does not constitute criminal intent,” Ms. Ellerbeck said. “He wasn’t vandalizing property, and the charges against him are incredibly extreme.”

The Washington Metropolitan Police seemingly ignored journalists who presented their credentials, including Mr. Wood, who is seen flashing a press badge in the video.

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“The police used the actions of a few window breakers as an excuse of a mass roundup,” said Scott Michelman, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington.

The other journalists arrested at K and 12th Streets on Jan. 20 were Evan Engel, a senior producer at Vocativ; Jack Keller, a producer of the web documentary series “Story of America”; Matthew Hopard, a freelance photojournalist whose work has been published by The New York Times and Fox News; Alexander Stokes, an independent journalist who has a show on a public access news channel in Albany; Cheney Orr, a freelance photographer; Alexander Rubinstein, a reporter with RT America; and Shay Horse, a freelance photojournalist whose work has been published by Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera America and other outlets.

This law enforcement tactic of arresting people in large numbers at protests — known as kettling — was used in Toronto during a Group of 20 protest in 2010 and during more recent demonstrations in North Dakota and St. Louis.

In those instances, it seemed that police officers did not distinguish between the alleged lawbreakers and those covering the events. Afterward, Ms. Ellerbeck said, journalists were “forced through a legal process that is expensive and arduous and scary — and all the more so if you’re a freelance journalist.”

Mr. Wood, who declined to be interviewed for this article, expressed his feelings about the trial in a blog post on his photography website. “I’ve been confronted with my biases yet I am embodying a ‘journalist’ identity more than ever,” he wrote. “I honor that duty to a professional level.”

Mr. Wood is one of 31 journalists who have been arrested while on the job in the United States in 2017, according to U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/business/media/alexei-wood-journalist-trial-inauguration.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

A Long-Time Capitol Hill Reporter on the Art of the Hallway Interview

Want to talk to the author of the tax bill? Just follow him down the hall as he goes to vote, makes his way to a policy lunch with his colleagues or leaves a committee hearing (where you have been standing by a back doorway waiting for him to emerge).

I have chased members of Congress down hallways in high heels, rain boots and, once, because a shoe fell off, sock-footed. As more news organizations send more reporters into the Capitol Hill fray, getting to lawmakers away from the swarm that envelops them as they emerge from the Senate subway can be more challenging.

Like my colleagues, I learned which elevator they preferred to use in their office buildings, and at what time and where on the Capitol campus they tended to eat breakfast. I memorized their walking patterns to and from office buildings, and tried to track them midday.

Some lawmakers, like Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, seem to enjoy the stalking, and are happy to talk to reporters in hallways at just about any hour of the day or night. Others, like Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, and Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, almost uniformly refuse to talk when approached, march straight ahead barking “No comment” or look up at a spot on the ceiling that suddenly seems fascinating.

Many simply repeat talking points honed in the aforementioned policy lunches. Others, like Mr. Corker and Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, speak quite candidly — and often eloquently — when unscripted. Some will speak only on a very limited number of topics, to a very specific set of reporters (sometimes home state writers, sometimes those whom they have known for years, sometimes only conservative or liberal media); others pretend to be talking on a cellphone when approached. This is quite transparent, and yet the technique lives on.

While most of our hallway pursuits are in the interest of Murphy Brown-like quote fulfillment, there are plenty of other types of reporting that can go on in halls, especially when a reporter gets a senator or House member alone.

Lawmakers will confirm rumors, provide tips and offer guidance as to what other people in Washington — White House officials among them — are up to. Many can unpack a policy goal, unravel the politics of a specific bill and tell you who said what in a meeting. Hallway interviews are also a very good, if painstaking, way to figure out how a bill that appears to be too close to call is going to turn out.

As I noted on Twitter in 2015 when I was trying to figure out whether a national security bill had the votes in the Senate to pass: “I have stalked Republicans like a crazy ex girlfriend for a week, and my best guess is there are 57 votes in the Senate for USA Freedom now.” 57 it was.

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All praise be to hallways, and their backbreaking tile floors.

To livestream Jennifer Steinhauer’s conversation about bipartisanship with Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, and Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m., click here.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/insider/the-art-of-the-hallway-interview-capitol-hill-congress.html?partner=rss&emc=rss