Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: January 11, 2021

Arnold Schwarzenegger's message following this week's attack on the US capitol

Sedition: A Randy Rainbow parody

The latest is set to the tune of Tradition, from Fiddler on the Roof. This is not the first time he has humoured us with music written by Jerry Bock. Last year, he released a parody entitled Distraction that was set to the music of Tradition from the same 60s musical. – YouTube

And from the UK, Jonathan Pie: What’s the point of Twitter if Trump’s not on it?

Streaming war sees Bell Media make a tactical shift

A slate of senior executive offices is now empty at the company as the company streamlines its structure to allow it to invest in content and technology that will allow it to “stay out in front” in the increasingly competitive media industry. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

New CBC TV show host is making history tonight

Ginella Massa broke new ground by wearing a visible display of her Muslim faith — the hijab — as a VJ for CTV in Kitchener-Waterloo and as a news reader at CityNews Toronto. She was the first woman in Canada — and possibly North America — to do so.

Massa is on the move again, this time to the national stage as host of “Canada Tonight,” a Monday-to-Friday hour-long news Network, wedged between “Power & Politics” and “The National. “The program debuts tonight at 8 p.m. – Bruce DeMara, The Star

Toronto’s richest family made more than $8B throughout the pandemic

"David Thomson & family" now have a net worth of $39.8B, according to the newly-updated Forbes billionaire list, up from $31.6B in April of 2020, when the list was last updated.

Listed as number 24 on the Forbes list, Thomson is by far the richest person in Canada — the next-wealthiest person listed is Alibaba founder Joseph Tsai ($11.8B,) followed by the Westons (of Loblaw's fame who boast a current wealth estimate of $8.5B.) – Lauren O’Neil, blogTO

Parler takes a hit for Trump

While explaining their decisions on Friday to pull Parler from their respective app stores, Apple and Google shared images of posts on Parler that they said had crossed the line. They included a post from Lin Wood, the defamation lawyer who sued to overturn Mr. Trump’s election loss, that said Vice President Mike Pence should be executed for not helping the fight to overturn the election results.

Another post they cited said 20 coordinated assassinations were all that would be needed to “take back our country.” – Jack Nices, The New York Times

Our new reality: Three Americas

America, in its modern foundational components, is breaking into blue America, red America, and Trump America — all with distinct politics, social networks and media channels.

The existential question for Republicans, and perhaps for America, is whether Trump America — animated by the likes of Newsmax + Rush Limbaugh + Tucker Carlson + Parler (or whatever replaces it) — eclipses the traditional Red America in power in the coming years.  – Jim VandeHel, Axios

Descent into hell in America

Some Americans have traveled a path to radicalization that reminds current and former U.S. national security officials of the indoctrination of Islamist militants.

Cindy Storer, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, said that adherents in both cases were drawn to an ideology that emphasizes a loss in control or status. “We had this glorious past and it got screwed up and now we need to do something about it,” she said, summarizing the mind-set. What makes such movements turn violent, she said, is the additional belief that some other entity — usually based on race, religion, or nationality — is to blame for perceived humiliation. – Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe & Razzan Nakhlawi, The Washington Post

Far right viewership coup threatens Fox News supremacy

In the last full week before the election, primetime ratings for Fox News were more than 90 times greater than primetime ratings for Newsmax, according to ratings tracker Nielsen.

But in the first full week after the election, Fox News' lead had declined to less than nine times the ratings of Newsmax. And by the week of Nov. 30, the lead was down to less than seven times.

“Fox News is being forced to actually compete for its audience for the first time in years,” said Matt Gertz, senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group that closely tracks cable news. – Nathan Bomey, USA Today

Capitol riots: When free speech kills democracy

Famed US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is cited by many as inventing the phrase that one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins.

Without getting into the debate over Holmes’ legacy on free speech, Wednesday’s pro-Trump protests in Washington, which morphed into a mob attack on the US Capitol, is the most blatant wake-up call of many recent incidents that the limits of free speech and protests may need to be reconsidered. – Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post

A pro-Trump militant group has recruited thousands of police, soldiers, and veterans

Stewart Rhodes was living his vision of the future. On television, American cities were burning, while on the internet, rumors warned that antifa bands were coming to terrorize the suburbs. Rhodes was driving around South Texas, getting ready for them. He answered his phone. “Let’s not fuck around,” he said. “We’ve descended into civil war.” – Mike Giglio, The Atlantic

More Bob Hoffman, the Ad Contrarian

What indecency starts with an "F" and ends with a "K"? Right, Facebook.

Let's start the New Year with a nice healthy cleanse by recapping our 27 favorite Facebook outrages of 2020.

JANUARY:
1. A glowing article about Facebook entitled “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election” appeared in Teen Vogue magazine.

When sharp-eyed people started questioning the authenticity of the article, an "editor's note" suddenly appeared stating, "This is sponsored editorial content." Sponsored editorial content is the bullshit phrase that means "this is an ad."

Then the 'editor's note' suddenly disappeared.

Then a byline by a freelance writer suddenly appeared on the article.

Then that freelance writer said she didn't write the article.

Then her byline disappeared.

Then a subscriber to Teen Vogue's Twitter account asked whether it was a real article or an ad. The Teen Vogue social media person replied "Literally, idk" (I don't know.) Then that tweet suddenly disappeared.

Then Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted the "article" on her Facebook page saying “Great Teen Vogue piece about five incredible women protecting elections on Facebook."

Then Teen Vogue removed the whole article. – The rest of this column will appear shortly on his website here.

RIP

Ian Carman, a longtime Globe and Mail employee who was editor of the Report on Business for 15 years and served as an executive editor of the broadsheet in 1981. Carman died in Toronto on December 29, 2020 and interment will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery at a later date this spring.

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