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Across The Media Universe: "How The Hell Do You Like That, Creep?" Edition

Spin Class: Scott Pelley's "60 Minutes" interview with President Bush has Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online railing against "the dying paleo-media." In a rambling screed that incorporates many of the traditional right-wing complaints about the press, McCarthy argues that CBS falsely hyped President Bush's statement that "decisions have made things unstable" in Iraq.

What's the problem? It seems that someone at Bloomberg News put the headline "Bush Says Iraq Is Now More Unstable Than Under Saddam, CBS Says" on a story about the interview. CBS never actually made such a claim – the press release from which the story was written offered only "[h]is decisions have led to instability in Iraq, says the President." But that doesn't stop McCarthy from asserting "[t]hese breathless assertions turn out to be slippery in the signature CBS fashion" and using said assertions as a springboard to attack what he calls "the antiwar intelligentsia."

The Katie Chronicles: Back in December, the "Evening News" took some heat over Katie Couric's nine minute interview with the widow of one of the climbers who died on Mt. Hood. Now, as Peter Johnson notes, there is discussion within CBS News about whether Couric's interviews should be abandoned. Says "Evening News" Executive Producer Rome Hartman: "We're not giving up on Katie's interviews, but I did emphasize [in a meeting with staff last week] that in order to be as newsy and fresh and distinctive, that we want those interviews to be real newsmakers, that's all. We don't want to interview the same folks that everyone is doing."

Bloggers Vs. Talkers: The "Spocko" story has made it to the New York Times. A quick primer: A group of bloggers led by "Spocko" had been contacting advertisers to let them know about comments made by KSFO-AM talk radio hosts. "Spocko" was also posting the comments, which included such gems as this one about Nancy Pelosi – "We've got a bull's eye painted on her big wide laughing eyes" – on his Web site. (Another of the KSFO talkers, Brian Sussman, called Senator Barack Obama a "halfrican" because he one of his parents is African and one is not.) ABC Radio Networks – owned by Disney – sent letters to "Spocko's" Internet Service Provider requesting that the site be taken down, and the ISP complied. That seems only to have garnered "Spocko" more attention, however, and on Friday KSFO preempted three hours of programming to respond to the bloggers. Did the talkers apologize? Yes and no. Said KSFO's Lee Rodgers to one blogger who called in: "Well I haven't apologized for anything and I am not going to start with you. How the hell do you like that, creep?"