Each week we take a look at the best and the worst of what the media world had to offer.
This past week, much like every week, has had its moments of drama, moments of brilliance, and moments of foolish things said that we wished we hadn’t heard.
While intrepid female comedians dominate with their new books, intrepid veteran reporters dodged bullets in Libya. An entertainer dodged bad reviews for his one-man show, while another entertainer told us just how he felt about a certain potential candidate for the presidency.
After months of rumours, followed by weeks of stories, it was finally made official: Glenn Beck will 'transition' off his highly rated 5PM show on FOX. Beck eventually revealed that leaving the show was something he'd been considering for a while, Roger Ailes said mostly nice things about Beck, and the two publicly toed the line that the split between them had been both amicable and mutual. The fact that so far both have come out completely unscathed, makes them winners this week. Also a winner? Jon Stewart's epic farewell.
This week Tina Fey's sort-of-memoir Bossypants came out to plenty of fanfair on April 5. Fey also released the news of her second pregnancy, generating even more buzz, almost in response to her recently published New Yorker piece. Her brilliant comic timing matched with brilliant media timing is absolutely untouchable -- Fey is a winner in everything she does, and this week, it's media.
In a totally unexpected example of on-the-ground journalism, Geraldo Rivera dodged bullets this week while reporting from Libya. Literally This situation not only reminded us that Geraldo has been a legit journalist for years, but that the situation in the North African nation is no joke for American troops. It also inspired a love letter of sorts from Jon Stewart.
Katie Couric will be leaving her position as anchor of the CBS Evening News when her contract is up in June, that much is certain. And while the stories about her departure have focused on low rating and the fanfare with which she accepted the position back in 2006, the truth is this is a smart decision. The network evening news is a dying beast. Couric, who's shown a propensity for the new media world, appears to be getting out while the getting is good.
Although members of the media have been denouncing Donald Trump for days (and Bill Cosby, only a few slides back!) it was Lawrence O'Donnell calling upon the network he works for to fire Trump that confirmed the billionaire real estate developer's loser status this week:
'I think we're at the point now where Glenn Beck wears out his welcome at Fox News, with Roger Ailes, over going crazy in these kinds of things. Charlie Sheen gets kicked off of CBS for saying crazy things. How crazy do you have to be, how many lies do you have to tell about the President of the United States, how much hate do you have to promote, that Donald Trump has promoted, to get yourself kicked off of primetime NBC?'
After only 3 months as New York City's schools chancellor, former Hearst head Cathie Black was fired quite bluntly by Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week. Her appointment was controversial from the start -- she had zero experience in education, as many post-mortems made a point of noting. But three months is quick even by New York standards. That said, Black will likely land on her feet -- there are a number of high profile media jobs open at the moment. Bloomberg's third term is another question.
After running around to various talk shows promoting his new book, Jesse Ventura came off several times as a buffoonish conspiracy theorist with little self awareness and few people skills. And while we love the phrase 'sexual assault by a microwave,' his attempts monopolize and last available spotlights neglected by Donald Trump were pretty sad.
This week AOL fired much of its freelancer pool. Some complained of being offered the option of continuing to contribute, for free. While AOL has also insisted that it has hired some of its freelancers full time, and intends to build a large editorial staff, a weeks worth of 'AOL Fires Freelancer' headlines would not be the best way to win at media, at least not this week.
After getting booed offstage in Detroit and delivering another boring show in Chicago, Charlie Sheen has gone on to prove that no, he's not such a great entertainer, and yes, even the inventor of 'winning!' and 'tiger blood' has a limited engagement with America's attention span. Bipolar disorder usually pairs unusually powerful mania with incredibly crippling depression -- hopefully Sheen is prepared to deal with the lows of his career.
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