Ad Age “Media Guy” columnist Simon Dumenco’s media roundup for the morning of Monday, April 3:
In the Department of Things That Are Way Overdue: A “failing Los Angeles Times” tweet from the president (see No. 6, below). Maybe a “Colbert is totally overrated” tweet too (No. 7). And, while we’re at it, Wrestlemania-style congressional hearings (see Nos. 3 and 4). Anyway, let’s get started …
1. In a big Sunday front-page New York Times story headlined “O’Reilly Thrives as Settlements Add Up” — retitled “Bill O’Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up” for the web — reporters Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt write,
For nearly two decades, Bill O’Reilly has been Fox News’s top asset, building the No. 1 program in cable news for a network that has pulled in billions of dollars in revenues for its parent company, 21st Century Fox. Behind the scenes, the company has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior. An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
2. Speaking of Fox News, The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh is out with a big profile of the network’s Tucker Carlson. A small taste:
For Carlson, as for Trump, there is virtually no issue more salient than immigration — Carlson loves to trip up pro-immigration advocates by demanding that they explain exactly how many immigrants the country should admit, and why. After Carlson broadcast a segment about crime in immigrant neighborhoods in Sweden, Trump was inspired to tell a crowd about “what’s happening, last night, in Sweden.” It sounded as if he were talking about a recent attack; in fact, “last night” seems to have referred to Carlson’s show.
3. It’s happening. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be voting today on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Alexander Bolton and Jordain Carney of The Hill are serving up live coverage. It will probably go down a bit like this …
4. “John Cena Proposes to Nikki Bella During Live WrestleMania 33: Watch the Moment,” via Us Weekly. (Can you imagine a more romantic venue than Wrestlemania?)
5. So pretty small then? Recode’s Peter Kafka interviewed Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler and this post is the result: “Google says its YouTube ad problem is ‘very very very small’ but it’s getting better at fixing it anyway.” Are you reassured?
6. The Los Angeles Times is putting President Trump on blast in a four-part series of editorials. Part I, “Our Dishonest President,” ran yesterday; Part II, “Why Trump lies,” today; Part III runs tomorrow; and Part IV on Wednesday (this series is so epic it requires Roman numerals). Here’s an excerpt from today’s installment:
But he is not merely amusing. He is dangerous. His choice of falsehoods and his method of spewing them — often in tweets, as if he spent his days and nights glued to his bedside radio and was periodically set off by some drivel uttered by a talk show host who repeated something he’d read on some fringe blog — are a clue to Trump’s thought processes and perhaps his lack of agency. He gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief. He has made himself the stooge, the mark, for every crazy blogger, political quack, racial theorist, foreign leader or nutcase peddling a story that he might repackage to his benefit as a tweet, an appointment, an executive order or a policy.
7. And finally, ICYMI, on Friday night’s “Late Show” on CBS, Stephen Colbert gave that creepy “Hi Stranger” viral video the Trump treatment:
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.
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