Thursday, April 29, 2010

Associated Press Revenue Down 10% in 2009

Editor & Publisher reports that the Associated Press posted a 10% decline in revenue in 2009. AP's 2009 revenue totaled $676.1 million, dropping $71.6 million from the $747.7 million posted in 2008.

AP's net income fell 65% in 2009--from $29.1 million in 2008 to $8.8 million in 2009. Only the sale of its German-language news service for $13.2 million kept AP from actually posting a net income loss instead of a steep decline.

AP expects a decline this year too. If that happens, it would be the first time for AP to post consecutive year losses since the Great Depression.

One reason for the decline is AP's drop in the price it charges to newspapers and broadcasters which account for 40% of its income base.
"With some media executives threatening to drop AP services to save money, the AP lowered its fees for U.S. newspapers by $30 million last year. It plans a $45 million reduction for newspapers and broadcasters this year."
AP had expected a decline in revenue but closer to a 6% cut rather than the nearly 10% it sustained. The steeper revenue loss forced AP to cut its payroll 10% last year (to 3,700 employees worldwide). News coverage expenses in 2009 were slashed 24%--down $18 million from 2008's $76 million.

AP hopes to recoup current revenue losses by increasing income from internet and mobile devices. AP also plans to clamp down on informal use of its content through a news registry service that "will enable it and participating newspapers to track where and how their online content is being used."

US News & World Report and Time Magazine: Why Palin Is Important

From U. S. News & World Report's 10 Reasons Sarah Palin Would Make a Great President:
1. Unbending Conservative

Palin is a long-time, unbending Reagan conservative who has committed to cutting taxes, eliminating some regulations, and generally shrinking the government.

2. Military Hawk

The mother of a soldier in Iraq, Palin is becoming a military hawk. She has repeatedly threatened Iran with sharp language, and some think threats work. And don't forget that she can shoot an elk at 400 yards, so she can back up those threats.

3. Oil Drilling Advocate

The former governor of Alaska is a strong advocate for an energy policy. She wants to produce more domestic energy and buy less overseas. Democrats see her as tough on that issue.

4. Respect of Governors

As governor, she had the respect of other governors and worked well with the state legislature. She might bring a new bipartisan approach to Washington.
Go here for the other six reasons, two of which are humorous.

Governor Palin also makes Time's list of the 100 most influential people of 2010.
The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly. She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government. The tsunami of support proves that Sarah, 46, represents what many Americans know to be common and sensible. Her rugged individualism, self-reliance and a herculean work ethic resonate now more than ever in a country spinning away from these basics that made the U.S.A. the last best place.
FOOTNOTE: Time also has a list of the 100 least influential people of 2010. One of the entries is Katie Couric in the Flameouts category. It seems her winning USC's Cronkite and Columbia University's duPont awards for her interviews with Sarah Palin didn't impress Joel Stein, Time Magazine or network news viewers. Maybe Stein should have included Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and USC's Annenberg School for Communication in his "Moron" section of the list. Right alongside the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

H/T Conservatives4Palin

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oregonian Circulation Down 1.8% from a Year Ago

The Oregonian got a little bit of good news. After shedding 19,000 in circulation from March to September 2009, the newspaper gained back 14,000 from September 2009 to March 2010. Oregonian circulation is still down almost 5,000, but that's a lot better than being down 19,000.

The Oregonian has been aggressively pursuing former subscribers. One tactic has been to give former subscribers a few months of free delivery to woo them back.

The blip of good news is a welcome sign after a disastrous five years in which the Oregonian lost 20% of its circulation base.

Fall off in advertising revenue has also taken a big toll.

Sharply declining circulation and ad revenue resulted in the cutting of a third of the Oregonian's work force in just the last two years.

Here's Editor & Publisher's circulation stats for the top 25 newspapers in the U.S.
Newspaper Circ as of 3/31/10/ % Change [from March 2009]

1. The Wall Street Journal 2,092,523 +0.5%
2. USA Today 1,826,622 -13.58%
3. The New York Times 951,063 -8.47%
4. Los Angeles Times 616,606 -14.74%
5. Washington Post 578,482 -13.06%
6. Daily News (New York) 535,059 -11.25%
7. New York Post 525,004 -5.94%
8. San Jose Mercury News* 516,701 N/A
(1/1/10 To 3/31/2010)
9. Chicago Tribune 452,145 -9.79%
10. Houston Chronicle 366,578 -13.77%
11. The Philadelphia Inquirer** 356,189 N/A
12. The Arizona Republic 351,207 -9.88%
13. Newsday 334,809 -9.07%
14. The Denver Post*** 333,675 N/A
15. Star Tribune, Minneapolis 295,438 -7.71%
16. St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times 278,888 -1.49%
17. Chicago Sun-Times 268,803 -13.88%
18. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland 267,888 -8.14%
19. The Oregonian 263,600 -1.83%
20. The Seattle Times*** 263.468 N/A
21. The Dallas Morning News 260,659 -21.47%
22. Detroit Free Press 252,017 -13.31%
23. San Diego Union-Tribune 249,630 -4.45%
24. San Francisco Chronicle 241,330 -22.68%
25. The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. 236,017 -17.79%
UPDATE: The Oregonian registered an additional 22,335 in e-edition circulation. It is 23rd of the top 25 newspapers in e-edition circulation.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Was FDR an Immigrant Hater?

NPR commentator Cokie Roberts and her husband Steve suggest that internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II was part of an anti-immigrant wave.
"American history has been scarred by outbursts of anti-immigrant sentiment. In the 1840s, the Know-Nothing Party flourished by denouncing Irish and German Catholics. In the 1940s, we interned Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast.

"The haters were wrong then, and they're wrong now. The 'dreamers and fighters' who constantly renew our strength and our spirit have always blessed America. We need them more than ever."
But, internment of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast was not the result of some nativist movement. It was the result of Presidential Executive Order 9066* signed by Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. President Roosevelt alone was responsible for the action. Congress later approved it and the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional (Korematsu v. United States, 1944), but it was Franklin Roosevelt's policy.

Roosevelt claimed the order was given:

1. to successfully prosecute the war
2. to provide every possible protection against espionage and sabotage

But, if Japanese internment was based on hatred of immigrants, Franklin Roosevelt was the primary hater and anti-immigrant leader.

I don't believe Roosevelt was a hater. He was a great war leader because he took the United States from a position of military weakness and vulnerability to winning World War II. That effort required 16 million servicemen and women--both volunteers and conscripts--who were removed from their homes and families and many sent into battle. This resulted in 400,000 U.S. military deaths and over 670,000 nonmortal woundings. That's a lot of pain and suffering.

Roosevelt used hard, even harsh, measures. Not only the internment, but the conscription act which forced dislocation of 16 million people and required a good number of them to risk their lives. Roosevelt also required an undefined period of service (for the duration of the war plus six months). In civilian life there was a severe clamp down on civilian industry and products as well as stringent rationing of the consumption of many of the limited products available.

Roosevelt forced all Americans to make sacrifices and young American men to make life threatening sacrifices. This was done to win a war which was very uphill for the first two years. It even looked foreboding in 1945 for American forces before the atomic bombs were dropped. Invading Japan with ground forces would have cost millions of lives--both Japanese and American.

Roosevelt's internment decision has to be viewed in the larger context of the sacrifices he required of all Americans and the life threatening sacrifices for those in military service.

But, if the Roberts are right that Japanese internment in the 1940's was the result of hatred and anti-immigrant sentiment, Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party of the 1940's were the leaders of the anti-immigrant hatred--not some unnamed group of American nativists.
Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.
H/T Warner Todd Huston

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jennifer Rubin Gives George Will a Lesson in Constitutional Law

Jennifer Rubin takes George Will to the woodshed on his understanding of constitutional law and the role of the Supreme Court.

In a recent column Will claims that the Court's role is to protect liberty:
"So conservatives should rethink their rhetoric about 'judicial activism.' The proper question is: Will the nominee be actively enough engaged in protecting liberty from depredations perpetrated by popular sovereignty?"
Rubin points out that the role of the Supreme Court justices is not to "protect liberty" (an amorphous phrase that can mean anything depending on the circumstances) but to interpret the Constitution.
"Will has it wrong. There is no roving mandate for the Court to protect liberty (or income equality or anything else) from depredations of any sort. The Court — like all courts engaged in textual interpretation — has a single mandate, one consistent with democratic governance and with the structure of the Constitution: to divine the meaning and the intent of the Constitution and the statutes at issue in the cases that come before it."
Rubin not only knows the law in the cases Will cites, but understands the difference between rule by philosopher-kings and rule under a written constitution.

George Will has become more aristocratic and anti-democratic in his conservatism as he ages. Fortunately, there are young, knowledgeable conservative pundits like Rubin to correct sloppy thinking by such as Will.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Obama Now Listens to Gates though not to Palin

From Reuters:
"Pressed further on Republican criticism that his strategy restricts the use of nuclear weapons too much, Obama added:

"'What I would say to them is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.'"
[emphasis added]
It's a step in the right direction. Obama refused to listen to Bush, Gates and the Joint Chiefs on the Iraq surge. Obama actually said that he would oppose the Bush/Gates surge because it would make things worse.

The Secretary of Defense was the same guy then as now. Since Obama was so wrong in 2007 and 2008 on the Iraq surge, he at least realizes that he needs advice.

But it's odd that President Obama feels compelled to respond to comments of Sarah Palin. She's obviously in his head. President Bush didn't comment on Barack Obama's views until Obama was the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Even then, Bush, did not mention Obama by name. But, Obama can't resist responding to Palin and her criticism. It's a mark of personal and political immaturity.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

NYT's David Carr: Palin Has Authenticity

From New York Times reporter David Carr:
When Sarah Palin made her debut as the host of “Real American Stories” on Fox News on Thursday night, she described several triumphs of regular people over insurmountable odds, but she missed an obvious one: her own.

After her failed bid for the vice presidency, she was more or less told to head back to Alaska to serve out her term as governor — a kind of metaphorical kitchen.

Instead, she quit her day job and proceeded to become a one-woman national media empire, with the ratings and lucre to show for it.
Carr mentions Palin's Going Rogue mega success and another book coming, Fox commentary, new 8 part TV series on Alaska--in general amazing success at everything she puts her hand to.

Carr compares her media success to that of other politicos who have turned to media jobs. He notes that though their success was gradual, hers was instantaneous and huge.
Other people have crossed the border from politics to media to very good effect — George Stephanopoulos, Patrick Buchanan and Chris Matthews, to name a few — but the transition was far more gradual. Ms. Palin turned on a dime and was a ratings sensation from the word go: her first paid appearance, as a commentator on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Jan. 12, was good for an extra million viewers.
Beyond incredible talent, Carr finds that Palin has "authenticity".
Back in September 2008, when [Palin] was unveiled in St. Paul during the Republican convention, a longtime political reporter told me that her appeal would burn off over time. I wondered about that. I’m from Minnesota, which is sometimes considered the southernmost tip of Alaska, and her way of speaking in credulous golly-gee may have been off-putting to some, but there is a kind of authenticity there that no image handler could conjure.
Carr chides his media colleagues for their lack of insight into why Palin is a success.
Many observers thought her unwillingness to serve out her term would be fatal to her ambitions, but the fact that governance did not suit her — she resigned as governor back in July — has become a kind of credential.

Ms. Palin still gets a session in the media spanking machine every time she does anything, but the disapproval seems to further cement the support of her loyalists. Ms. Palin may or may not be qualified to represent America around the world, but she certainly represents vast swaths of the American public and has a lucrative new career to show for it.

If we don’t see why, then maybe we deserve the “lamestream media” label she likes to give us.
Carr clearly doesn't like Palin's politics, but he gets what most of his media colleagues don't. Sarah Palin "represents vast swaths of the American public".

Maybe the New York Times should hire more reporters from Minnesota.

H/T Conservatives4Palin

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Palin's "Real American Stories" Number Three on Cable News

Sarah Palin's debut as a TV show host did moderately well. As all Fox shows do, she killed the competition and also came in third in the Fox line up. Not bad for a rookie premiere. Drudge reports:

FOXNEWS BECK 2,014,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,658,000
CNN KING 839,000
CNN COOPER 820,000

More numbers analysis here.

Snarky Washington Post reviewer, Hank Stuever, found stories about an American war hero, a man who has made it possible for poor kids to go to college, a boy with cerebral palsy overcoming painful obstacles and a young woman rushing into flames to save a truck driver ho-hum.
I dunno, but hush: The mother of the dead Marine is talking about the day a naval destroyer was named after her son. The millionaire is about to give away millions to send underprivileged minority kids to college for free. The loyal service dog is going to help the sweet little boy walk again. A woman is about the save a man from a burning tanker truck. Toby Keith is singing about patriotic veterans. Flags are billowing. A piano is playing.

Not moved? Well, what's wrong with you, sicko? You can almost imagine Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow popping lefty corn and gathering 'neath the flat screen to excitedly parse over "Real American Stories" and savor it -- would it be merely terrible or simply godawful?

Neither, and what a letdown.
I wonder what Stuever's review of Kennedy's Profiles in Courage would have been? I mean what's interesting or inspiring about people doing politically courageous things? We get that all the time, right?

Or how about Abraham Lincoln saying stuff about American heroes at Gettysburg? Stuever had a soul-mate at the Chicago Times back in 1863 who wrote:
"The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States."
Heroism isn't a big thing to Stuever. Poor guy.