The Week Panel Was the Media Biased Or Was Obama Just the

Posted On Sep 14 2019 by

first_imgLesley Stahl—who said she watched most of this campaign, unlike others she had covered, from “her bedroom”—said McCain “did such a dreadful job as a candidate” the media had no choice but to cover Obama.“McCain was like the 1962 Mets,” said Shrum, who had served as a senior advisor to the Gore-Lieberman and Kerry-Edwards tickets in 2000 and 2004, respectively. “They couldn’t cover him positively.”Shrum added that there was a natural bias because the Obama-Clinton race lasted longer than the race for the Republican nomination.  “A Time magazine cover with John McCain in April would’ve looked ridiculous,” he said, “because McCain had it locked up.”“Obama was new,” Weisberg said. “It had to do with a bias toward the story.” Weisberg also suggested the media-at-large kept Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination longer than she should have been. “It was [becoming] mathematically impossible,” Weisberg said. “But [a longer campaign] serves the interests of the media.”Weisberg added that while Obama’s oratory skills were universally celebrated, few talked about his “skill as a writer” and “sense of language,” which moderator and Week editor-at-large Sir Harold Evans described as “incandescent.”Rather, who filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS for making him a “scapegoat” in the so-called “Rathergate” controversy in 2004, said Republicans “need to get hip to the Internet and things like YouTube.” (Ironically, it was the Internet, specifically conservative bloggers, which spurred on “Rathergate” and led to the newsman’s undoing at CBS.)With the exception of Scarborough, the panelists agreed that the press coverage of Sarah Palin was fair, and disputed the notion that Palin was “destroyed by comedy.” Rollins, a senior advisor to Mike Huckabee, said there was never a conversation between McCain and Huckabee—or, for that matter, Mitt Romney—about the vice presidency.PHOTOS: Time; ILLUSTRATION: FOLIO: RELATED SLIDESHOW: Covers of the CampaignNEW YORK—During a wide-ranging discussion entitled “The Media and the Presidency” hosted by the Week magazine at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room last night, six panelists—three from television (MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl and ex-CBS News anchor Dan Rather, now with HDNet), two political advisors-turned-pundits (Robert Shrum and Edward Rollins) and one new media guy (Slate’s Jacob Weisberg)—assessed the 2008 presidential campaign and the role the media played in it.Scarborough, who introduced himself as the host of Morning Joe—“now with a seven-second delay”—said the media was clearly biased toward Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton and John McCain, but admitted Obama ran “the best campaign I have ever seen.”But if the campaign was a “game of streetball,” Rather said, “McCain was playing in street clothes and street shoes.”last_img read more


Playboy Magazine Swings to Profit in Fourth Quarter

Posted On Sep 14 2019 by

first_imgOverall, the print/digital group reported a fourth quarter income of $2.5 million, compared to a loss of $400,000 during the same period in 2008. Revenues were down 14 percent to $28.2 million.Fourth quarter digital revenues slipped slightly to $9.6 million versus $10.7 million during the same period last year. Playboy attributed the loss to lower paysite and advertising sales. Licensing group revenues jumped 10 percent to $8.7 million during the period.According to Playboy CEO Scott Flanders, the company is still “a long way from effectively monetizing the power of the Playboy brand … Although each of our businesses has promising opportunities, our operations are subscale in industries dominated by large players. In our business, size matters. Our mission is to create a stronger and significantly more profitable company.”Flanders said in a statement that Playboy will continue to refocus management by keeping core creative operations in-house but to farm out others to partner companies, effectively reducing Playboy’s cost centers and overhead. He said he expects that the media business will remain challenged this year although the magazine will continue to benefit from an agreement it announced in November that passed the title’s advertising sales, circulation, marketing, production and all other business operations to American Media Inc.In 2009, Playboy’s adjusted EBITDA grew to $19.3 million compared to $13.6 million in 2008.“In total, we expect double-digit growth in [licensing] segment income for 2010, but, more importantly, our goal this year is to position the company for much greater future profitability in 2011 and beyond,” Flanders said. While the financial situation at Playboy parent Playboy Enterprises isn’t great, it also isn’t as bad as it has been. The company today reported a $51.3 million year-end net loss for 2009, compared to a $160.4 million loss the prior year. Revenues declined more than 17 percent to $240.4 million.During the fourth quarter, however, the company reported a net loss of $27.8 million versus a $146.8 million loss during the same period in 2008. Revenues were $60.6 million, down about 13 percent from the prior year period. Both quarters (2009 and 2008) included impairment, restructuring and other charges ($28.6 million in Q4 2009, $157.2 million in Q4 2008), the company said.Meanwhile, Playboy magazine reported a profit during the fourth quarter, the company said, with $18.6 million in revenues, including sales from its international editions and other special issues. Playboy said the profit was driven in part by its decision to publish a combined January/February issue and increased newsstand sales of its November “Marge Simpson” issue [pictured].last_img read more


Bentley teases tech for new Flying Spur ahead of June 11 debut

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_img More about 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Not everything on the Flying Spur will be a carbon-copy carryover from the Conti. Bentley’s upcoming sedan will feature all-wheel steering, the first Bentley to do so, improving the low-speed turning radius while improving handling at higher speeds. It’ll also carry rear-biased all-wheel drive, only powering the rear wheels until it detects slippage. Adaptive suspension will also make an appearance.That’s about all we know for now. But we don’t have to wait too much longer to learn more — Bentley confirmed that it will introduce the world to the new Flying Spur on June 11 at 11 a.m. BST, or 6 a.m. ET.flying-spur-teaser-002Enlarge ImageWe’ll see the whole thing (without stickers) in just a couple weeks. Bentley Bentley 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 first drive: A more athletic grand tourer The 2019 Bentley Continental costs a packet, but it’s… More From Roadshow Preview • 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible first drive: 207-mph toupee shredder Comment 2020 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid first drive: One posh plug-in 2020 Bentley Continental GT: Concept looks with a surprise insidecenter_img 12:21 Enlarge ImageIf you’re wondering why it looks so much like the old one, that’s on purpose. Its new look is being disguised by stickers meant to resemble the outgoing Flying Spur. Bentley The third-generation Bentley Flying Spur is just around the corner, but before it makes its official debut, Bentley saw fit to offer up some teasers and a bit of information about the car’s new tech.Bentley on Wednesday put out two new teasers for the upcoming new Flying Spur. The pictures still show the car in camouflage — look closely enough, and you’ll see stickers over all the lights. Expect to see the same kind of design changes first implemented on the new Continental GT, including slimmer lights and a bit more expression from the body panels. The automaker also put out a video teaser on YouTube, offering up some surprisingly grumbly exhaust notes alongside a similarly camouflaged vehicle. Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Tags 1 Bentley Superluxury Cars Sedanslast_img read more


Affected By Floods Finding Help Giving Help

Posted On Sep 2 2019 by

first_imgThe Greater Houston Storm Relief FundHouston mayor Sylvester Turner has created what he’s calling the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund to accept flood recovery donations.Turner announced the fund today ahead of a community meeting in the Greenspoint area where he plans to answer questions and respond to concerns from residents on the north side.Waste Management donated $50,000 to open the fund and a nonprofit organization will continue to operate the fund at no cost.Turner says 100 percent of donations will go to flood victims. For more information: www.houstonrecovers.org.Salvation ArmyDelivering essential food items to flood victims. This story is being updated as more information becomes available. This story was originally published on April 19th, 2016. The American Red CrossA new shelter is opening up in the Greenspoint area at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The American Red Cross says it is for those who are not able to remain at their homes due to storms and flooding. It is located at the New Light Christian Center, 1535 Greensmark Drive, Houston, Texas 77067. The American Red Cross urges anyone impacted by the flood can meet with a Red Cross caseworker and register their household by calling 866-526-8300 – option 1.Those who wish to donate to flood relief may do so at redcross.org/donate.  Sharelast_img read more


Sojourner Douglass Appeals to Preserve Accreditation

Posted On Sep 1 2019 by

first_imgSojourner Douglass College is facing a fight to preserve its accreditation after changes to the federal Pell grant program in the earlier part of the decade caused significant declines in funding and enrollments, leading to budget shortfalls. Dr. Charles Simmons, president of the college, tells the AFRO that while he is confident Sojourner Douglass can win its appeal hearing in Feb. and preserve the accreditation it lost last Nov., he feels that the school has not been treated the same as other, traditionally White institutions (TWIs) in analogous or worse financial shape by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the body that oversees the accreditation process.Sojourner Douglass was originally established in 1972 as a branch of Antioch College, which is in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and became an independent institution in 1980, according to Simmons. The college, located in east Baltimore, mostly serves working adults (most of whom are female heads of households) and has organized its academic calendar to make it easier for adults, with their incumbent family and work obligations, to complete a degree program.Dr. Charles Simmons, president of Sojourner Douglas College.The school offers three semesters per calendar year, so that a full-time student could finish what would traditionally be a four year bachelor’s program in three years, says Simmons.The U.S. Dept. of Education changed its rules concerning Pell grant (education grants for low-income students) distributions for the 2011-12 academic year, allowing only two disbursements per year rather than three. Sojourner Douglas lost $5 million in federal student aid as a result of this change.The Pell grant was also limited to a total of 12 semesters (equivalent of six years), down from the previous cap of 18 semesters, on the reasoning that one should be able to complete a four year degree in six years.“Many of our students are transfer students,” explained Simmons. “They start at the community college, they may stop out to get a job, they may stop out to get married, they come back, they may stop out to have a child, so we had a number of students who were transfer students, and so we had a number of students who had reached that 12 semester cap, so we lost another $2 million.”By the end of fiscal year 2013, Sojourner Douglass was facing an over $5 million budget deficit as a result of the changes to the Pell grant program. This occurred just as the college was required to submit a periodic review report to MSCHE, demonstrating that they continued to meet the commission’s standards for accreditation.At this point, two things occurred according to Simmons. The bank that holds the commercial mortgage on one of Sojourner Douglass’s buildings saw the revenue shortfall caused by the changes to the Pell grant program and called the mortgage due rather than renewing it, creating a further debt obligation for the college. At the same time MSCHE was reviewing Sojourner Douglass’s continuing accreditation-worthiness, and seeing the revenue shortfalls and debt obligations of the college, determined that Sojourner Douglass had failed to meet the commission’s standard on fiscal resources and informed the institution that their accreditation would be revoked if it could not demonstrate that its operations were fiscally sustainable.Sojourner Douglass had to respond to six items in order to avoid this impending loss of accreditation, and while the college was able to satisfy most of the items, it was held back by the inability to complete a sale-leaseback agreement—in which an investor would purchase one of their buildings, relieving the college of the debt it owed on the property, and then lease it back to the college for continued use—because the investor would only agree to the sale-leaseback on the condition that Sojourner Douglass was fully accredited to ensure that the investor would have a viable, long-term tenant.MSCHE, however, wanted the sale-leaseback agreement completed prior to renewing Sojourner Douglass’s accreditation, and though MSCHE was informed that the sale-leaseback would be completed upon renewal of accreditation, MSCHE revoked that accreditation nonetheless, effective June 30, 2015. The school now faces an appeals hearing on Feb. 2, in Philadelphia.“We’ve been in operation for 42 years, we’ve served the community well,” said Simmons.  “This act to remove our accreditation was not based on academics, we’ve satisfied all of the academic criteria. Our students do well, our students graduate, they get good jobs; they’re in management positions throughout the state. So this is all just finance.”The Baltimore City NAACP is assisting Sojourner Douglass in its appeal of the MSCHE decision and looked into other, similarly situated, institutions and found that MSCHE has renewed accreditation for at least eight schools facing similar or worse fiscal deficits, including one school with a deficit of $47 million, all of whom are TWIs, according to Simmons.“It appears that we’ve been treated differently,” said Simmons.Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore City NAACP, indicates that Sojourner Douglass is the only institution founded and run by Black people among those the NAACP looked at with similar financial issues, and was also the only one whose accreditation was revoked.“Even though some of the other schools have a lot of African American [students], they’re not run by African Americans, so that makes a difference,” said Hill-Aston.  “A lot of times schools can have African American students . . . and they’re making money off the population but they’re not run by African Americans . . . So I do feel there has not been the same opportunities given and I’m hoping that will change.”Hill-Aston says that now is the time for alumni to step up and help Sojourner Douglass with whatever contribution, regardless of size, that they can afford, as the institution works to revamp its finances and demonstrate the viability of its enterprise.Simmons said the loss in financial aid due to the changes in the Pell grant program, and the subsequent negative publicity from the loss of accreditation have cut the college’s enrollment by almost half, going from approximately 1400 students in 2013 to 800 now.In spite of the current challenges faced by the college, Simmons says he fully expects to win the appeal, and is encouraging students to remain with the institution rather than flee out of concern their credits or degrees will not be valid.“We intend to continue to serve our community,” said Simmons. “The credits are still good, credits are transferable, the degree is still good. As long as we are an accredited institution—and we won’t issue any degrees or any credits, if we lose, after June 30, 2015, but any credit that any student earns, or any degree that a student earns up to that point is good.”ralejandro@afro.comlast_img read more