Reuters blog archive

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Obama and the young vote

obama_rallyIf  President Obama really wants to get his groove back with young voters, he might want to get a bit more in synch with their musical tastes and a bit less in line with songs their parents -- and grandparents -- listened to. He’s got about 2,000 songs on his iPod, but – as he put it – his selections are more weighted to his childhood – his very young childhood – than to much that 20-somethings are listening to today.

“There's still a lot of Stevie Wonder, a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Rolling Stones, a lot of R&B, a lot of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Those are the old standards,” Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine released on Tuesday. He also listens to a lot of classical music. “I’m not a big opera buff in terms of going to opera, but there are days where Maria Callas is exactly what I need,” he said.

The president was born in 1961, which makes him little more than a toddler when some of his favorite artists had their biggest hits, something he and his handlers might want to keep in mind as he tries to connect with young voters and urge them to turn out in force on Nov. 2. The famed diva Callas was born in 1923, and died in 1977, when Obama was 16.

One test of Obama’s appeal was coming on Tuesday night, at a Democratic National Committee event at the University of Wisconsin in Madison that the party hopes will be reminiscent of the triumphant rallies – drawing 20,000, 50,000 and up toward 100,000 people – during the last weeks of his presidential campaign in 2008. Those rallies helped drive Obama into the White House, and party leaders hope some of the same magic will convince the 18-to-28-year-old set to head to the polls – and back Democrats running for the House and Senate.

from Tales from the Trail:

Presidents keep to-do lists too, check Obama’s pocket

Even presidents don't escape to-do lists. Granted they include more weighty items than mundane reminders to pick up groceries after work.

President Barack Obama, it turns out, keeps one in his pocket. RUSSIA/

"I keep in my pocket a checklist of the promises I made during the campaign, and here I am, halfway through my first term, and we've probably accomplished 70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do," Obama says in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine (yes, the same publication that did a profile of General Stanley McChrystal which led  to his firing).

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama delivers checkmate by moving generals

President Barack Obama managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat.

In a surprise move, he chose superstar General David Petraeus to replace General Stanley McChrystal, whose team had badmouthed just about every top civilian adviser to Obama on Afghanistan in a Rolling Stone magazine article. AFGHANISTAN/

And with that one decision he managed to wipe away any impression that as commander-in-chief he would allow insubordination, and he preempted any criticism that he would allow the war in Afghanistan to be without competent leadership for reasons of politics and vanity.

from Tales from the Trail:

General headed to the woodshed, will he get the axe?

The sound of palms slapping foreheads could be heard all over Washington, the physical exclamation of "what were they thinking?"

The spectacularly frank quotes from General Stanley McChrystal and his aides mocking Vice President Joe Biden and other top advisers to the president and commander-in-chief were jaw-dropping, not because that's what they really thought, but because the views were uttered to a reporter working on a profile for Rolling Stone magazine. USA/AFGHANISTAN

from Fan Fare:

Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange attempted suicide-report

His on-air blowups on the "Howard Stern Show" and confessions to drug abuse have given listeners plenty of insight into comedian Artie Lange.Artie_Lange But the latest news about Stern's sidekick is even more grim than what has been revealed about his life in previous reports.

The New York Post said on Thursday that Lange stabbed himself  nine times over the weekend in a suicide attempt, and that was the reason why he was hospitalized, as had been previously reported. On his show on Thursday, Stern reacted angrily to the revelations in the Post article, and said "this is a family matter" and that Lange is "wrestling with some serious stuff." A spokeswoman for Lange could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

from Fan Fare:

U2′s fans not “groovy” enough?

As U2 enters the third week of its North American tour, smashing sales records along the way, the big elephant in the room is the disappointing sales of the band's new album. "No Line on the Horizon" has sold about a million copies in the United States since its release in February, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming one of U2's least-commercial efforts.

u2mullen"I walk out and sing (album track) 'Breathe' every night to a lot of people who don't know it," frontman Bono says in a Rolling Stone magazine cover story. (We have pictured drummer Larry Mullen at left, playing in Chicago on Sept. 24, since he and bassist Adam Clayton were omitted from the cover.)

from MediaFile:

Heard this before? Music industry isn’t sold on iTunes

kid-rock.jpgOnce again, record companies are questioning the wisdom of selling music on iTunes. This time, the griping shows up the Wall Street Journal.

Basically, the argument is that music companies are starting to believe that selling single songs through Apple's iTunes is bad for the industry (an industry, by the way, that is badly depressed and counts heavily on iTunes for sales and promotion).

from MediaFile:

Do you know who’s watching?

telescope.jpgIt's called deep-packet inspection. Congress wonders if it's plain-old spying. Basically, it's when web companies track their customers' visits online and use the information to tailor Internet advertisements for them.

Congress was worried about it enough to begin questioning some of the biggest Internet companies about the practice this month.  And guess what? It seems some web companies are indeed using targeting without informing their customers.