This report from the New York Times’ Brian Stelter two weeks ago explains how campaign cash spent in hotly contested presidential election swing states and in close primary and general election congressional races has helped to drive two recent multibillion dollar purchases of television station groups by Gannett and Tribune Company, both of which already own large collections of local television outlets.
Stories I’d like to see
Did the First Amendment get amended when I wasn’t watching so that freedom of the press is guaranteed except when it comes to writing about Timothy Geithner?
Selling artificial knees, analyzing the Trayvon Martin trial, and Random House cancels Paula Deen’s cookbook
When Madison Avenue pitches artificial knees, do we all pay?
Americans — personally, or through private insurance or Medicare — spend more than $12 billion a year on artificial knees and hips. That’s more than Hollywood takes in at the box office.
I’m a news junkie. But I am completely clueless about one policy issue that is hugely important (it affects what we eat and how much we pay for it), involves hundreds of billions of dollars in government programs and subsidies, and was splashed all over the front pages last week as the latest example of congressional dysfunction.
1. Vetting the Syrian rebels:
Most of those pushing for providing arms and other aid to the Syrian rebels — which the Obama administration announced last week it will now do — have promised that the rebels could be “vetted” so that weapons and other assistance don’t end up in the hands of jihadists and other bad actors.
1. Booz Allen’s liability in the government snooping leaks:
We now know that the source of last week’s leaks revealing various U.S. government data collection and surveillance activities is a low-level employee of the giant consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which the New York Times reported on Monday was paid $1.3 billion last year by various American intelligence agencies under multiple contracts related to data collection and analysis. (The firm’s website has a whole section under “Intelligence Community” about how Booz turns “Big Data Into Big Insights.”)
1. Who called Fox News reporter a “co-conspirator”?
On the Sunday before last, the Washington Post broke a story providing details of the Obama Justice Department’s investigation into how Fox News reporter James Rosen obtained classified information about American intelligence gathering in North Korea. Coming on the heels of the news that the Justice Department had secretly conducted a massive sweep of the phone records of the Associated Press as part of another leak investigation, the Post’s scoop was big news and ignited complaints from the press and others that the Obama administration was engaged in an unprecedented dragnet that would chill basic reporting.
1. The commencement speech market:
It’s my guess that the most sought-after commencement speaker this season is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How many invites did she get, and how does that compare with other top names? And did she accept any? Is she getting paid? Especially now that Benghazi has come back into the news, has she set any ground rules related to the appearance, such as whether she will be available to the press before or after the talk?
1. Looking at ‘Ratchet, Ratchet and Bingo’:
In his 2006 annual report to shareholders , Warren Buffett had this to say about compensation consultants: