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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Our new book, Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda, is in many ways a summary of the past decade of our reporting on the military, intelligence community, and domestic law enforcement as it entered a new era of Darwinian evolution to counter violent extremism ... The George W. Bush administration, like all of its predecessors, swore never to negotiate with terrorists. But it did undertake an extraordinary, and extraordinarily secret, outreach effort to open a line of communication with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda's senior leadership. It was an attempt to replicate how the United States tried to sustain a dialogue with the Soviet Union, even during the darkest days of the Cold War, when White House and Kremlin leaders described in private and in public a set of acceptable behaviors -- and described with equal clarity the swift, vicious, even nuclear punishment for gross violations. In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush's national security staff, working through the intelligence agencies, made several attempts to get a private message to bin Laden and his inner circle. The messages were sent through business associates of the bin Laden family's vast financial empire as well as through some of the al Qaeda leader's closest relatives, a number of whom were receptive to opening a secret dialogue to restrain and contain their terrorist kinsman, whom they viewed as a blot on their name. (To be sure, other relatives were openly hostile to the American entreaties.) According to a senior American intelligence officer with first-hand knowledge of the effort, the response from Osama bin Laden was silence. And the effort was suspended."  (ForeignPolicy)

"This Thursday, the 2011-2012 NFL season kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers taking on the New Orleans Saints. The game will be broadcast on NBC, so naturally the network is making full use of its corporate siblings to promote the event.NBC News, CNBC, Weather Channel, E! and other networks will all have football-related programming this week, leading up to Thursday’s big game. Media companies such as NBCUniversal and News Corp. pay big money to secure sports rights, so they make sure that they leverage their other resources to maximize tune-in." (TVNewser)


"In the first experiment of its kind in the country, the Houston public schools are testing whether techniques proven successful in high-performing urban charters can also help raise achievement in regular public schools. Working with Roland G. Fryer, a researcher at Harvard who studies the racial achievement gap, Houston officials last year embraced five key tenets of such charters at nine district secondary schools; this fall, they are expanding the program to 11 elementary schools. A similar effort is beginning in Denver. Dr. Fryer, an economist and head of Harvard’s EdLabs, a research group, has gained national attention in recent years as the architect of incentive programs that offered students cash for improved performance, including one in New York City that was discontinued after being deemed ineffective. In recent years, he has visited scores of charter schools nationwide. 'Some should be closed down this afternoon,' he said, but others have virtually erased the achievement gap between poor minority students and their white peers.  In 2009, Dr. Fryer identified five policies common to successful charters, including those run by KIPP and the Harlem Children’s Zone: longer school days and years; more rigorous and selective hiring of principals and teachers; frequent quizzes whose results determine what needs to be retaught; what he calls 'high-dosage tutoring'; and a 'no excuses' culture." (NYTimes)

"The summer of 2011 was not so bad, the state of the economy notwithstanding. A big notwithstanding for a lot of us, I know. There was that July heat (I think it was July) when the temps were driving up to 100, accompanied by the lovely New York humidity. But in retrospect, those days were short- lived, and there were many other days when it was beautiful.Summer is now officially over for the Hamptons. Fortunately we have had our spies who keep an eye on things, and occasionally they fill us in on the latest dramas. The star stories are usually matrimonial. A divorce, a separation, a cuckolding, various affairs. I’m sure there were many but I only heard one which I will share on tomorrow’s Diary. The most sensational out-in-public scene that was Hamptons-related but took place right here in Manhattan, one (week) night downtown at Bar Pitti, when Mrs. Brice Marden smacked Mrs. Helen Lee Schifter across the face in the bar area, within full view of the entire restaurant. This was accompanied by Mrs. M. calling Mrs. S. a name we’ve all heard just about since puberty, and accusing Mrs. S of doing something we’ve all heard about since first informed of the facts of life. The denouement of the scene was the entire restaurant cheering the climactic moment." (NYSocialDiary)


"Today Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon launched a new website, Counterparties.com. Taking its name from his daily morning aggregation post, Counterparties curates the most talked-about and best news articles from Mr. Salmon’s personal Google Reader and Twitter feeds, using content curation algorithms developed by a start-up called Percolate.com. The company, which emails its users news digests based on the news being talked about by people they follow—is still in invite-only 'double-secret alpha' mode, but Mr. Salmon is something of a power user. He subscribes to 908 blogs (about half of which are active), and follows roughly the same number of Twitter users. After Mr. Salmon proposed the idea in the spring of 2010, Percolate.com developed a plug-in for Counterparties.com’s content management system, WordPress, and licensed its API to Reuters. (Reuters’s logo and footer appear on Counterparties, but it is otherwise unconnected with Reuters, for now.) The site is ad-free, for now, but if that changes, Mr. Salmon hopes advertisers use display space to aggregate their own favorite links. Such experimentation is a luxury of working for wire giant Thomson Reuters." (Observer)


"In an effort to cool our nerves before NYFW begins its omnipotent reign, PAPERMAG stopped by the Fool's Gold Day Off event to partake in a little afternoon drinking, dancing, and then more drinking. The outdoor bash acted as an accurate appraisal of the indie label's ever-growing hype -- City Winery's back lot filled to capacity faster then you can say 'Barbara Streisand.' We stopped the always kind A-Trak for a picture before he was engulfed by the gaggle of girls that seem to follow him and his brother Dave (of Chromeo, also in attendence) around as of late, only to then run into former Daft Punk manager/current Ed Banger owner Busy P, who later looked on from stage left as friend and fellow labelmate DJ Mehdi played a surprise set. The most memorable moments were arguably the most hip-hop -- MPC maestro and frequent dipset collaborator Araab Muzik impressed everyone with his on-the-spot beat-building, and Just Blaze reminded the buoyant crowd how extensive his catalog of historic production really is." (Papermag)

"Jack Shafer, Slate's very recently laid-off media critic, is moving to Reuters, according to a source familiar with the matter. The deep-pocketed news service — which under the digital leadership of Chrystia Freeland has been on a recent hiring spree that included David Cay Johnston and David Rohde — began talking to Shafer in June, well before the surprise Slate layoff. No wonder Shafer's post-layoff interviews were so jovial. Shafer will cover the media beat for the Reuters.com Opinion section, edited by his former Slate colleague James Ledbetter. Whether he'll write a column or some combination of column and blog is still under discussion. Either way, the tone, frequency, and length will be very similar to his output at Slate, where Shafer typically wrote shortish columns several times a week." (NYMag)

1 comment:

muebles en lugo said...

So, I don't really believe it may have success.