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Monday, May 29th

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Washington News Bureaus Are Shrinking

The year was 2000, and Cox Newspapers had about 30 people in Washington to cover the new Bush administration. Eight years later, a similar transformation is under way, the stakes heightened by two foreign wars and the worst economic collapse in decades, but Cox will not be there to cover it. Cox, the publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Austin American-Statesman and 15 other papers, announced this month that its Washington bureau would simply close its doors on April 1.

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Rep. Eshoo to push for Fairness Doctrine

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said Monday she will work to restore the Fairness Doctrine and have it apply to cable and satellite programming as well as radio and TV.

The Fairness Doctrine required TV and radio stations to balance opposing points of view. It meant that those who disagreed with the political slant of a commentator were entitled to free air time to give contrasting points of view, usually in the same time slot as the original broadcast.

The doctrine was repealed by the Reagan administration's Federal Communications Commission in 1987, and a year later, Rush Limbaugh's show went national, ushering in a new form of AM radio. 

A Reagan legacy: repealing fairness. How wonderful.

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Iraq TV demands release of Bush shoe attacker

An Iraqi television station on Monday demanded the immediate release of one of its journalists who caused a furore when he hurled shoes at visiting US President George W. Bush.

Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday, shouted "It is the farewell kiss, you dog" and threw two shoes at the US leader.

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House Probe of FCC Finds "Egregious Abuses of Power"

The report released today on the probe, titled "Deception and Distrust" and led by Reps. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, found Martin suppressed information and manipulated data to serve his agenda.

Martin has been criticized by FCC staff members for pushing his proposals to loosen media ownership rules and requirements for a la carte pricing of cable television through such tactics as suppressing agency studies that do not support his agenda.

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Arrested Illinois Governor Accused Of Pressuring Trib To Fire Editorialists -- Excerpts from Phone Calls Here

Here's an excerpt from the complaint: "During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH's wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A 'to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.' ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked Deputy Governor A what he thinks of his wife's idea. Deputy Governor A stated that there is a part of what ROD BLAGOJEVICH's wife said that he 'agree[s] with.'

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NBC names David Gregory host of 'Meet the Press'

David Gregory's new job as moderator of "Meet the Press" was made official Sunday with an announcement on the long-running NBC interview program that he will take over starting next week.

The 38-year-old chief White House correspondent was introduced by Tom Brokaw, who stepped in as temporary host last June after the death of Tim Russert, the program's moderator since 1991.

TVNL Comment: He earned this job by being one of the walikng dead members of the Bush White House press corps(e). 

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CPJ's 2008 prison census: Online and in jail

Reflecting the rising influence of online reporting and commentary, more Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released today, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ's prison census.

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