In your foggy Monday media column: Reporters in peril. Institutions crumbling. David Denby and Dan Abrams to the rescue!

Journalism Needs Heavily Armed Heroes

So, Roxana Saberi, the American-Iranian former NPR reporter, was convicted of spying in Iran, but diplomatic pressure has caused the head of Iran's judiciary to call for a fair review of the case. Which may have no effect whatsoever! Nightmarish. There's also those two Current TV freelancers who have been held in custody in North Korea for a month now. Does this mean that Obama needs to authorize the creation of a supersecret crack government Delta Force-like team dedicated to busting into dangerous foreign prisons and rescuing journalists in peril? Yes.


One creaky institution offers to save another.

Journalism Needs Heavily Armed Heroes

Goodness gracious, David Denby, the winner of the "Spend Years as New Yorker Movie Critic!" contest inside Mr. Goodbar wrappers, has had quite a few fancy days lately: first he wrote a letter to the NYT with a plan (not a bad one, and not an original one) for solving the newspaper industry's financial crisis, and then he reviewed two (count em!) Hollywood blockbusters about journalism. Does this mean that David Denby is a veritable god among journalists, here to bestow his wisdom upon we who may otherwise crumble in the face of "Snark?" Yes.


The Paper of Record ran a front page story this past weekend that boiled down to this: a few MTV shows are now throwing in a few minutes about "Helping Kids."

Journalism Needs Heavily Armed Heroes

PR man Dan Abrams' media site, Mediaite.com (pronounced "Mee-dya-tay") is getting close to launch, apparently. In addition to Rachel Sklar and Glynnis MacNicol, he's hired Colby Hall as its managing editor. Hall is billed as a former producer for the Daily Showwhich apparently was over a decade ago [clarification from Rachel Sklar: "Colby worked as a producer at the Daily Show in 2005/2006. I met him via "Not Just Another Cable News Show" - he produced one of the shows I contrib'd to. He's actually totally awesome. Also on his IMDB: "Wife Swap.""]—but it looks like he's also worked in the "branded entertainment" field. Here's Abrams' (sincerely) awesome quote: "It's going to be very judgmental, very opinionated, and there's definitely going to be a humor aspect to it." He says Mediaite will "watch the watchers." Feud-y! Maybe?