In your proxy Friday media column: MSNBC's David Shuster shot a pilot for CNN, Barack Obama demands (metaphorical!) oral sex from reporters, Smithsonian magazine stiffs a war-damaged correspondent, and losing just $80 million means you're Publisher of the Year.
- The New York Observer reports that David Shuster, MSNBC's hypernasal utility anchor, recently shot a pilot news show with NPR's Michel Martin for CNN. The dying network has been said to be casting about for a revival of Crossfire and a new Morning Joe-like morning show. According to the New York Times, MSNBC executives weren't happy to learn about the try-out: "If true, this is unacceptable and David will be punished appropriately," a spokesman told the paper.
- How disappointing to learn that the Obama Administration manages the press, giving access to friendly reporters and punishing incorrigible ones. And just like some sort of sick drug pusher, Barack Obama demands oral sex before he'll give you the good stuff: "They want 'blow jobs' first...and then you get access," one White House reporter told the Washington Note. We miss our country.
- Freelancer Paul Raffaele traveled to Afghanistan on assignment for Smithsonian, where he was nearly killed by a suicide bomber. He's been afflicted by seizures, a loss of balance, and impaired vision ever since. Surely Smithsonian showed its gratitude to this man, who was grievously injured in service of its editorial mission, in the form of a generous gift to cover the loss of income caused by his injuries, right? Or at least made sure its roving reporter had accident insurance? No, of course it didn't. He's suing them.
- Aol.'s Jeff Bercovici congratulates Les Hinton, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, on winning the coveted Publisher of the Year Award from Editor & Publisher. Hinton's paper only lost $80 million last year, so he was really a shoe-in.
- ABC News correspondent Betsy Stark has been laid off, just one out of hundreds of ABC Newsers who will be canned over the next month in massive job cuts.
- Editor & Publisher's Jennifer Saba is headed to Reuters to cover the media business.