Meet the new media. Same as the old media.
In the past couple of years,Twitter has become a major player in breaking news coverage. Many people go to Twitter before the TV networks to keep up with urgent and evolving rapidly stories.
Twitter has now confirmed months of speculation by hiring Vivian Schiller as their head of news. You may remember Schiller from her stint as Chief of NPR, where she was forced to resign after one of her top executives was busted by a James O’Keefe sting.
Schiller’s appointment should scare anyone who worries about liberal bias. If you go to Twitter to get away from bias, this isn’t a good hire because Schiller is about as blatantly hypocritical as they get.
Schiller will serve as a liaison between the social network and news organizations, according to the job description that Twitter posted in May. Twitter executives have repeatedly said the site wants to help media companies distribute news.
Schiller brings many years of experience in big media to the role, with prior experience at CNN, the New York Times, NPR and others.
A brief aside to Twitter executives — big media companies already know how to distribute news. Sure, it’s news that enforces a narrative but they are highly effective at distributing it. People like me love Twitter because it levels the playing field, not because Big Media needs a leg-up with extra help from one of their own.
Schiller has an impressive liberal big media CV. She was a senior V.P. at NewYorkTimes.com, then went to be general manager of the Discovery Times Channel, leaving around the time the New York Times pulled out of the venture.
Then, it was on to NPR and controversy for Vivian Schiller. She fired Juan Williams for what she termed a lack of journalistic ethics a short time after Williams said he got nervous when seeing people in Muslim garb boarding a plane. Schiller later had to apologize after saying Williams should have kept his comments between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist—take your pick.”
Schiller’s polticially correct liberal bias set the stage for the incident that led to Schiller’s resignation; O’Keefe and his team caught an NPR fundraiser on video trashing the Tea Party, and Christians while talking to undercover Project Veritas journalists he thought were part of the Muslim Brotherhood connected group.
Schiller was forced out by an NPR desperate to maintain its federal funding. As HuffPost reported about a speech Schiller gave soon after:
It’s a very difficult time an incredible amount of scrutiny in what we do and all the actions of NPR…because the presence of even one dollar of federal money changes the dynamic.
Schiller slammed Jamed O’Keefe in a speech shortly after she resigned, saying
“…this is not journalism. You don’t ensnare people. You don’t entrap people with hidden cameras…”
Schiller went to NBC where she was senior vice president and chief digital officer for NBC News, including oversight of NBCNews.com.
That’s right, after attacking O’Keefe over ‘hidden cameras’, Schiller went to work at the home of the TV show To Catch A Predator. And no, she didn’t find that ironic.
As Eric Erickson tweeted at the time:
So is anyone surprised that Vivian Schiller of NPR/James O'Keefe fame would wind up at NBC?
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 2, 2011
But defenders of Schiller might argue that To Catch A Predator isn’t news. They’s say t’s entrap-o-tainment or something.
Well, let’s look at how NBC News itself describe their newsmagaize Dateline.
Here’s an ad posted right now for Creative Promotions Director. At NBC News. The ad talks about the digital properties Schiller headed up, including iVillage, BreakingNews.com, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com.
And the ad also says (emphasis added) :
The network’s primetime newsmagazine, Dateline provides a variety of in-depth stories week in and week out ranging from mysteries and breaking news to hidden-camera investigations and documentaries.
Here’s the reality : hidden camera investigations are a normal, perfectly valid journalistic technique.
People like Vivian Schiller just don’t like it when those journalistic tactics are used against the left.
That’s called biased hypocrisy. Now brought to you by Twitter.