All this took place atop the Hearst Tower, just before a panel on political coverage moderated by NBC's Brian Williams, who remarked, "Being here reminds us from NBC of our Dunder-Mifflin third-floor newsroom." (Extra points for the NBC sitcom plug).
The panel, featuring The New Republic's Michelle Cottle, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi and The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel, alternated between outright befuddlement at the unpredictability of the election narrative and hand-wringing at some of the coverage. "The ABC debate touched a nerve," said vanden Heuvel. "It came to represent the debasement of a media system that is failing to inform." Williams, in partial defense of his own home network and cable news channel, asked how the argument could be made in today's world that not enough information is out there. Vanden Heuvel in turn cited the phrase, "an orgy of multiplatfornication," indicating that the volume and ubiquity of information didn't indicate that people were better-informed about what matters. Taibbi agreed, saying, "Voters take their cues about what to take seriously from us, the media."
— Irin Carmon
THANKFUL FOR THE WEB: The Internet certainly came to the rescue at Time Inc. in the first quarter. In Time Warner Inc.'s first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, chief executive officer Jeff Bewkes noted Time Inc. is the only division that has been negatively impacted by the bad economy — but online ad revenues were able to offset the poor performance of the company's print advertising. The division's overall revenues were essentially flat at $1 billion, boosted by online sales at people.com and CNNMoney.com.