Views of the News: Obamacare: Funny or Die?

Mar 11, 2014


President Barack Obama appeared on Between Two Ferns, an Internet program hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis on  The two exchanged barbs before getting into a discussion about registering the March 31, 2014 deadline for registering for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Some reports indicate was the largest referrer Wednesday to, so the message definitely got out.  But, it's leading some to wonder why Obama is so willing to talk to comedians but not the traditional media.

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post: "Barack Obama, the world's most famous social media editor"

Andrew Beaujon, Poynter: "Obama will sit down with celebrities but not the Washington Post"

Elizabeth Hagedorn, Newsy: "The thinking behind Obama's 'Between Two Ferns' appearance"

Robert Feder: "Chicago stations cash in to sell health coverage at a premium"

Snowden's South by Southwest appearance

NSA leaker Edward Snowden appeared via teleconference at the South by Southwest Interactive conference Monday.  This was the first time he took questions from the public since accepting temporary asylum in Russia, seeking refuge from espionage charges in the United States.

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News: “Snowden at SXSW: The NSA is ‘setting fire to the future of the Internet’

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Chicago Tribune: “Edward Snowden tells tech-savvy crowd: Be Internet ‘firefighters’

Jenna Wortham, New York Times: “Snowden urges tech industry to protect customers

Steve Croft, 60 Minutes: "The Data Brokers: "Selling your personal information"

Resigning from RT

Anchor Liz Wahl resigned, on the air, from her jobs as an anchor with the Russian 24-hour cable news network, Russia Today.  Wahl said she could no longer work for the Kremlin-run agency in the wake of the military intervention in Crimea.

Greg Botelho, CNN: “Anchor: I can’t be part of a network ‘that whitewashes’ Putin’s actions

Margarita Simonyan, RT: “About Abby Martin, Liz Wahl and media wars

Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor: “Liz Wahl: Russia Today anchor quits on air as cold war rhetoric heats up

Catherine Taibi, Huffington Post: “Larry King won’t be parting ways with RT

Lloyd Grove, The Daily Beast: “Larry King’s Russian TV dilemma: ‘It would be bad if they tried to edit out things. I wouldn’t put up with it.’

Reporting the Pistorius trial

The South African Olympic runner is on trial for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  What is it about this case that it's captured worldwide attention?

Alan Cowell, New York Times: “Judge bans broadcast of autopsy testimony at Pistorius murder trial

Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail: “Pistorius sobs, retches as court hears graphic testimony in murder trial

BBC: "South Africa press review: Pistorius trial

Paul Farhi, Washington Post: “NBC News to pay family of Reeva Steenkamp for interviews

Getty archive available for use

Oliver Laurent, British Journal of Photography: “Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement

Joshua Benton, Nieman Journalism Lab: “Getty Images blows the web’s mind by setting 35 million photos free (with conditions of course)

Noam Cohen, New York Times: “Getty to let bloggers and others use photos free

Marijuana ad up in smoke

A press release published last week on behalf of, a company that offers to pair patients with doctors who prescribe medical marijuana, claimed that the first-ever ads for pot would soon be running on network television via the Comcast cable system.  Several major news organization ran with the story. NBC even showed the ad during a network newscast, only the ad never ran.

Brian Stelter, CNN Money: “How a marijuana ad went up in smoke

Tracy Miller, New York Daily News: “First medical marijuana commercial airs in New Jersey

Rick Hampson, USA Today: “TV spots pitch medical marijuana