February 23, 2015 Last Updated 8:05 am

First Look Media’s night on the red carpet follows some Facebook jabs from departing journalist

Google updates its iOS Google Play Books app, but readers continue to complain of crashes as users say the app has been unstable since the first release of iOS 7

The Oscars… glad that’s over. And so is Ken Silverstein’s short career at First Look Media. Silverstein took to his Facebook page, now offline, to mention that he no longer works at the journalism orgazation founded by Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media. He is the second high profile journalist to leave the site in recent months, following the departure of Matt Taibbi, who returned to Rolling Stone.

Fellow journalists will repeat the dirt involved, but it looks pretty parochial, as the hiring practices at FLM appeared to be all about big names, and not creating a cohesive team. It’s not working and one wonders who long Omidyar will stay interested in the project. There have been a few good stories to come out of FLM, but probably less good work than if he had simply created a blog and encouraged paid contributions.

The bad press involving Silverstein probably won’t take the shine off of last night’s Oscar win for Citizenfour, the Edward Snowden documentary from Laura Poitras. The film won in the Documentary category and fellow DLM journalist Glenn Greenwald got time on stage at the presentation.


Bill O’Reilly and Fox News are fighting back against charges, initiated by David Corn at Mother Jones, that O’Reilly exaggerated his own work during the Falklands War. That’s like O’Reilly saying that Jon Stewart is not makes light of the news and is not always 100 percent accurate.

I suppose it is surprising that those involved would care what Mother Jones publishes or what O’Reilly has to say. They should have learned from the recent “No-Go Zone” incident that they can get away with anything. (If you recall, Fox News went on a campaign for a while where guest and guest repeated the same story: that there are parts of Europe that are under Sharia law. “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” guest Steve Emerson said on air.)

EmilySteelTwitter-145Fox News retracted that story with absolute no effect on the networks ratings or credibility (don’t go there), so why be concerned about a little negative publicity originating at Mother Jones?

By the way, the method of the counter attack is interesting” Emily Steel at the NYT. The story, which at least one commenter compared to a press release from Fox News, appeared in this morning’s paper. I’m wondering if more than one editor is spitting up their coffee this morning reading the story, asking “how the hell did this get in the paper?”


Google seems to be have problems with their Google Play Books app. This weekend another update was released but the early user reviews are negative, complaining about bugs.

GoogleBooks-iPadGoogle would like to get into the book selling business, at least to make sure the Android platform has a presence beyond Amazon’s Kindle app. But they seem to be struggling – not only with the app, but with getting consumers to think about Google as a source for books.

For me, the question is why think about Google? It is the same problem I have with NOOK. It simply hasn’t differentiated itself in the market.

When you think of Amazon you think cheap print books and Kindle Editions. With Apple, you think about interactive books (though Apple really seems to be relying less and less on this as a point of differentiation, killing off its Make for iBooks category).

With Google it’s what?

As for the app, it has been around since 2011, but seems to have fallen apart with the introduction of iOS 7, with things not improving under iOS 8. Google released five stability updates in 2013-2014 before redesigning the app in December of 2014, but the 1-star reviews just keep coming.


Comments are closed.