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Media struggle to make sense of Boston. Stones get ready to roll.

April 16, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • The Rolling Stones get ready to roll again.
The Rolling Stones get ready to roll again. (Associated Press )

Before the coffee. After saying a prayer for Boston.

The Skinny: Not much to joke about today as another innocent pleasure is shattered forever. Tuesday's headlines include how the media handled and mishandled coverage of Monday's bombing in Boston. Also, the Jackie Robinson biopic "42" didn't flinch when it came to language, and the Rolling Stones get ready to roll again.

Daily Dose: Netflix made headlines last week when it said that over the last three months, more than 4 billion hours of its content had been streamed by its customers. That led one analyst to make the case that if Netflix were a cable channel, it'd be the most watched one around. Perhaps, but one could have said the same thing about Blockbuster Video 10 years ago. So what does that really mean? Here are some contrarian thoughts from yours truly.

Keeping it real. The Jackie Robinson biopic "42" didn't hesitate to show the sort of racial abuse that was  hurled at the ballplayer as he integrated the national pastime. While the language may be harsh and alarming to parents and young children, it was important to the filmmakers not to sugarcoat what Robinson went through. Perhaps the venom will remind viewers that racial epithets are just that and not comic relief in a Quentin Tarantino film. More on "42" from the Los Angeles Times.

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Numbing effect. The tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon had news organizations scrambling to cover the story. While much of the media has learned some restraint in reporting speculation versus fact, television still struggles with what to show on screen while its anchors and reporters grasp for answers. In this case, it meant running the same footage of the explosion and aftermath over and over. Unfortunately, at some point it stops shocking and starts numbing. And the last thing TV or anyone should want is to numb us to what happened Monday. Variety and the Daily Beast on media coverage.

Oh, it's on. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network's $25.5 billion bid Monday for Sprint Nextel caught the business world and Sprint's other suitor -- Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank -- by surprise. Now Softbank is going on the offensive to keep its $20 billion bid for 70% of Sprint alive. The Wall Street Journal on the battle and Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus on why this matters for consumers.

Iron wall. Deadline Hollywood reports that some movie theater chains are holding back on selling advance tickets to "Iron Man 3," which is set to premiere on May 3. At issue, the site says, are the terms Disney, which owns "Iron Man 3" producer Marvel Entertainment, is seeking from theater owners for the movie and other films moving forward. No word on what specific issues need to be ironed out.

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Not enough Axe body spray? NBCUniversal is delaying the launch of the Esquire Network, otherwise known as Bravo for men. The cable channel, which is taking the place of G4, was going to debut next week but now won't until the summer. By delaying its debut, Esquire hopes to have more original programming on the shelf. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards get ready to kick off their next (I'm not foolish enough to say last) tour.

Follow me on Twitter. I know when to tweet and when to stand down. @JBFlint.


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