Daily Archives: December 8, 2011

“Since an extremely vocal customer has publicly identified himself as being removed from an American Airlines flight on Tuesday, Dec. 6, we have elected to provide the actual facts of the matter…”

This post on American Airlines’ Facebook wall has 1,256 shares and 6,218 Likes at last check.

There are plenty of Alec Baldwin-bashers like this woman:

Cindy Fischer i am really tired of people with money thinking they are more privilaged. rules are rules. cell phones interfer with air travel as well as other things such as medical equipment. how about a bunch of people show up to the hospital room of someone alec baldwin loves & turns their phones on & uses them so it interfeers with their medical equipment. whats good for the goose is good for the gander. as much as i like him as an actor i would never want him to be on a flight i was on with my grandchildren. SHAME ON HIM!! I hope there were no children on that flight.

But there are many comments like this too:

Jay Steinkamp While I do not wholly endorse Alec Baldwin’s behavior, the spirit if his rant remains intact: flying American Airlines became such a painful experience, from cleanliness of the plane to the poor level of service while trapped on the plane, that as a Platinum flyer and Admiral’s Club Member of over 6 years, I have abandoned the company, cold turkey. I’d say my approach as a consumer is more mature than Alec Baldwin’s but I have felt like he has a number of times after purchasing a ticket on American. Respectfully, I hope those reading this that work at American will take this posting under advisement.

What I tweeted today to @romenesko followers:

* Trinity College Dublin bans Irish Daily Mail after it “deliberately invented” story about student’s death
* Knoxville News Sentinel parent lays off 33 employees, or about 7.5% of workforce
* Medill Innocence Project investigation calls into question 1998 murder conviction
* Michigan Daily special report on the university charging high fees for public records
* Really, Huffington Post? You can’t list the “11 Amazing Magazines You’ve Never Heard Of” on one page?
* Kevin Purdy of Lifehacker is the “most saved author” in Read It Later’s study
* Do the alleged sins of Stephen Glass’s parents justify his particular brand of journalism?
* Obama, most GOP candidates received more negative than positive coverage on Twitter

It’s been a week since the f-word made it into the Greenville News and executive editor John Pittman promised readers that “we will deal appropriately with it.”

Has the Gannett-owned paper done that? Here’s my email exchange with Pittman:

Good morning John. I’m checking to see if Gannett and your paper have found the person responsible for the f-word getting into your paper. If so, what was the disciplinary action?

Jim, we never discuss disciplinary matters. — john

That’s fine. But my question is: Have you identified the culprit?

Sorry. Nothing more I want to say on it.

I’d appreciate hearing from Greenville News/Gannett employees who know the status of this investigation. Email me at

UPDATE — One of my Facebook friends wrote on my wall:

Gannett posted a News Page Designer job opening in Louisville (where most of the copy editing and page design for the Greenville paper is done now) on Dec. 3. Coincidence?

Jason Cohen

Berea College English professor Jason Cohen tweeted earlier this week: “Given a student named TeQuilla, are my worst assumptions unavoidable? #s–tmystudentsmakemethink that at the end of the semester, I’m right.” He’s now apologizing to TeQuilla Berry and everyone else at the Kentucky school:

I am writing to express my deeply felt remorse for my unprofessional and mean-spirited post. In my use of a student’s name in a personal post in the world of social media, I neglected my responsibility as a teacher and as a human to my fellow beings. I am most saddened by my own inability to see the destructive impact my remark would have on my relationship with my students, colleagues and peers.


He’s also asked black faculty members to join him in a “conversation” about his tweet. (By the way, he currently has 33 followers.) “I acknowledge that I acted very badly, and I hope that you can still see me with respect,” he told the colleagues.

* Watch a Lexington television station’s report on the tweet flap

Reader Matt Mendelsohn emailed me yesterday:

I liked the Blue Ball story, being a former Gannetoid. But more recently, I always wonder what happened to that intern in Florida who [blogged] a few years ago that her boss was so right for firing all those folks and sticking with hyper local coverage. Do you you remember who I’m talking about?? Jessica somebody???

I always wondered if she went on to make it in journalism or whether she’s a victim of her own tweet.

Jessica DaSilva

To back up a bit: Former Tampa Tribune intern Jessica DaSilva became a bit of a journalism celebrity in July 2008 for her blog post about editor Janet Coats’ layoffs announcement. The editor (she left the paper in 2009) said: “We can see a better future for journalism right across the bridge on the other side, but the bridge is on fire, and if we just stand here, we are going to burn up with it.” She added: “People need to stop looking at as an add on to The Tampa Tribune. The truth is that The Tampa Tribune is an add on to TBO.”

The intern wrote on her blog:

People might be angry or frightened by what Janet is saying, but she’s right, and they need to start recognizing that. She is doing this because she cares. That woman is not only carrying the burdens of an entire newsroom on her shoulders, but the burdens of a community entitled to quality news. And I know she’s taking the right steps. …

I wanted to tell her how much I supported what she did, but I didn’t want to interupt. Plus, I’m just an intern. But if I had the chance, I would have said this:

Janet, you’re my hero, and I think this is worth fighting for too.

There were 160 comments below that post.

Jay Rosen wrote: “NEWSROOM ID EXPLODES LIKE FIREWORKS OVER INTERN’S UPBEAT BLOG POST.” Jeff Jarvis said the intern “recorded the event with appropriate admiration.” One of DaSilva’s good friends blogged about it too.

Did this controversial young woman go on to make it in journalism?

No. She’s now a second-year law student.

This just in from NPR:

National Security Correspondent Rachel Martin will step in to host Weekend Edition Sunday beginning in January, as Audie Cornish heads to All Things Considered for 2012. (Remember: Audie is on a one-year assignment with ATC while Michele Norris is not hosting through the inauguration.)

Rachel Martin

About Rachel: For the last year and a half, Rachel has been NPR’s National Security Correspondent, providing coverage of military and intelligence issues. Her reporting this year has included a vivid portrait of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and a series on women in the military.

Rachel has been a foreign correspondent for NPR based in Berlin, and before that she reported extensively from Afghanistan and later from Iraq where she covered the U.S. troop surge and the so-called Sunni awakening in Anbar province. Rachel got her start at KQED in San Francisco as producer and reporter. She was also part of the team that launched NPR’s morning news show – the gone but not forgotten Bryant Park Project. She frequently guest hosts for our programs, too – as she just did for the weekend version of All Things Considered.

“Fake IDs do work,” said sophomore Hilary Stevenson. “I have a 21 wristband due to my fake ID, so I don’t get in trouble for drinking.”

From a November 30 story in The Pendulum, Elon University’s student paper

Student investigated for comment in The Pendulum

Headline in the December 6 Pendulum

Hilary Stevenson, a sophomore at Elon University in Elon, N.C., heard from the assistant dean of students shortly after The Pendulum hit the streets, and has been ordered to a Student Conduct meeting.

The college paper reports that “Stevenson declined anonymity when interviewed for the article” in which she admitted using a fake ID, “and would not comment on the potential charges.”

I asked Pendulum editor-in-chief Anna Johnson about her paper’s dealings with the student/source. She replied in an email:

When The Pendulum news editors and I looked at the story we asked our reporter why some sources were anonymous and some were not. She gave each of the sources a chance to speak anonymously if they so desired and only one student choose that option. We try to stay clear of anonymous sources unless there is some sort of sensitive topic being discussed. If a source chooses to use their name, we’ve never gone against their wishes and made them anonymous to ‘protect’ them.

In the aftermath of our editorial and the possible charges against this student, several Elon communication professors have come forward saying we should have protected her and gone against her wishes to make her anonymous.

This is our last edition of the semester and an entire new staff takes over in January. I am sure they will be looking at the recommendations and determining what to do if situations like this ever arises, especially since the administration has threaten charges against this student.

* Pendulum blasts “decision to pursue charges against one of our sources”
* “Stevenson is merely a victim of her own poor judgment,” says letter-writer

NBC Courts Ryan Seacrest for “Today” (

“To be sure, the talks [with Ryan Seacrest] are preliminary and could fall apart at any time. They also may be in part a negotiating tactic for NBC executives, who need a strong backup plan in case Mr. Lauer leaves the show.”

I don’t think of Alec Baldwin as a Words With Friends fan; I think of him as an entertaining podcaster. Here are links and excerpts from some recent “Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin” podcasts:

Baldwin interviews Ed Rollins:

BALDWIN: What happened with Huckabee, do you think?

ROLLINS: I think he basically — he had come right out of the governorship. It was sort of like the next thing to do, not that anybody can —

BALDWIN: His heart wasn’t in it.

ROLLINS: This time his heart wasn’t in it. You know, my sense is he’d have been a great candidate.

BALDWIN: I was convinced there was gonna be a duel between Huckabee and Romney.
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