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Daily Archives: January 9, 2012


* Rolling Stone Restaurant in Hollywood isn’t a bad place, but it’s hurt by the brand
* After Lee canceled health insurance for retirees, a diabetic ex-employee had to bum insulin; he died in December
* If AOL crumbles, what’s the future for “smart cookie” Arianna Huffington?
* California prison won’t give December issue of The Atlantic to inmate because of Taliban image
* BuzzFeed raises $15.5 million, founder reunites dream team that helped launch Huffington Post
* Ladies’ Home Journal to let readers write much of the magazine
* Network nightly newscasts “have become more different from one another than at any time I can remember”

“What is gained by showing this image? Who benefits? Does it serve as a deterrent? Does it promote anything other than guns … certainly not anything positive or community building.”
Letter to Tacoma News Tribune

* Readers share concerns about photo of ranger’s shooter

It was Neil Swidey who first reported — nearly five years ago — the story of Mitt Romney driving to Canada with his dog Seamus in a carrier strapped to his station wagon roof. He wrote in yesterday’s Boston Globe:

I have refrained from writing more about the Romneys’ Irish setter and his bout of highway-borne gastric distress. The reason? I dread the thought that Seamus might somehow make it into the lead paragraph of my eventual obituary. ….

I’m wading in again because I’ve come to believe that the endurance of the Seamus story sheds fascinating light on our media and political cultures. Just as interesting is the light it sheds on Romney himself.

Gail Collins’ obsession with this story has been widely reported. The New York Times columnist has mention the dog in nearly three dozen columns, David Folkenflik recently told NPR listeners.

I asked Swidey late Sunday if he’d heard from Collins about his piece.

He replied at 11:57 a.m. today:

No word from Gail (didn’t really expect any). The piece has generated lots of reaction elsewhere, though. Because I included criticism of both Romney and his critics, it’s probably not surprising that there’s been plenty of heat from both sides.

Another email came in at 1: 53 p.m.

Hey Jim,

Update on my last message: I just received a nice email from Gail.

He has Collins’ permission to share it:

From: Collins, Gail G
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 2:44 PM
To: Swidey, Neil
Subject:

Hi Neil – I’m sorry I blamed Tagg instead of crediting your good reporting. Still loving the story though.
Gail Collins

* What our fascination with Mitt Romney’s dog says about our culture

What is it with medical examiner’s offices in Wisconsin?

A story over the weekend in the Wausau Daily Herald had me recalling my cub reporting days and covering the Milwaukee County coroner’s digs.

In the Wausau case, county coroner Traci J. England was arrested last week for allegedly keeping part of a spine after an autopsy so she could use it to train a dog to search for human remains.

A detective pointed out to the Wausau reporter that “there is a lot of stuff going on” at an autopsy, and the various people who are attending “wouldn’t be paying attention to what someone else is doing in there.” He added: “Who is going to be watching for someone stealing body parts? It would never enter anybody’s mind.” Read More

Seattle Times sports editor Don Shelton was faced with a tough decision: Should he continue running NBA scoring summaries, or use the space for local sports coverage?

I tallied up the reasons for and against, talked to my staff and even my wife. And then I made the wrong decision.

He killed the NBA stats.

Readers complained, and “I started to feel guilty. …Then I reversed the call.”

Shelton shares an email exchange with a reader that prompted him to rethink his decision. “It’s a good example of how passionate readers are and how personally they take their newspaper and sports section,” the editor tells me. “This guy even offered a very thoughtful alternative. You’ve got to love our readers!”

The emails are after the jump. Read More

Pulitzer-winnning investigative reporter Steve Stecklow leaves the Wall Street Journal to join Reuters in London as a member of the investigations team. (David Carr reports the Journal is also losing Pulitzer-winner Douglas Blackmon to the Washington Post.) From the Reuters memo:

Steve previously worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Star, The Philadelphia Bulletin and The Atlantic City Press. He has taught investigative journalism at Boston University and Emerson College. In his spare time, he is an avid fly fisherman.

A dual U.S.-British citizen, Steve is currently living outside Boston, Mass. He will start in early February and relocate as soon as possible to London, where he previously lived for seven years.

The full memo is after the jump. Read More

@KatieS: Sad day for my @nytimes delivery man. Laid off as they find a cheaper delivery service.

The San Francisco-based woman’s follow-up tweet:

@KatieS: Thanks to everyone for the kind words (and better yet, some great job leads!) for our classy @nytimes delivery man.

-- From Willie Brown's latest column

* Former SF Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein leaves Hearst after 31 years
* August 2011: Ex-SF mayor Willie Brown isn’t returning the Chronicle’s calls