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Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Romenesko reader writes:

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, had its website crash today in a really hilarious way. There was a lot of city news, like strikes and strippers at city hall and the like, all really Canadian, but it was also the day of Canada’s federal budget — and also one of our largest companies, RIM, was detonating and firing all its staff. In short, it was general news hell and the Star’s website crashed and was reduced to, not essentially, but literally, a blog. See screen shot. It’s still like that as of as of half past midnight.

I’ve left a message for Star digital editor Shawna Richer.

In the meantime, a Star staffer who asked not to be named because he’s not authorized to speak for the paper told me that site experienced problems for “a fair number of hours,” starting late afternoon. He said he doubted that “general news hell” caused TheStar.com to crash, “but I’m not privy to any specific information as to what the cause was.”

UPDATE: Star spokesman Bob Hepburn called me back and said the reason why the website went down is still unknown. “We’re still doing forensic work to find the cause” of the crash.

Roger Ailes, head of the right-leaning Fox News Channel, and Joe Sciacca, head of the right-leaning Boston Herald.

* Governor: “The Herald is in the business of making sure you’re angry”

* Boston mayor calls Herald’s new offices “a modern media marvel that ‘screams Boston’”

(Sciacca photo by Stuart Cahill)

On Wednesday, the City of Sanford issued a press release asking the media to “refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens” and warning that “law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.”

On Thursday, the city said that “upon reevaluation, it is clear that portions of that Advisory were improvidently issued” and that the warnings are rescinded.

The Orlando Sentinel points out that “the change of heart … came shortly after an attorney representing the Orlando Sentinel and WFTV-Channel 9 wrote to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. contending that the directive was unconstitutional.”

The first release:

For Immediate Release, March 29, 2012
For Further Information Contact: PIO@sanfordfl.gov

Sanford, Fl – March 29, 2012 —

On March 28, 2012 the City of Sanford issued Media Advisory Number 23 (Press Release 23). Upon reevaluation, it is clear that portions of that Advisory were improvidently issued. The first two paragraphs of that Advisory are hereby rescinded. The contact telephone numbers in the last paragraph of the Advisory remain valid. The City of Sanford regrets any inconvenience caused by the improvident wording of the Advisory.

###

Press Release 23:

From: “One, PIO” Date: March 28, 2012 4:12:54 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Public Information Release

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release, March 28, 2012
For Further Information Contact: PIO@sanfordfl.gov

Sanford, Fla – March 28, 2012 — The City of Sanford kindly requests that members of the media refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens. It has come to light that there have been a few incidents where city staff were followed and approached at their home or in settings outside of working hours.

Law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.

* Community says good-bye to century-old Leader-Call
* “So this is how is ends”

There are newsroom reports in Philadelphia that a deal for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com will be announced on Friday.

These reports circulate just as Philly.com posts a story about an insurance payback deal “allegedly orchestrated by George E. Norcross III, the South Jersey insurance executive and Democratic Party power broker who is chairman of the board of Cooper University Hospital in Camden …[and] part of an investment group seeking to buy the company that owns The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com.”

Norcross was also featured in last Sunday’s Inquirer; the story described how he used his political muscle to reinvigorate Cooper Hospital.

Graphic: Gawker.com

Stephanie Eisner, who drew the Daily Texan’s controversial Trayvon Martin cartoon, was fired on Wednesday night after the University of Texas paper’s five-member board met and crafted an apology.

What does she have to say about the board’s action?

“She sent us an email explaining how she felt, and we’re just seeing that now,” Daily Texan associate editor Matt Daley told me at about 2:45 p.m. ET. (Editor-in-chief Viviana Aldous was unavailable to comment; she’s left town and won’t be back until Monday, says adviser Doug Warren.) Daley said he hadn’t finished reading the email — “it’s a little long” — and suggested I contact Eisner if I wanted to know what she said. (I have sent her an email.)

I asked Daley how Eisner’s cartoon was handled. “We reviewed it the way we normally review cartoons,” with the five editorial board looking it over. Did anyone question the Martin cartoon? Daley declined to say. || Meanwhile, there’s a petition effort to get Eisner reinstated.

* Here’s what the Esquire writer is referring to

Rachel Maddow appeared on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show on Wednesday. (She successfully ducked his questions about her sex life.) Here’s the part of the interview where the two showed love for the New York Times and concern for the state of news reporting:

HOWARD STERN: The New York Times is the eighth wonder of the world, in my opinion.

RACHEL MADDOW: It is — it’s the gold standard.

STERN: So that’s the one you really have to read, right?

MADDOW: I read the New York Times first. But here’s the thing: the wire services, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal — off the editorial page — the American newspaper reporting business is so impressive it’s unbelievable.

STERN: It is, it’s remarkable.

MADDOW: What I’m worried about with news is that we’re moving to all of these business models where nobody is paying reporters. Everybody’s paying people to comment on what reporters turn up, but nobody’s paying the reporters. So there have to be reporters, there have to be full-time editors. It’s got to be a professional gig, otherwise the rest of us who bloviate for a living are not going to have any facts on which to base our bloviation.

STERN: You make such a great point. the highest paid people in television news — like a Glenn Beck, O’Reilly or yourself — they commentate, they do commentary. Hardcore reporting is not well paid, right?

MADDOW: Right, and the number of jobs is shrinking all the time.

STERN: Because advertisers are scarce — the whole business model is falling apart.

MADDOW: The local news — local TV news and local newspapers — are not only the farm team for national news and national newspapers, but that’s where we get all our information. If something important happens in the country — somehere in Oklahoma, there’s got to be good reporters in Oklahoma who go cover it, who tell the rest of the country what’s happening there and if all of the local reporters get cut, we’re screwed.

Here’s how HowardStern.com described her appearance:

Rachel Maddow stopped by to promote her new book, “Drift,” and Howard thanked her for the honor: “I admire your intelligence. I watch your show and go, ‘Gee, if I had that kind of intelligence, I wouldn’t have to be doing this.’” Howard also held up a surprising picture from Rachel’s high school yearbook: “She was the blonde beauty queen!” Rachel insisted it was a freak angle: “I actually just looked like this with long blonde hair…[but] I was cocky. I think I was a little bit of a jerk.”

Cocky, sure, but unaware, until she was 16 or 17, that she was a lesbian: “I [eventually] figured it out through rational deduction. I just decided that must be what it is.” The feelings were always there, just buried under fear: “You don’t put a name to it. You don’t think hard enough about it to understand what it is. … I was worried that I was going to have a hard life.”

BUT IS SHE A “GOLD STAR” LESBIAN?
Howard speculated that Rachel was a “gold star” lesbian (one who has never had sex with a man), but Rachel refused to answer: “I love that you’re intuiting this. You’re just getting this from my vibe?” Howard offered her his unique services — she could both sleep with him and keep her star: “I am like an inch and a half. … You would feel like you’re with another woman. I’m very sensitive.”

ON THE GOP CANDIDATES & COMPETITORS
Howard mentioned Michelle Bachmann’s husband and his bizarre expertise in gay-to-straight conversion therapy, so Rachel laughed: “The comfort I take in that is they look ridiculous. They really look like–they look like a living, embarrassing artifact of a way that people used to think.” Rachel said the Republican party had gone a little nuts in the post-Bush era: “I don’t think they know who they are. But I don’t think they’ve gone nuts in a way that would make them [nominate] Rick Santorum.”

Asked about her Fox News competitors, Rachel admitted they regularly beat her in the cable news ratings–but the Cartoon Network reigns supreme: “We all get beat by Spongebob.” She even had kind things to say about the worst of them: “Rush is a propagandist for the Republican party and has brought it to an artform. … He changed AM radio to form it in his image.”

* Here’s everything that Maddow told Stern (her segment is low on the page)

Susan Reimer

In her Baltimore Sun column this week, Susan Reimer wrote that “I am ashamed to admit that my heart aches for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, and I feel almost nothing for the families of the Afghan men, women and children he is accused of killing.”

Baltimore Magazine’s Evan Serpick tipped me off to the column, which he said “has stirred up many angry comments on the Sun website and Facebook page.” (I checked the Sun site late Wednesday and saw only four comments.)

I asked Reimer about the column and what kind of reaction she’s getting. She writes:

The column was honest and heartfelt and not at all easy to write.

I expected it would generate strong reaction among The Sun’s readers, but I was somewhat surprised, and deeply gratified, by the positive response I received.

Many of the readers said I was giving voice to their feelings. Others said that, though they disagreed with me, they appreciated my candor.

This is an example:

I just wanted to tell you that although I seldom, if ever, agree with you, your commentary on staff sgt. Robert Bales was one of the most honest writings I have seen in a very long time. I feel the exact same way but don’t know i would have the courage to admit it. Thanks for your honesty.

Only two or three of the emails I received could be considered “angry.”

In addition, it is important to say that no comments were removed from beneath the online version of the column [as Serpick claimed in the first version of his piece].

* Reimer: Sympathy for an accused murderer
* Reimer’s “crazy” Baltimore Sun column stirs ire

John Temple

John Temple is joining the Washington Post as a managing editor, “overseeing coverage that predominantly serves the local audience and acting as the newsroom’s senior digital editor,” says a Post release. The former Rocky Mountain News editor and publisher, who is leaving Honolulu Civil Beat to take the Post job, “has successfully launched a number of pioneering digital news projects,” says Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli. Read the release and memo to staff after the jump.

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