After Rick Santorum went after the New York Times’s Jeff Zeleny and then said on Fox News that “you’re not really a real Republican” unless you’ve cursed out a reporter, the Chicago Tribune’s Rex Huppke told readers that “I’m offering myself up as the lone media representative to abuse.” He wrote:
I will be more than happy to hear from anyone who feels they need to swear at a member of the news media. Furthermore, I will provide anyone who cusses me out with an e-mailed Confirmation of Media Profanitication, guaranteed to prove to friends and family alike that you are a really real Republican or Democrat.
So what kind of reaction did he get?
Huppke tells Romenesko readers:
I’ve only gotten three voicemails – all containing some good-natured profanity. But there has been a slew of e-mail – 40 or so – giving me the business, though again it was in a “we get the joke” fashion. Nothing outright mean.
I’ve sent everyone some version of the following response:
GENUINE CONFIRMATION OF PROFANITICATION
By the power vested in me as member of the loathsome press, let it be known that the bearer of this extremely official document has successfully hurled a profanity at a member of the news media and is hereby and forevermore declared a really real (Democrat/Republican/Independent/Other).
Signed with extreme bias,
- Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune
* Santorum says “real Republicans” cuss out reporters, so bring it on
Longtime Philadelphia magazine owner Herb Lipson says former Gov. Ed Rendell and his associates don’t understand that media owners have to stay out of editorial decisions. “If I controlled what ran in my magazine, it would very soon lose all credibility,” he writes, and goes on to say:
I happen to believe Ed Rendell really does want to save the Inquirer, and that he believes local ownership is the way to go about reinvigorating the paper. Perhaps now — after strong criticism — he’s beginning to take a lesser role. But it’s still looking like his group will buy the newspaper, and if that happens, Philadelphia will roll right along as a troubled city run by a select few. With one difference: They’ll now be bringing us the news.
* Off the Cuff
Josh Tyrangiel, who left Time a few years ago to become Bloomberg Businessweek editor-in-chief, recently told Columbia journalism students:
One of my frustrations at Time was that I don’t think we were very disciplined. One week it’s ‘crisis in Israel!’ And the next week it’s ‘back pain!’ If you’re a reader, how do you know what you’re gonna get?
One of the things I rebelled against when I was spending 10 years at Time was that the magazine was so heavily templated. You read the magazine and it could be — and I actually did the last resdesign of the magazine so I’m partly to blame. But the magazine is so templated that it could be any year.
You need templates, but break it. Show people that each page is an opportunity to say something and to catch their attention.
* Josh Tyrangiel: The Bloomberg Businessweek target audience is me
* Olbermann’s email trail traces angry break-up with Current TV. (Daily Beast)
* Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters “truly rare things” in that they’re healthy and on a hiring spree. (Adweek.com)
* Eager buyers rush to snap up last printed sets of Encyclopaedia Britannica, only 1,000 left to be sold. (New York Times)
* Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) announce contest winners. (IRE.org)
* Ailes helps conservative author fast-track book about Fox News. (New York Daily News)
* Scott Dikkers returns as The Onion’s editor-in-chief. “He invented The Onion’s sense of humor,” says CEO. (Chicago Tribune)
* Judge in Oregon defamation case says he never intended to suggest that bloggers can’t be journalists. (New York Times)
* “Today” show “legend” who returned today is Meredith Vieira. (Brian Stelter)
* HBO teases Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” with a new trailer. (HitFix.com)