Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

Dave Barry, who ended his regular Miami Herald column in 2005, tells Rob Tornoe he’ll be writing a number of columns for the paper in upcoming weeks.

In addition to my annual gift guide and year in review, which I do every year, I’ll be writing daily pieces from the Olympics for The Miami Herald that will get syndicated throughout McClatchy. Then I’ll be attending both political conventions and writing daily from there, and they’ll all be picked up in a number of newspapers. I don’t know how many, but I imagine it is a decent amount. Otherwise, they’re playing an elaborate prank on me.

Barry also says in the Q-and-A:
* [Regarding his Ernie Pyle Achievement Award:] “I’m trying to think if I’ve ever really achieved anything and can’t say that I have. I suppose that’s an achievement in itself.”
* “On my blog, the commenter community is filled with really funny people who post interesting stuff and are great at self-policing.”
* “[Back when he was first hired] newspapers could take a chance on someone like me. They were more fearless back in those days. The idea of someone canceling their subscription was kind of a joke. Now they’re terrified of doing anything that might offend readers and fall outside their marketing plan.”

* Dave Barry on winning the NSNC Lifetime Achievement Award (E&P) posted a piece this morning with the headline, “How this guy lied his way into MSNBC, ABC News, New York Times and others.”

“This guy” is Ryan Holiday and he tells Romenesko readers:

I wanted to prove that HelpAReporterOut embodies so much that is wrong with online journalism. Reverse engineering stories from search times, not fact checking, not caring about self promotion etc. So I went out and tricked close to 2 dozen reporters — and was shocked to also find the NYTimes, Reuters, Today Show, everyone fell for it. In some cases, I didn’t even do it. I just had an assistant pretend to be me on the phone or over email. Not ONE person bothered to notice that I have a book out about media manipulation.

A bit stuntish? Yes but I felt like it was the only way anyone would pay attention.

* Read Holiday’s piece | Visit the HARO site

On Tuesday afternoon, Holiday heard from Roy Furchgott, who wrote an April 18 New York Times piece on turntables and quoted “the manipulator.”

Holiday sent this response to Furchgott and cc’d me:

Hey Roy,

You may have seen the story on Romenesko this morning. Just wanted to respond (and actually apologize)

I have to be honest, I not only don’t own a turntable, I don’t even know what LP stands for. I running an investigative experiment to prove that HARO was a source of misinformation for bloggers — that they would print anything that confirmed the story they already wanted to write. I felt like it was dominated by marketers and self-promoters and that that ruins the news.

You got caught in the middle of that — I didn’t want to hurt anyone individually. I hope it doesn’t cause issues for you and I’m sorry if that happens. I think the problem here is with the system and you were doing your job as basically it has to be done these days. I never thought my expose would reach all the way to the New York Times, but it did and I felt obligated to take my point to its ultimate conclusion

I’m pretty jaded and this whole thing surprised even me.

A correction probably makes sense here and I’m happy to give comment if you need me too.


Sen. Sherrod Brown and wife Connie Schultz


We have found numerous photos of you with Sen. Sherrod Brown. In one of them, you appear to be hugging him.

Care to comment?


He’s really cute.

He’s also my husband.

You know that, right?

From Schultz’s former employer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Schultz said this morning that she hasn’t named the blogger because she wants him to “pick better company and do better journalism.”

“I don’t want to be a bully,” she said in a telephone interview. “I can say he was working for one of the larger conservative blogs, but that his name is not in the staff directory. Maybe he’s an intern, maybe an editor was playing a joke on him or maybe he was trying to get a reaction out of me.

“But I just want him to stop hanging around with those people and learn something out of this.”

* Conservative blogger’s epically failed sandbag attempt (Talking Points Memo)
* Schultz’s online exchange with blogger catches attention (Plain Dealer)
* Read the 380-plus comments about this on Schultz’s Facebook wall (Facebook)

Credit: Amanda Nichols

The photo of two-and-a-half-year old Olivia Nichols reading the Washington Post Style section isn’t staged, says mom Amanda Jade Nichols. The little girl regularly “reads” the newspaper with her dad. “We read a ton, because that’s the kind of people we are — we have magazines and papers everywhere,” says Amanda. “She always picks up the paper — it’s the color photos that draw her to it.”

* Washington Post reader, not yet 3, wins Redditers heart (Washington Post)

UPDATE: McClatchy Washington Bureau senior photo editor Linda D. Epstein writes (and sends the photo below): “My son at 6 months did the same – and this wasn’t posed, because *I* am the one with my head buried in the sports page! This was back in 2004…”

UPDATE II: “This is our 2-year-old son Jack [below] a few months ago reading the sports section of The Sacramento Bee,” writes Sarah Jimenez, County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) Communications & Outreach Coordinator. “I assure you this is not staged. You’ll notice he’s looking at a story about the Giants and Matt Cain. We’re huge Giants fans and daily newspaper readers. Looks like he’s been paying pretty close attention to our habits and hobbies.

“When he was a bit younger, around 18 months, he would regularly sit in the indoor recycle box of newspapers and look at the comics page.”

It appears this was the letter that was retracted. I’ve asked Bangor Daily News editorial page editor Erin Rhoda to confirm it.

UPDATE — Rhoda emails:

You are correct that the letter from Sid Duncan is the one we retracted.

After the BDN received several complaints about the letter, some editors reviewed it and decided it went too far in its sexual innuendo about Rep. Erin Herbig. When we remove something online, we say that we’ve done so in order to be transparent. That’s why we wrote the retraction.

* “The BDN has retracted an inappropriate letter to the editor” (last item)

* Every TV newsroom in the U.S. apparently got the same script for an ice cream apps feature. In a 1-minute, 44-second segment, Conan O’Brien shows 25 news anchors from around the country reading the same feature intro: “I scream, you scream … well, you know the rest.” (Conan O’Brien)
* Earlier: Conan shows anchors reading the same “email overload” intro (

* Hillary Frey is named editor-in-chief of Yahoo! News; Aaron Task gets that title at Yahoo! Finance. (Capital New York)
* ProPublica gets $1.9 million from Knight Foundation to expand its data journalism efforts. (Nieman Journalism Lab)
* North Texas Tollway Authority spent $137,000 to keep memos away from Dallas Morning News.
* Margaret Sullivan says landing NYT public editor job “was not a slam dunk.” (New York Observer)
* County supervisor bullies advertisers and supporters of CalCoastNews. (
* The good news in Media General’s quarterly report: revenue from broadcasting operations rose. (Reuters)
* USA Today’s new app will have more social media and video integration. (Gannett Blog)

Dear Real Estate Weekly: We understand — pop culture isn’t your strong suit. But it’s Sharon Osbourne who judges with Howard Stern and Howie Mandel on “America’s Got Talent.” Jennifer Lopez is on “American Idol.”

The New Yorker is known for its careful fact-checking, but The Borowitz Report — now under the magazine’s ownership — “will be as inaccurate as always, and if I ever write something that turns out to be true you have my deepest apology and my promise that it won’t happen again,” says Andy Borowitz.

Andy Borowitz

He jokes that editor David Remnick will let him write whatever he wants, “as long as I don’t make fun of Malcolm Gladwell.”

Borowitz turns serious, though, in the New Yorker announcement:

My mom, Helen Borowitz, who died this month at the age of eighty-three, loved The New Yorker all her life and introduced me to it when I was a little boy. Seeing the Borowitz Report at The New Yorker would have made her so happy. I dedicate all my columns to her memory.

Borowitz told the Plain Dealer that his mother “had a great laugh, and she was a terrific audience.”

In a 2006 interview, Borowitz was asked about the genesis of The Borowitz Report. He told Allen Volvod:

There wasn’t one single moment. I had started writing fake news when I was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon in college. When I started going online (shockingly late, in 1997 or so) I started writing fake news stories and sending them to friends. I started the site in 2001 just to make it easier to send the stories out. I was really just doing it for me and my friends – I had no idea that millions of people would someday read it.

* Shocker: The New Yorker acquires the Borowitz Report (New Yorker)
* Borowitz in 2011: The New Yorker is always finding new comic voices (
* Borowitz’s short comic arias for the New Yorker began in 1998 (Harvard Magazine)
* The Borowitz Report on Twitter | Andy Borowitz on Facebook