Daily Archives: October 24, 2012

UPDATE: Bruce Murphy, who has covered Milwaukee media and politics for decades, writes: “Sources tell me the newspaper felt the heat of endorsing Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the bitterly contested recall election and decided it wasn’t worth it. The word is the newspaper will do no more endorsements unless the editors really feel like a candidate has crossed the line and they need to weigh in.”

UPDATE II: Editorial page editor David Haynes explains why the Journal Sentinel won’t be making endorsements.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest and most influential news organization — won’t be endorsing in the very tight presidential and Senate races this year. (Oct. 17 headline: “Marquette Law School Poll finds presidential and Senate races tied in Wisconsin.”)

I asked editorial page editor David Haynes about this and he replied in an email: “I’m writing a column on our decision for the Sunday paper. We may post that early (Friday). As a point of history: The JS did not endorse in the 2000 presidential election, and I remember [editor] Marty Kaiser writing at the time that it was not the first time that a newspaper in Milwaukee had not endorsed. It wasn’t common, but it had happened before.”

Will the paper be making any endorsements? “Sorry, going to have to put you off until we tell our readers,” Haynes replied.

I’m told that both U.S. Senate candidates Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson were furious when they heard the no-endorsement news; I’ve requested comment from both campaigns.

Inside the paper, I’m told, there’s the feeling that “we have two tough picks to make and we’re taking a pass,” and the paper is less relevant because of it.

Five years ago, a Journal Sentinel staffer told Milwaukee Magazine that “we should endorse for president or get out of the editorial business.” In the same media column, the head of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism department said: “If you’re not going to editorialize on the most important topic of the day, and if you’re not going to take a stand in the most important presidential election of our lives, what’s the point?”

The Journal Sentinel endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.

* Milwaukee paper is going to drop its political endorsements (
* 2007: To endorse or not to endorse: Journal Sentinel gets caught midstep (

A letter that New York Times union members will be delivering tonight to publisher Arthur Sulzberger says “the company’s negotiating goal of sub-inflation raises would perpetuate an era of shrinking compensation” and “would have a withering effect on morale.”

Such a result would be a Pyrrhic win for the company. No one — not us, not newsroom management, not you or the shareholders — can afford that kind of “win.” …

The foundation of The Times as a business is built on people willing to give their all, 365 days a year, to bring the world’s greatest newspaper and Web site to life. We all know the corrosive effects of featherbedding in a business. At The Times, we need a term for reverse featherbedding. Ours is a company where employees do far more than they are paid for. This is treasure. Do not, we implore you, squander it by persisting in these indefensible demands.

Read the union memo after the jump. Read More

Our “Press Release of the Day” comes from George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, which reports:

* “The debaters and moderator of the third presidential debate interrupted each other 65 times, down 47% from the 122 interruptions that occurred during the second debate.”

* “Mitt Romney was cut off while speaking over twice as often Barack Obama – 43 interruptions of Romney compared to 18 interruptions of Obama.”

* “President Obama cut off Mr. Romney in mid-sentence 23 times, while Romney cut off Obama 13 times. Moderator Bob Schieffer cut off Romney 18 times, compared to the 5 times he cut off Obama. In turn, Romney interrupted Schieffer 8 times, compared to only one interruption by Obama.”

The full press release is after the jump.
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* Lance Armstrong punished for “systematic hoping”? ( | Earlier: Farewell, Denver Post copy editors! (
* Sports talker who wished ESPN’s Desmond Howard dead or fired loses his job. (@971thefan) | The tweet that got him in trouble. (
* New Times staffer who admits having “a definite liberal bias” gives the finger to Fox News viewers. ( | (
* Panelists agree that Helen Gurley Brown was “retrograde and raunchy … a benevolently wacky aunt.” (
* Sarah Palin accuses the president of “shuck and jive” on Libya. (
* Online-only U.S. News says it’s now profitable and in growth mode. (
* Chicago Tribune story on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is required reading at one high school. (
* “I’m not going to have a cow about it,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter says about his emails being posted by the Akin camp. (
* Barry Diller on Newsweek downsizing: “We’re doing it as spare and as positively as we can.” (
* Diller’s IAC predicts a 2013 operating loss for units that include Newsweek. (
* NYT, AP and other news outlets ask a judge to unseal documents in Legion of Christ lawsuit. (AP via
* Appeals court reinstates conservative newspaper’s lawsuit against Oregon State University. ( | (

Taylor Swift told David Letterman last night that Rolling Stone’s Brian Hiatt “is such a good writer that I was really nervous and I wanted everything to go right” while he was reporting his cover story.

SWIFT: “He goes, first of all, do you want to ride together [to a restaurant for the interview] or do you want to follow me, or take separate cars? I’m [thinking], You know what? I’m a really safe driver and maybe he’ll write about what a safe driver I am.”

LETTERMAN: “OK, Let me interrupt you right there. I don’t care — I learned this not from journalists; I learned this from real estate agents — always ride in separate cars. You don’t want to be stuck with them any longer than you have to be.

“Secondly, you could be Mother Teresa behind the wheel and they’re never going to write about how safe you are. It’s just not going to happen. So next time let him drive his own car.”

Swift told Letterman that she had two fender benders — with Hiatt in the car — in one day.

SWIFT: “He said [after the second accident], ‘You just saved my life with your defensive driving skills,’ and that [comment] didn’t end up in the article — but he did say it.”

LETTERMAN: “The fact that there were two wrecks in one day — did that end up in the article?”

SWIFT: “Yes, but he was delicate about it.”


From a Q and A with journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis (h/t @clochary):

I’m a big believer of getting in a car with someone. I think it’s great to see what kind of driver they are, that’s helpful, and it’s a distraction, so they’re not as focused on telling you the same answers.

* VIDEO: Taylor Swift’s fender benders (

A Carnegie UK Trust and Demos study found that the Financial Times is considered to be the most ethical newspaper in the UK. Carnegie says that 57% of its 1,0000 respondents believe the FT operates in an ethical manner. With seven papers considered, The Sun lands on the bottom of the news ethics list.

* Financial Times considered UK’s most ethical newspaper (

UPDATE: After editor’s blog, Obama releases without comment the transcript of his Register interview

Des Moines Register editor Rick Green and publisher Laura Hollingsworth talked with President Obama for a half-hour Tuesday morning, but their conference call — “an incredibly informative exchange of questions” — had to be off-the-record, the White House ruled.

Green writes:

Rick Green

We requested that the White House be asked to reverse course so whatever the president shared with us could be reviewed by voters and our readers.

No reason was given for the unusual condition of keeping it private.

We relented and took the call. How could we not? It’s the leader of the free world on line one.

Green told Obama spokesperson Erin Seidler that what the president said in their off-the-record talk “would have been well-received by not only his base, but also undecideds” and that “from a voter standpoint, keeping it off-the-record was a disservice.”

Green tells readers that the White House’s decision to keep the conversation secret “won’t play a factor in our board’s final endorsement decision” because “that would be petty and ridiculous.” The paper, which went with Obama in 2008, will publish its endorsement online at 7 p.m. Saturday and run it in Sunday’s paper.

* Obama’s off-the-record comments deserve to be shared with voters (

The Newspaper Guild of New York is encouraging members at the New York Times to use Twitter today “to get our message out to the world.”

The union, which is in contract talks with Times management, tells members:

Many of you have large and devoted twitter followings, and we would like to utilize that resource in order to engage the public. We have crafted a simple tweet that we’d like you to put on your feed several times [Wednesday].

[The tweet:] Retweet this to show support for @nytimes journalists & staff who are fighting wage and benefit cuts #saveourtimes

If you can, please tweet this from your account three times tomorrow. Tweet on your own time, and in a manner that will not interfere with the performance of your duties.

Read the memo after the jump.

Read More