Daily Archives: October 26, 2012

Here’s what Global Post journalist Charles Sennott believes Clark Kent will miss now that he’s out of the Daily Planet newsroom:

Clark Kent

He will definitely miss the camaraderie and the characters of a print newsroom. He’ll miss the experienced hand of a great editor. He will miss the resonant thud of the rolls of paper arriving on the loading docks for the big Sunday print run…

Most of all, he’ll miss the great sense of purpose and mission that thrived at the best of the big city dailies.

He adds, though, that “there is an exciting future in the digital age and that this is a time of great opportunity and innovation in journalism.” (

* No more print edition of The Onion in the New York City area. (
* Why the world still needs war correspondents. (
* Seattle TV station to viewers: We’ll pay for your Windows 8 upgrade if we can put you on camera. (@KIRO7Seattle)
* New York Times had “conversations” with the Chinese government before running today’s explosive story, says Sulzberger. (
* Readers in China are getting to NYT website even though the government has blocked it. (
* Chicago Tribune wants Obama to stay in the White House another four years. (
* Oregonian editor’s note: “Portland’s team name was omitted from this story in keeping with The Oregonian’s policy not to publish Native-themed nicknames.” (
* Mathew Ingram: What Tumblr can tell us about the future of media. (
* Ex-“Newsroom” writer Gideon Yago sells a political drama to ABC. (
* The U.S. ranks 22nd in freedom of the press. (
* Providence Journal is having a lousy October, which means people are going to be laid off. (

NPR spokesperson Anna Christopher put out this message after the tweets below — supposedly from a confused Applebee’s-loving Cokie Roberts — began circulating.

The conservative Hot Air site predicts that “this will turn out to be not a spoof account, but in fact a technophobic Cokie’s attempt to use the Siri on her iPhone to try to google directions and/or a recipe.”

* Cokie Roberts confused by Twitter, Googles for Applebee’s (
* @CokieRoberts

The New York Observer on Thursday pointed out that the current New Yorker cover looks a lot like a 1995 Observer cover illustration, both inspired by Norman Rockwell’s “The Tattoo Artist.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger writes today: “Note to New Yorkers: Expand your horizons. The real ripoff comparison is between the New Yorker cover and a cartoon from former Post-Dispatch editorial cartoonist R.J. Matson, a former New Yorker who still practices his craft for Roll Call.”

Matson tells Romenesko readers:

This New Yorker cover is hardly original, but it does not plagiarize the New York Observer. Four years ago, I did the exact same joke, inspired by the famous Rockwell cover, featuring John McCain as the sailor changing his tattoos. My cartoon was published on the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on October 31, 2008, and it was syndicated to over 850 newspapers and magazines in the US and abroad. It appeared in numerous round-ups as one of the best cartoons of the 2008 presidential race.

By coincidence, I was the New York Observer editorial cartoonist from 1988 to 2010, and a colleague of Barry Blitt’s at the Observer. I was aware of the Angelina Jolie illustration by Victor Juhasz when I drew my editorial cartoon, but I thought my idea to apply the gag to a politician’s flip-flops and campaign strategy reversals was sufficiently original. I had used iconic Rockwell images as the foundations for cartoons at least a dozen times before, and it made sense to draw McCain as a sailor because of his career in the Navy.

Barry Blitt has one of my New York Observer cartoons framed on the wall of his studio, and I proudly display one of his cartoons in my home. He is a great talent, and I have no doubt that he came up with the idea for the “Skin Deep” cover independently. Newspaper editorial cartoonists working in different cities routinely come up with strikingly similar ideas on the same deadline. When five or more publish essentially the same cartoon on the same day, we call it a “Yahtzee!”

* From Rockwell to Matson to the New Yorker (
* Earlier: New Yorker and New York Observer covers compared (

This old “Wizard of Oz” synopsis has gone viral, thanks to posts this week on Imgur (“the best film synopsis ever”) and Reddit.

The image credits the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Lee Winfrey for this gem (he died in 2003), but it was actually written by Rick Polito in 1998, when he was a Marin Independent Journal TV columnist. (It got Roy Rivenburg’s “TV Listing of the Week” award in the Los Angeles Times on June 23, 1998.)

Rick Polito

“That line is going to follow me to the grave,” Polito tells me during a phone chat this morning. “It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their email sigs.”

“Someday I’m going to walk down the street and see it on a T-shirt and punch the person who’s wearing it,” he jokes.

Polito worked at the Marin Independent Journal from 1991 to 2007. His quirky TV column was “2,000 one-liners a year” and he continues to write them — at $75 per column — for the weekly Pacific Sun. He lives in Boulder now — “I moved here to be a stay-at-home dad, but now I’m an unemployed dad” — and is doing some freelancing. He’s also developed an iPhone app for parents who read bedtime stories to their kids. (“If I could only get that project covered” by the media, he says.)

Polito tells me he has over a million words of jokes on his hard drive and is looking for someone who’s interested in them. “Use the words ‘desperate for employment'” in your piece, he requests. Done! You can reach the out-of-work writer at

* One of Polito’s last MIJ pieces: “I was a reporter pretending to be a comedian” (

UPDATE: Thanks to Richard A. Solomon for sending the lines that were missing in the image:

The Seattle Times newsroom fact-checks two controversial ads placed by business-side colleagues and rules “two claims are true, one mostly true, one half true and two are false.” The Truth Needle columnists add: “We find the ads’ claims overall half true.”

* Details don’t add up in Times Co.’s McKenna ads (
* Why I won’t be canceling my Seattle Times subscription over ad-gate (

Listen to the Journal Sentinel’s editorial page editor discuss the change.

One passage: “We had an old publisher who was around for 50 years …it was Harry Grant. I’ve always remembered this: he said that the job of a newspaper was to go for the truth wherever you find it and to hell with left and right. And I’ve always thought that was the perfect motto for the editorial page.”


Romenesko readers learned on Wednesday that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest news organization — won’t be endorsing in the presidential and Thompson/Baldwin U.S. Senate races. (Both are within one point.) Editorial page editor David Haynes wouldn’t comment then, but he explains his decision this morning:

When I was appointed editorial page editor nearly two years ago, I pledged that our pages would be “fiercely independent” and that we would “offer a marketplace of ideas. That’s what we have tried to do. And that’s why we have decided that the Editorial Board should get out of the political endorsement business.

David Haynes

He adds: “Believe me, nowhere in my job description does it say that I should help politicians get elected.”

Other points he makes:

* “No party or ideology has a monopoly on good ideas – or bad ones. Our job is to sift through this soil and find kernels of reasonableness.”

* “Endorsements are a relic of a time when every town had more than one newspaper, of a time long before the wide river of commentary now available to anyone with a smartphone.”

* “There will be times, however rare, when it’s necessary to recommend a candidate.”

Bruce Murphy, a former Journal Sentinel staffer, says this is “an inevitable and probably smart decision by the newspaper, but it does present it with a big challenge: to reinvent the editorial page. …Will the newspaper continue to devote the resources, the staff time it takes to write thoughtful, policy wonk editorials that get low readership? Once you dump editorial endorsements, isn’t the whole editorial page up for grabs?”

* David Haynes: Why we won’t make endorsements (
* Milwaukee Journal Sentinel decides not to make endorsements (
* Radical surgery by Journal Sentinel (

* China blocks New York Times website over report on prime minister’s wealth. ( | (
* Current TV plans to “evaluate our strategic options.” (
* French chef slams Hearst’s Marie Claire after the general director asks for a free meal. (
* Detroit news outlets report legendary boxing trainer’s death — and then are set straight by his family. (
* Ken Doctor: Dirt-cheap newspapers can be bought by those who have more than journalism on their mind. (
* David Sirota drops an M-F bomb during battle of radio talk show hosts. ( | Stephen A. Smith drops a “Nigga, please” on ESPN. (
* For once, Boston Globe’s revenue results outshine those of the New York Times. (
* FYI: “My Babies!” leads the New York Post today, while the Cannibal Cop is a bottom-of-the-page mention. ( | Earlier: Potential Post covers for Friday. (