Daily Archives: October 30, 2012

Smug (no more?)

BuzzFeed’s reported earlier today that @ComfortablySmug — the guy who purposely tweeted false Hurricane Sandy information last night — is a hedge fund analyst named Shashank Tripathi. He also is — or was — campaign manager for Republican U.S. House candidate Christopher R. Wight.

Tripathi tweeted this tonight:

* “I hope they throw the book at you,” and other reactions to his tweet (@ComfortablySmug)
* Tweeting fake news in a crisis: Illegal or just immoral? (
* Meet Hurricane Sandy Twitter villain @ComfortablySmug (
* Some Twitter heavyweights retweeted his misinformation (

* How New York City hyper-locals covered the hurricane. (
* Why no mention of climate change in the hurricane reporting? (
* Is tweeting fake news in a crisis illegal or just immoral? (
* Meet @ComfortablySmug, Hurricane Sandy’s worst Twitter villain. (
* Memo to Gawker Media staff from the boss: “If we’re the indestructible cockroaches of the media world, now’s the time to show it.” (
* Michael Wolff: Arthur Sulzberger “always seems to lash himself to sinking ships … now he’s gotten himself on Jimmy Savile’s boat.” (
* At least 21 newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 have endorsed Romney in 2012. (
* Editor & Publisher names its EPPY award winners on YouTube and in a Word doc; how about just letting us read them on a webpage?
* Get ready for Uncool, a new kind of music journalism. (
* AP’s report on today’s “almost unchanged” circulation numbers. (
* Advance Publications says its digital revenues are up 22% in 2012. (

Conan: “That puppy just heard that Newsweek went out of business.”

Conan O’Brien mourns the death of Newsweek in print: “It’s sad, it’s a little mind-boggling. And what’s even stranger and sadder is when you see some of the magazines that actually outlasted Newsweek.

“Newsweek’s gone but these magazines still exist! These are all completely real:” Pond Hoppin, Chess Life, Pole Spin, Airports of the World, Where to Retire, Witches & Pagans, Weed World, Amateur Radio, Racing Pigeon Pictorial, and Just Labs.

* 12 real magazines that outlasted Newsweek (
* Also: Conan thanks a “brave” reporter covering Hurricane Sandy (

The AP and other news outlets on Monday reported that the A was blown off USA Today’s headquarters sign in McLean, Va., but spokesperson Heidi Zimmerman tells Romenesko readers this afternoon:

Letter down!

It was actually both the D and the A in TODAY off of the USA TODAY sign that faces the front of our building on Jones Branch Drive. The letters are approximately 5′ by 3.5′. What fell is the plastic covering over the electrical part of the letter. So — if you drove by right now during the day — you could still read it but you’d definitely know those two letters look “different” because their cover is missing.

* Hurricane Sandy rips the A off USA Today’s headquarters sign (

The two meteorologists

This has to be one of the low points of local news broadcasting….

On Monday’s 6ABC (Philadelphia) 6 p.m. newscast, meteorologist Adam Joseph began his report without his microphone on. You can clearly hear the second meteorologist, Cecily Tynan, react to that by calling Joseph a “moron,” although she claims she said “more on.”

Viewers jumped on Twitter to report the name-calling, which prompted news anchor Jim Gardner to explain at the close of the newscast:

There comes a point where we have to sort of figure out how closely we should respond to what you folks have to say on social media — on Twitter, for instance — and maybe I shouldn’t even acknowledge this, but I think it’s important that the folks who thought that Cecily called Adam an untoward name when Adam was having trouble with his microphone. That’s not at all true.

I really shouldn’t even say the word — it begins with an M and ends with an N, and then there’s an O and an R and an O in there somewhere. What Cecily was saying was, Do you want mine on — my microphone on? And then Adam had the chance to fix his microphone before that even became an issue.

So if you thought that Cecily called Adam an untoward name, that’s not the case at all. We don’t do that here. We are a family. We love each other. [The anchor then turns to a colleague off camera and jokingly says] You’re acting like a moron!

The link below has audio of Tynan’s “moron” remark and anchor Gardner’s denial.

* 6ABC’s Cecily Tynan calls colleague Adam Joseph a ‘moron’ on the air (

— Graphic credit: Texas Tribune

“Newspaper endorsements are at best meaningless anachronisms, and at worst damaging to the newspapers themselves,” writes Edward Morrissey. “Maybe they’d be better to stick with reporting, and let voters figure it out for themselves.”

* Why newspaper endorsements don’t matter (
* 2012 presidential endorsements ( | (

Letter to Romenesko

From DAWN KETTINGER, communications director, Michigan Nurses Association: We’ve been watching from afar in Michigan, seeing all the horror our fellow human beings are facing, and also stories like nurses heroically saving lives by evacuating hospitals last night in NYC, literally keeping vent-dependent babies alive by manually bagging them as they walked them down flights of stairs. Then we see media doing things like this [the Detroit News retweeting the “Count Stormula” crack].

People are hungry for information and connection right now. Moments of misjudgment are understandable, but perhaps it is worth another discussion of how media use their resources and power.

Joe Nocera (left) and Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera writes in his column about incoming New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson:

Arthur Sulzberger is in a difficult spot. He believes strongly that he’s got the executive he needs to lead The Times to the promised land of healthy profits again.Although he declined to be interviewed for this column, he appears to have accepted Thompson’s insistence that he knew nothing about the explosive allegations that became public literally 50 days after he accepted the Times job. Sulzberger is backing his man unreservedly.

* Is Mark Thompson the right man for the job? (

* Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its report for the six months ending Sept. 30. (
* New York Times’ weekday circulation jumps 40%, thanks to digital subscribers. (
* FYI: and are free again today; is free for “the duration of the storm.” (
* Huffington Post: Our website is experiencing technical difficulties. (
* “Congrats to Gothamist and Eater, winners of the last Existing NYC Website contest. (The Awl gets a bronze but toppled last night.)” (@choire)
* How college newspapers covered Hurricane Sandy. (
* Village Voice sues Yelp for using “Best of.” (
* Why is boycotting L.A. Press Club’s awards contest. (
* Amateur photographers have the right to shoot in public places, too. (


* Did he really say that? “I majored in the campus newspaper with a minor in recreational substances,” NYT’s Bill Keller told a college audience, according to a student paper. (
* AP corrects poll that found many Americans believe Obama is Jewish. ( | (
* Denver Post ex-columnist Chuck Murphy leaves the paper to work for a nonprofit. (Insert newspaper=nonprofit joke here.) (
* As long as there are politicians, there will be fodder for MAD Magazine. (