Daily Archives: November 5, 2012

A Wall Street Journal election eve memo reminds staffers that “we have a longstanding tradition in our newsroom of refraining from partisan political activity, including partisan commentary in social media.” Thus, on Tuesday night “we all have a responsibility to uphold this tradition and need to avoid even the appearance of bias, including in our choices of what we re-tweet.” (Meanwhile, check out what WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch has been tweeting.)

From: [Assistant managing editor] Pensiero, Karen
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 5:30 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff
Subject: Election Night Info

Dear Newsroom Colleagues,

A reminder that our official source for calling the election results is the AP. If you want to mention Tuesday night that another media outlet has made a call in a specific geographic location, please also note whether or not the AP has already called the race in that area. This applies to all platforms: video, social media,, print, real time, blogs, etc.

Also, please remember that we have a longstanding tradition in our newsroom of refraining from partisan political activity, including partisan commentary in social media. Thanks in advance for remembering that we all have a responsibility to uphold this tradition and need to avoid even the appearance of bias, including in our choices of what we re-tweet.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Many thanks,

* Earlier: AP tells its journalists to watch what they tweet on election night (

UPDATE: The Washington Post’s election eve memo is after the jump. Read More

* NPR’s ombudsman says “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep “went too far a handful of times during Sandy.” Inskeep responds: “In our many hours of serious coverage, I reserve the right to notice the absurd, even in an awful situation, and also to allow our correspondents to report what they see.” (
* Harvard Crimson poll has 77% of students favoring Obama. (
* “How They See Us”: Foreign journalists’ views of the U.S. presidential race. (
* The oldest jailhouse newspaper in America puts out an impressive “commemorative issue.” ( | The editor is a former Chicago Tribune marketing guy serving time for murder. (
* Ex-Huffington Post execs’ news video app goes live. (
* NYT is trying to make its apps “less of a formless container for print and web stories and more of a unique news experience,” reports Justin Ellis. (
* Romney campaign charges reporters for access to election night party; Obama has free and paid options. (
* Instagram is no longer just a smartphone app. (
* “70 is the new 68,” jokes 71-year-old Marv Albert. (
* Demand Media easily beats analysts’ expectations. (

The long letter that’s to the right of the Post-Gazette’s Obama endorsement in Sunday’s paper is written by Allan Block, chairman of the Post-Gazette’s parent company. He argues that Mitt Romney “can create a safe, strong, growing economy that benefits all Americans” and “can bring this country back.”

POST-GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD: “The choice is clear. Barack Obama wants to lead the country out of its morass and deserves the support of all Americans. His challenger is a man of shifting convictions, save for one core belief — that he should be president. In America that’s not enough, no matter the size of one’s checkbook.”
POST-GAZETTE CHAIRMAN ALLAN BLOCK: “Mitt Romney is a person who has the best chance of keeping the U.S. from exploding in another Wall Street/banking-system crisis and who has the best chance of handling the aftermath should another one hit. He should be elected president on Tuesday.”

UPDATE: Block’s piece also ran in his family’s Toledo Blade, which endorsed Obama. “Check out the comments” below Block’s letter, advises a Romenesko reader.

* Post-Gazette editorial: “Obama’s bringing America back” (
* Allan Block: “We need a financial president for a financial era”

Two weeks ago I wrote about unemployed journalist Rick Polito’s great “Wizard of Oz” synopsis from 1998 going viral — but with credit to another writer who has been dead for years. Over the weekend, Polito sent this email about his Oz description: “It made George Takei’s FB page yesterday and was getting 10,000 ‘likes’ an hour. Still with the wrong name. And still no call from Leno,” apologizing for giving the wrong credit at least twice. (The “Oz” clipping that’s most widely circulated cuts off after Lee Winfrey‘s name. A reader sent the image posted below — with Polito’s name.)

Takei changed the credit, though, after Polito protested and I posted a link to my Oct. 26 post in his comments section.

* George Takei posts journalist’s “Wizard of Oz” gag synopsis, but gives wrong credit ( | Takei’s post
* Earlier: Quirky synopsis is going follow journalist to the grave (

UPDATE: “We are taking down the pay wall tomorrow,” a New York Times spokesperson tells Romenesko readers. The Times is fre on web and mobile platforms from 6:00 p.m. EST Tuesday until 6:00 p.m. EST Wednesday.

The best part of the Wall Street Journal’s election-coverage press release: “Beginning tomorrow at 5 p.m. EST through Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 5 p.m., will offer a global “open house” during which all content will be free to all users online and via the Journal’s universal app for iPhone and iPad.”

Read the Wall Street Journal and New York Times release excerpts after the jump.

Read More

From the Daily Collegian’s “One Year Later” Sandusky scandal special section.

* Daily Collegian publishes “One Year Later” Sandusky scandal special section (

A Pioneer Press reporter’s tweet:

The Pioneer Press marriage amendment editorial that prompted Vikings punter Chris Kluwe to quit blogging for the paper — and moved reporter Tom Webb to tweet the message above — “failed to deliver what we had meant to,” writes editor Mike Burbach, who is responsible for the paper’s opinions and news coverage.

“The piece was widely read as favoring the amendment [that would ban gay marriage in Minnesota], and many people considered our ‘not endorsing one way or another’ line to be disingenuous at best.” He adds that “we should have made our respect for the anti-amendment arguments more evident.”

Chris Kluwe

I’ve left a message for Burbach [he’s responded; see below]. Webb hasn’t responded to an email I sent him on Sunday. (By the way, the PiPress managing editor tweeted on Sunday that Webb will not “face judgment or sanction for the sentiment he shared earlier.”

The St. Paul paper today publishes Kluwe’s final “Out of Bounds” blog post, in which he calls Burbach’s editorial “a severely biased piece urging the adoption of the amendment, a piece that did its best to hide under the purported shroud of neutrality, but which let its glaring support ooze through in every twisted phrase and slimy sentence.”

To be clear, I have no problem with the editorial board urging people to vote yes. That is their decision to make, their opinion to have, and no one can (nor should) take that away. My problem is the attempted masking of that opinion, of disguising their intent – in short, my problem is with lying.

UPDATE: Editor Burbach tells me that negative reaction to the editorial “has been mostly on social media” and “there weren’t many calls and only a few emails.” He didn’t anticipate Kluwe’s resignation over the editorial, but “we were interested in his stuff because he’s a smart and interesting and outspoken guy, so I guess I wouldn’t expect him to not be that way on this” matter.

Burbach says he expects to speak with Kluwe, but doubts the Vikings punter can be convinced to once again blog for the paper. (His farewell post went up this morning.)

About his reporter’s tweet: “I think Tom’s tweet represents the [newsroom’s] view pretty well. …that this [editorial] didn’t meet our standards.” (Burbach tells me there hasn’t been a newsroom petition or staff letter sent to him about the editorial.)

About subscription cancellations: “So far not much. Almost nothing over the weekend, but there are some.”

* Regarding our editorial on Minnesota’s marriage amendment | The editorial (
* Chris Kluwe: Why I can no longer write for the Pioneer Press (
* Marriage amendment editorial draws swift, harsh reaction online (
* National attention for Kluwe’s split from the Pioneer Press (
* Kluwe’s tweets on the matter | PiPress managing editor’s tweets

New York Observer editor-in-chief Aaron Gell is asked if there was there any hesitation about using the “Blow Me” headline. No, he says, “it was the only thing we really considered.”

I felt like it channeled a certain sense of defiance that New Yorkers were feeling in that moment. I think that’s occasionally the role of a paper like the Observer—giving voice to a certain cathartic, gut-level response that would seem out of place in the Times or New York or another more established outlet. We’d slept in the office the night before, and we were pretty fried and maybe a bit shaken and worried about our friends and families, so that headline came straight from the heart.

* Q and A with New York Observer’s new editor-in-chief (
* New York to Sandy: Blow me (

* “If I were a would-be new media mogul, the one thing I’d want for Christmas is Current TV,” writes Michael Wolff. “For the likes of The Huffington Post, Vice, TMZ, The Daily Beast, Gawker, BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor, Deadline Hollywood and Business Insider, Current TV could finally be a way to real money. (

* “F-off!” is the new “no comment” in Washington. (
* The Savile case didn’t come up when NYT did a background check on new CEO Mark Thompson. (“He was clean.”) (
* Howard Kurtz notes that the media’s overwhelming consensus is that the president will win a second term. (
* Former Deseret News editor: “That we are within a few days of the very real possibility that Americans will elect an active, practicing Latter-day Saint as president of the United States is in itself astonishing to me.” (
* Does Google really need news media content? (No.) (
* Former Spin editor-in-chief Steve Kandell is named longform editor at BuzzFeed. (
* Republicans are favored more often by editorial boards. (
* Alex Pareene claims “fedora-sporting right-wing recluse” Matt Drudge is Politico editor John Harris’s dreamboat. (
* Noted: Mugshot publishers who ask for money to remove embarrassing information could be accused of extortion. (
* Mother of “Barefoot Bandit” claims journalist Bob Friel owes her up to $300,000 for interviews and her time; “ridiculous,” he says. (