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Daily Archives: December 5, 2012

ESPN executive editor John Walsh was asked in a University of Maryland classroom today about Deadspin writer John Koblin’s feud with ESPN’s Lynn Hoppes. “Says it’s over a girlfriend dispute,” tweeted the student who asked the question. Another tweet: “Walsh says Hoppes stole Koblin’s gf.”

Koblin’s response: “My boyfriend @bennettmadison would be surprised to hear this.”

* John Walsh asserts a love triangle in Deadspin coverage of ESPN (capitalnewyork.com)
* Will Leitch: “That’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard in months (@williamfleitch)
* Koblin: “Let me say I’m gay, so I can knock down the latest straight rumor!” (@koblin)

UPDATE: Koblin got Walsh on the phone and asked: “Why is an ESPN vice president spreading rumors that I’m straight?” Walsh replied: “I don’t know your personal life. I wouldn’t comment on anyone’s personal life.”

Except he did — in a college classroom this afternoon.

* “Why is an ESPN vice president spreading rumors that I’m straight?” (deadspin.com)


A Romenesko reader sent this email about some Washington Post employees getting a retroactive payment due to a programming error. I’ve asked Jennifer Taylor of the paper’s HR department to tell us more. If you have information, please pass it along.

From: Wayne Connell
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012
Subject: ACTION NEEDED: Information Regarding a Retroactive Payment Due to You

The Post recently discovered a programming error related to the administration and payment of experience increases to certain Guild-covered employees, pursuant to Articles VI(2) and VI(4) of the Post-Guild Agreement.


After careful review of your pay records, we determined that you are entitled to a retroactive payment. To correct
this issue, The Post plans to send you a retroactive check payment. Please respond to this email by December 7th 2012 to provide an updated address if necessary.

If we do not receive a response, the check payment will be mailed to the address on record.

I apologize for this error. If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact Jennifer Taylor at (202) 334-XXXX or XXXXX@washpost.com.

Wayne Connell
Vice President, Human Resources
The Washington Post


Temple News columnist John Corrigan started the semester with a promise to “shed some light on some dark, cloudy issues surrounding the opposite sex.”

Three months later, in his final column of the semester, Corrigan tried to shed light on “that time of the month,” and got whacked for doing it.

“This is terribly, ridiculously sexist, and the Temple News should never have published it,” tweeted Ed Giles.

Corrigan

“I ask that you reprimand Mr. Corrigan and issue a formal public apology,” wrote Michael Laccabue.

“Awful piece,” said Ben Gilbert. (No, said @Mikesomatosis; Corrigan’s columns are “the greatest contributions to literature in this new millennium.”)

In what Gawker calls “the most ridiculous period-advice column ever,” Corrigan tells his readers that during “that time of the month … you have to remain cautious around your agonizing girlfriend” and “accept that you will be automatically loathed simply because you are a man.”

He adds that “they call it a period, but an exclamation point is more appropriate. ….Conversing with your girlfriend while Aunt Flo is visiting is like navigating through a minefield — anything can set her off.”

I tried avoiding my girlfriend during her period, thinking that I couldn’t anger her if I wasn’t around. Chalk that one up in the loss column. Distance only makes things worse because she wants you to console her and take her mind off the cramps.

Misery loves company. However, you can lift her spirits by hanging out, watching movies and quenching those obscure food cravings.

She might not be pregnant, but she still demands 7-Eleven jalapeno cream cheese taquitos. Presents, cards and flowers help — anything to make her feel special.

Corrigan, who was paid $10 for the column, predicted that “I’ll probably have my relationship status revoked after this column is published.” I wondered if that happened, and asked him in an email.

He never responded, so I got Temple News editor Angelo Fichera on the phone.

“The column was read by our whole staff, including men and women, before it ran,” Fichera says. “I think they all felt that this was not meant to be taken seriously. If you’ve read his column in the past, you know this is the same tone he’s always taken. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. That being said, we’re going to take the feedback into consideration. …It’s definitely been a learning experience.”

The editor, a journalism senior, says Corrigan’s column set a temple-news.com traffic record with nearly 27,000 visits today. He quickly adds: “It’s definitely not what we set out to do” by publishing it.

* Corrigan: Time of the month a time of caring (temple-news.com)
* Read the letters posted today about Corrigan’s column (temple-news.com)
* Earlier: It has to be pointed out that student’s “How to find a perfect husband” column is a joke (jimromenesko.com)

Just a few of the AOL clues in Times crossword puzzles over the years:
Jan. 14, 1997: Prodigy competitor, for short
Sept. 13, 2000: Yahoo! competitor
Sept. 2, 2001: Netscape purchaser
Jul. 18, 2004: MSN competitor
Aug. 26, 2008: Co. in a 2001 merger with Time Warner
Apr. 21, 2010: Pioneer in instant messaging
Oct. 9, 2011: Company with Patch Media

* The history of AOL as told through New York Times crossword clues (qz.com)

There’s been a lot of discussion on this site and on my Facebook wall about the woman with a rare genital arousal disorder who committed suicide the day after the Tampa Bay Times posted its feature about her.

Times managing editor Mike Wilson sends this email (I added the links) about the reporting of the story and the woman’s death:

We are all saddened by Gretchen Molannen’s tragic decision to take her own life. Reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton and visual journalist Eve Edelheit are taking it particularly hard because they came to know Gretchen during their reporting and empathized deeply with her, as evidenced by the sensitive story and video they produced.

Mike Wilson

You asked in the blog item whether we routinely read stories to sources before they are published. No, we don’t. Leonora did so in this case, with our approval, because of the extremely personal nature of the story. Gretchen was invited to give feedback, but she understood that we alone would decide whether to make any changes. (We ended up making a couple of small ones that she asked for.) As we reported in the story about her death, she sent Leonora an email thanking her for her time, patience and interest.

Our news story describes the great care Leonora took in reporting the story, so I won’t repeat those details here. But I will tell you that we are proud of the mature and thoughtful work our journalists did in bringing Gretchen’s story to light. We can’t know all of the complex factors that led Gretchen to the awful choice she made. But we hope and believe that her story will help other men and women who quietly suffer from similar conditions.

* Hamilton Nolan: Life causes suicide, newspaper features don’t (gawker.com)
* Read the comments about the Times’ story and the woman’s suicide (jimromenesko.com)

A video of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer getting testy with KTVK-TV’s Dennis Welch after he asked about global warming has gone viral — “Where in the hell did that [question] come from?” she asked — but some of their exchange went unreported, according to a newspaper photographer who witnessed it. West Valley View’s Michael Clawson says Brewer hit Welch “not hard, but without enough force that he spun around to see what was going on.”

Clawson writes in an email to Romenesko readers:

Brewer walked out of the tent for a brief three-question press conference with maybe half a dozen reporters, including myself. The questions and answers went on without incident until …

Welch and Brewer (photo: Michael Clawson/West Valley View)

Even after being told about “last question” from a Brewer handler, one of the reporters [Welch] asked another question: basically, do you believe that global warming is caused by man? He prefaced the question with a line about how the governor would be speaking at some kind of energy conference later in the week. After the question was asked, Brewer held a crude smile and just stared at the reporter. It seemed to last about three weeks, but was actually only about 5 seconds. I got the distinct impression she had no opinion on the matter, and she was formulating one in her head at that exact moment. After the long pause she bumbled through an answer, basically that she felt mankind and all our gas-guzzling devices have not caused global warming.

After her answer, a handler swooped in and whisked her away, but about three paces out she turned back around to face the reporter who asked the last question. He had turned to a camera operator and seemed to be putting his microphone away. Brewer took her left hand, balled it into a fist and with the back of her hand she slugged the reporter on the back of his right arm. Not hard, but with enough force that he spun around to see what was going on. She leaned in real close and looked up (she’s a shorter lady) and said in a whisper loud enough for most of us to hear, “Where the hell’d that come from?” I was there taking still pictures for a newspaper so I don’t have the exact dialogue, but he said he thought the question was appropriate. She was shaking her head, saying that the conference was about energy, not global warming, and she seemed to be perturbed that she would be asked her opinion about something. The reporter shrugged his shoulders and said again that he thought the question was fair. Brewer seemed upset, but as she walked away she cracked a smile, probably the same smile she gave Obama after the finger wag.

Anyway, it was funny and kinda surreal.

I forwarded Clawson’s email to Welch for comment. “I’d say this is a fair and accurate account,” he said.

* Gov. Brewer lashes out at reporter for his climate change question (rawstory.com)

* Fox News producers now have to get permission before putting Karl Rove or Dick Morris on the air. (nymag.com)
* Why the man behind Mediagazer and Techmeme says no to people who want to invest in his sites. (bloomberg.com)
* Robert Lipsyte: “Bob Costas, who is even smarter than you think, is aware of what he’s doing.” (slate.com)
* Rex Huppke’s “RIP Facts” piece is one of Time’s Top 10 Opinions of 2012. (@benestes) | The story behind the op-ed: (jimromenesko.com)
* Pat Kiernan reads print editions for “In the Papers” on NY1 to see story placement and headline size. (theatlanticwire.com)
* Rupert Murdoch’s mother dies at 103 after suffering a fall in September. (wsj.com)
* Vogue editor Anna Wintour is being considered for ambassador to France or Great Britain. (wwd.com)
* PSA: Chicago Tribune is hiring metro reporters. (Response to DNAInfoChicago?) (@kevinthepang) | The paper laid off newsroom staffers in March. (chicagotribune.com)
* A woman is slapped with a $750,000 defamation suit after she writes a negative Yelp review about her contractor. (washingtonpost.com)
* Are you a “Homeland” fan? You might want to follow @sergeantbrody. (@sergeantbrody)

The photographer who shot the subway horror photo that appeared on yesterday’s New York Post cover says he’s “surprised at the anger over the pictures, of the people who are saying: Why didn’t he put the camera down and pull him out?”

R. Umar Abbasi says he’s not going to let his “armchair critics” bother him.

They have no idea how very quickly it happened. People think I had time to set the camera and take photos, and that isn’t the case. I just ran toward that train. …The sad part is, there were people who were close to the victim, who watched and didn’t do anything. You can see it in the pictures. The truth is I could not reach that man; if I could have, I would have.

Abbasi says the victim never screamed for help. “It was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen,” he says, “to watch that man dying there. When it was over, I didn’t look at the pictures.”

* Photographer who took subway photos recounts the horror he saw (nypost.com)
* Watch Abbasi’s “Today” interview with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie (wptv.com)
* “Human being first, photographer second. But still try to get the picture” (chicagotribune.com)
* David Carr: “The Post milked the death of someone for maximum commercial effect.” (nytimes.com)
* What Pulitzer-winning photographers say about Abbasi’s cover photo (gawker.com)