Daily Archives: January 9, 2013


Me to Onion editor Will Tracy: “I don’t think I know a journalist who *hasn’t* shared the
Copy Editors/Gang Violence piece. Any interest in letting my readers know who wrote it?”

Tracy: “Ah, ’tis an Onion secret! Glad you liked it, though :-)”

Do you know who deserves credit for it? Please let me know if you do.

What the AP Stylebook editors say about the story: “We oppose violence more than we oppose the Oxford comma.”

* 4 copy editors killed in ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual gang violence (
* AP: “We oppose violence more than we oppose the Oxford comma” (
* Earlier: A lot of love for the Oxford comma (
* Check out the discussion on my Facebook wall (

tumblr_m0kry4AHCC1r4qlp5o8_r1_250What happened to a Newsweek intern in the summer of 1999:

“The editor pushed me down onto his huge white couch. Both his breath and his body were so heavy, so much heavier than I had ever thought possible. It seemed impossible that another human being could be so heavy, so total. His hands were on me, his mouth a gaping fish. I couldn’t push him off me. No amount of Vassar or pencil skirts or housewife chic or tablecloths or steak or drivers or house-sitting, even, could push him off me. Being unable to move, I spoke. I said ‘no.’ ….”

“It’s always been a cliché to hit up the intern. But the summer of 1999 was an especially cliché time to hit up the intern. Clinton’s impeachment trial had just concluded that February. The country was ablaze with intern improprieties.”

* The most bloated magazine of the most bloated era: Farewell to Newsweek (

A Romenesko reader/D.C. journalist explains: “Dave Sheinin had a contract for a Stephen Strasburg book and was covering him for The [Washington] Post. Strasburg blows out his arm, the book dies.

“He is on the Robert Griffin III beat now and apparently doing a book — and RGIII blows out his knee.”

Sheinin tells Romenesko readers: “Jeff was just trying to be cute (and probably also trying to bait me into tweeting), and the ‘curse’ is nothing more than a grim coincidence.”

Also, here’s what Post columnist Gene Weingarten said yesterday about his paper’s treatment of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan:

In the absence of the regular sports columnists of The Washington Post, whose job this would ordinarily be but who were unaccountably collectively unavailable yesterday for required tuchus-kicking duty, I am stepping forward today on behalf of this newspaper (if without its official approval) to formally demand the head of Mike Shanahan. Unknown-2Not his life or even his job, but the head itself, sunk in shame, bald-spot pronated, wretched, groveling, stammery and hangdog, confessing into a mike what is or should be apparent to everyone who watched the grisly end to the Redskins’ first playoff game in 6 years: He blew what might be the most important call of his career, and he did so through a combination of foolishness and cowardice. You deserve his apology, rich, nuanced, and textured. You won’t get it. Instead you get this thin gruel.

Yes, I do believe you should have read this in yesterday’s Post, a newspaper with the best and most fearless team of sports columnists I know of – a team that, perhaps hearing footsteps, punted on this one. It was not a pretty punt. It was shanked off the side of the foot, weak and wobbly, a real stinker, all a-flutter with wincing stoicism and good cheer (“Loss Aside, Bright Future Awaits”) avoiding the central issue of the day with an awkward side-step. Get it? An awkward side-step. Like a step to the side made by a foot without the approval of the knee. …

Why the punt by the Wapo? My guess: Character. It’s easy to be critical, and easier to pile on when others are doing it, too. Maybe they felt the high road was to give Shanahan a break. If so, I disagree. I think it looks bad.

weekliesSeattle Weekly has been sold by Village Voice Media to Sound Publishing, which puts out 36 daily, weekly and monthly community newspapers and magazines in western Washington and northern Oregon.

The Voice also sold SF Weekly to San Francisco Newspaper Co., which runs the San Francisco Examiner and the Bay Guardian. (Black Press owns both Sound Publishing and the Examiner.)

Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed.

* Sound Publishing buys Seattle Weekly (
* SF Weekly to join Bay Guardian, Examiner at San Francisco Newspaper Co. (
* Yes, SF Weekly was sold to the same guy who owns the Examiner and Bay Guardian (
* On Tuesday, Seattle Times knocked down rumors that it was buying the Weekly (

Letter to Romenesko

From JOHN DRESCHER, executive editor, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC: We were surprised to see a report on your site [“Why bother pulling your Forbes piece, Darren?”] challenging our reporting on the UNC academic scandal. We would have expected to be contacted to discuss this in advance, and so we offer this response:

John Drescher

John Drescher

We won’t attempt to speak for the blog post, other than to say that the blogger posted an item that largely resembled what we had reported Dec. 30, without any attribution. Former Gov. Jim Martin apparently found it and leveled criticisms at the blogger for basing his post on our story, and then the blogger took the item down.

While we do like to have our work attributed to us, it’s understandable that a reporter would refer to our work on this story. The News & Observer, and particularly reporter Dan Kane, has led the reporting on it at every turn. Had it not been for our work over the past two years, there would have been no discovery of the bogus classes at UNC-Chapel Hill, no resignation of the African studies department chairman and no Martin report.

As to our work that has led to this most recent dust-up, our story on Dec. 30 challenged a critical finding of the Martin report: that athletic officials and academic support officials had warned of courses in one department that were supposed to be lecture courses but never met.

Here is a link to that story.

Gov. Martin wrote a letter to the editor that we published online on Jan. 2 and in print on Jan. 3 that was critical of our report. You can find that here.

And we responded to every point he made in an investigations blog item that you can find here. /LETTER CONTINUES Read More

The Newspaper Guild blasts the Pittsburgh Police Department for putting out a press release with Post-Gazette reporters’ questions about the handling of a recent murder-suicide, thus tipping off rival news outlets to their investigation:


This unconscionable breach of professional ethics by the chief’s office and the public information officer was not just an attempt to ruin a “scoop” for two reporters, it was an attempt to derail any communication between reporters and police beyond what officials offer at staged news conferences.

The Guild says the department’s intention was “to punish and intimidate reporters who dared to demand answers to important questions” about the murder-suicide and the police response to it.

* Pittsburgh police behavior “unconscionable” (
* Earlier: P-G editor protests police department’s actions (

Someone at the El Paso Times trying to be cute?

Romenesko reader and El Paso lawyer Richard Mattersdorf wrote in an email this morning: “Article about first openly gay TX state rep., El Paso’s Mary Gonzalez. First photo credit to AP’s Eric Gay. The woman pictured is not Mary Gonzalez.”

I let El Paso Times reporter Zahira Torres know, and she replied: “Thanks for the email. Your reader is correct. The woman in the photo is longtime state Rep. Senfronia Thompson. I am calling into the newspaper as we speak to find out why that photo was used.”

The layout was quickly changed.

UPDATE: Torres has an explanation after the jump. Read More

* This tweet about NBA refs cost Mark Cuban $50,000. (
* Longtime Conde Nast publicist Maurie Perl is pushed out. “She’s more than a publicist,” says Tina Brown. “She’s a consiglieri. No one can see all the angles like her.” ( | (
* Bloomberg News wins January Sidney Award for its tale of two McDonald’s. ( | (
nixon* Richard Nixon owed his career to the Los Angeles Times and its political editor, Kyle Palmer. (
* A college degree is required, too! “For 2 articles per week, each 1,500 words, you will be paid $200.” (
* Unemployed political cartoonist goes directly to readers for funding. (
* “Come and see what we’re building,” Facebook tells the media. It’s not known what the company will unveil on Tuesday. (
* Changes are coming to your Facebook Timeline. (
* Research firm predicts tablets will outsell laptops this year. (
* Recruitment advertising in Ivy League college newspapers drops significantly. (