Monthly Archives: February 2013

Today is Patrick Pexton’s last day as Washington Post ombudsman. (He was appointed two years ago.) Here’s what Pexton sent the Post staff Thursday evening:

From: Patrick Pexton
Date: February 28, 2013, 6:10:43 PM EST
To: NEWS – All Newsroom
Subject: No, no caking for the ombudsman……….Just some thanks…

I want to thank everyone in the newsroom for treating me with respect and courtesy these past two years. This is a newsroom of consummate professionals, who I have had the high privilege to be among. The time, alas, was too short, but this has been an honor and a memory I’ll carry with me, and treasure, always.

Patrick Pexton

Patrick Pexton

You on the 4th and 5th floors have within your power to preserve, protect, and enhance The Washington Post, in all its forms and platforms. More broadly, you have the power to help sustain an American journalism of quality, of toughness, of fairness, a journalism that tells the truth as nearly as the truth may be ascertained, to echo the words etched in the lobby downstairs.

This is no small thing, no small power. The power of truth is the power to humble governments, to obtain justice, to foil hypocrisy, to help the downtrodden, to reveal the world as it is, not as we might like it to be.

Exercise it wisely and responsibly. /CONTINUES Read More

A Romenesko reader writes: “The Medium, a long-running comedy paper at Rutgers University, retracted and apologized for a story they wrote mocking girls in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. This is interesting because, just like the Onion, the Medium writes hard-edged satire and almost never pulls back from their offensive content. Someone posted a copy of the story on Reddit, since the Medium pulled their version from the PDF they post to their website and replaced it with the apology on page 2.”


Apology excerpt:

We would like to apologize for an article that was published in this week’s paper regarding Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Since our paper is satirical in nature and no stranger to controversy, it is rare that we apologize for our content. However, it is the feeling of this editorial board that the article in question merits an apology. It was written in a cruel, debasing manner that does not reflect the values or goals of our organization. Our aim is to create humorous content which will entertain the University community; the article that ran this week was cruel and relied on cheap jokes in lieu of humor. By publishing the article, we made a poor judgment to experiment with a style of humor that had entertained our audience years ago.

* Read The Medium editors’ full apology (
* Read the “ugly bitches” story that was pulled (
* The apology doesn’t quite fill the space where the article was (
* “The Medium totally punked out under the slightest pressure of intimidation. Frankly, we’re disappointed.” (

Last August, former Rocky Mountain News staffer Gil Rudawsky wrote about his appreciation for PR work, which he’s now doing, and how he’s become a “true believer in how we can help our clients manage issues and get their sides of the story fairly told.”

Today he’s back in PR Daily with his list of bad things that journalists do. He writes:

Numerous reporters have told me point blank that they did not care about my client’s point of view or response because they felt they had a better story without it.

-- Image from Don Asmussen's cartoon

— Image from Don Asmussen’s cartoon

I heard a reporter claim that he was granted permission to talk to a victim because he had spoken to the person’s family. Turns out, the family told him to get lost and then hung up on him.

I’ve seen reporters use obviously planted information about my clients, without questioning or caring about how they were being used.

I’ve seen reporters rely on outdated reporting by other news outlets and repurpose it as new reporting without checking the accuracy or whether there had been updates.

Numerous reporters have called me 30 minutes before deadline asking for comment on a story they had been working on for weeks.

Thoughts from journalists and PR folks?

* Gil Rudawsky: Cringe-worthy things journalists do (
* Rudawsky: I miss newspaper journalism, but… (


* Milfs celebrate 60th anniversary “with a special night on the town” (
* Earlier: Hillary Clinton and making peace with the MILF (

Rupert Murdoch? (“[His] people are out there doing their due diligence,” says Ken Doctor.)

Aaron Kushner? (A skeptical alt-weekly editor says: “The minute he stops making money, he stops his model railroad.”)

David Geffen, who once eyed the Los Angeles Times, now says that “I have no interest… I simply do not want to talk about it.”

(Credit: Fred Harper)

(Credit: Fred Harper)

One man who will talk about his interest in the paper is Evercore Partners founder Austin Beutner, who is teaming up with weathly Angelenos to make an offer and run the Times as a nonprofit. “I’d love to see it restored to its prior stature in terms of it being a voice of civic consciousness,” he tells Hillel Aron. “And I think the best ownership for that voice is local.”

Aron writes:

Beutner won’t say who is in his group. Rumors seem to suggest that [Eli] Broad and former Mayor Richard Riordan are involved, and possibly even mega-billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

“I think we have the resources to pay an appropriate amount,” Beutner says. “I’m not being coy; we haven’t seen the books and records yet. … We’d definitely be prepared to move quickly.” It probably can’t hurt that Beutner in 1996 co-founded Evercore — the very investment bank hired by Tribune this week to vet prospective buyers.

Aron says it makes sense that Soon-Shiong — “the richest man in Los Angeles and a brilliant doctor” — is part of the investors group because “clearly he wants to own something civic — and big — in L.A.”

Also, the reporter notes, Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika interned at the Times last summer, which she notes on her Facebook page.

UPDATE — Who does Aron predict will get the Times? I asked and he replied: “I think if there were Vegas odds for this sort of thing, the strong favorite would be ‘Some guy you’ve never heard of.’ Seems like most of these big newspapers get sold to some dark horse billionaire.”

* Who will buy the Los Angeles Times? (

This Bloomberg Businessweek cover “stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons,” writes Ryan Chittum. “Also, because there are only people of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It’s hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.”

UPDATE — Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel says: “Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret. Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we’d do it differently.”

* A Businessweek cover crosses the line ( | BW misfires badly (

* Bob Woodward’s ridiculous war with the White House. ( | Read Gene Sperling’s email to Woodward: ( | From legend to laughingstock. (
* Not many ad pages in the redesigned New Republic. ( | Only 5 full ad pages in the March 11 issue. (
* The Santa Barbara news anchor who went missing is back home, but her family isn’t explaining what happened. (

-- Typo of the day

— Typo of the day

* How The National failed in its attempt to become the New York Times of the Middle East. (
* That’s a Rosa Parks statue, not saute, of course. (h/t Jon Whiten)
* Where did Friendster go wrong? Design changes and technical problems are cited in a digital autopsy. (
* Hospital files lawsuit to block Anniston Star’s open records request. (
* A former Seattle Times staffer sees the paper’s road to a digital tollbooth littered with potholes. (
* Leigh Montville is writing sports columns again for the first time since leaving the Boston Globe in 1989. (
* Blogger Perez Hilton is a father (
* Former Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko gets a consulting gig with Men’s Fitness. (
* Star of CBS hit show tweets about DISH’s Hopper; Les Moonves & Co. aren’t happy. (
* New York Times launches on Flipboard for Android and Kindle Fire. ( managing editor Mike Johnston writes:

Many of our crime stories involving robberies include a description of the suspects when provided by police. White, black, Asian, it doesn’t matter. If that description helps with an arrest, we are glad to help.

But lately, when the suspect was black, it brought out the most vile, repulsive and offensive comments we have ever had on our website.

In fact, it has now got to the point that we are turning off commenting on crime stories when they appear on our website.

* Editor: We’re now turning off comments on crime stories (

* Orange County Register changes ad policy after Anaheim politicians complain. (
bobw* “You’re going to regret doing this,” a senior White House official tells Bob Woodward. ( | Woodward at war. (
* “I’ve been feeling grimmer and grimmer about local reporting,” says NYT’s Gail Collins. (
* Santa Barbara news anchor Paula Lopez is missing. ( | (
* Matt Drudge adds to his real estate holdings. He paid $700,000 in cash for his Redland, Fla., neighbor’s property. (
* A Vietnamese journalist working for a state-run newspaper has been fired for criticizing a Communist Party leader in a blog post. (
* Review-Journal’s “Top Workplaces” insert should have been labeled “promotional section,” says Thomas Mitchell. (
* U-T San Diego tells readers how innovative it’s become under “Papa” Doug Manchester. (
* Rocky Mountain News closed four years ago today. (
* Be careful what you ask Chelsea Clinton during your 10-minute — and not a second longer! — phone chat. (
* Brian Steinberg quits Ad Age for Variety senior TV editor post. (
* The “Beat the Darts” stock-picking game is back. (
* How the AP is going to cover the pope’s retirement. (
* Apple has some “great stuff” coming, says CEO Tim Cook. (
* Halifax Media Group announces a realignment of its newspapers. (

Shocking? Unthinkable? How about asking a freelancer to work “65+ hours per week”? Here’s the “Steve Wilkos Show” ad that was deleted earlier today:


This ad was deleted after I linked to it in my Morning Report. Was the position filled? Was the show shamed into pulling the ad? I’ve asked the show’s publicist to return my call.