Daily Archives: March 4, 2013


I’ve asked Sen. Joe Manchin’s office about the Q-and-A conditions, which are criticized by some readers.

Among the comments:

* “This is outrageous. Manchin works for the people, not the other way around. The Journal has no spine, and without it they cannot fairly be said to be a real news organization — only a mouthpiece of the government.”
* “Why did you continue the interview after having the terms dictated to you by a so-called public servant? Decline. I too stopped reading after the disclaimer.”

UPDATE: Editor Christopher Kinsler tells Romenesko readers:

We had an opportunity to speak in a private face-to-face interview with Sen. Manchin to ask him a variety of questions pertaining to our region of the state. His staff told us that the senator was not taking any questions on guns.

Chris Kinsler

Chris Kinsler

While Sen. Manchin is just someone in the middle of the nation’s gun debate to people from 49 other states, he’s our representative, and we need to know his stance on all issues. Currently, sequestration is a critical topic due to the large number of government jobs here. Infrastructure is also drastically important as our region has nearly doubled in population in the past two decades. Those are just two of the many topics where our readers need to know where Sen. Manchin stands.

We told the senator’s staff that we would run an Editor’s Note stating that he was not taking questions about guns. Had we declined the interview all together, we would not have been able to give our readers Sen. Manchin’s answers to important local topics. Also, running the Editor’s Note made it clear that it was not The Journal avoiding the gun issue. In fact, it was our newspaper, not the numerous web sites which have picked up on this story, that brought attention to Sen. Manchin’s unwillingness to discuss guns.

* Journal-News Q&A with Sen. Joe Manchin (
* Earlier: NRA darling Joe Manchin comes out for universal background checks (

Posted on POLITICO on March 1 at 4:33 a.m. ET. (22nd paragraph)

The Agriculture Department’s programs for the poor also will see cuts in March, including the Women, Infants and Children program,images which must cut its rolls by about 300,000 participants. Case workers will begin placing some who apply on a wait list, particularly those who are homeless or are non-breastfeeding mothers.

Posted later in the day (and now deleted) on FOX NEWS’ website (21st paragraph)

The Agriculture Department’s programs for the poor also will see cuts in March, including the Women, Infants and Children program,foxnews-avatar_normal which must cut its rolls by about 300,000 participants. Case workers will begin placing some who apply on a wait list, particularly those who are homeless or are non-breastfeeding mothers.

I’ve asked Fox News spokeswoman Ashley Nerz for comment.


Due to a reporting error, a March 1 story on the timing and impact of the sequestration cuts used information from an internal research document that contained material previously published by other news organizations. The story did not properly credit the sources of that material, and has subsequently been removed from

The uncredited use of the material was unintentional, and regrets the error.

Thoughts from Hustler founder Larry Flynt:

hustler“I think magazines are becoming passé. They’ll always be around for people who enjoy that coffee table copy of their favorite magazines, but for the most part I think print media is on its way out, including us for that matter.”

fox“We pay a price for everything and the price we pay to live in a free society is toleration. We have to tolerate things that we don’t necessarily like so we can be free. I tolerate Fox News, for example.”

“We went after stories that we’ve felt were important over the years, and the best way of getting information is to offer a reward.”

nochargeHe’s no Jonah Lehrer: Flynt isn’t charging Syracuse University for his talk there tomorrow, which he’s promoting on Twitter. He’s taking care of his travel expenses, too. (Consider him for a panel discussion booking, Knight Foundation?)

Follow the Syracuse event via #FightingforFirst.

* Larry Flynt: “Print media is on its way out” (
* Syracuse announces Nick Kristof will deliver its commencement address (


* Um, you missed a letter, NYP (@joncampbellGAN) | It’s clock, not cock, in the online version (
* Earlier: School of “Pubic Affairs” reprints commencement program because of typo (
* Hospital blocks Romenesko site for “mature humor”; The Onion is deemed fine (Letters)


City Paper’s Daniel Denvir on Philadelphia magazine’s controversial “Being White in Philly” story:

I’ve heard that people close to the publication are not happy about this particular trolling expedition. Philadelphia Magazine can sometimes not help but to brazenly stroke the fragile if well-resourced egos of its elite readership — and, and on its worst days, stoke their pathetic prejudices and insecurities too.

Longtime Philadelphia magazine writer Jason Fagone’s problems with the piece:

Sources are anonymous, names are changed. I don’t like this. I don’t see how you’re going launch a frank discussion of race—the stated goal of the piece, and a worthy one—under a cloak of anonymity.

Another thing I don’t like: The thrust of the piece seems to be that white people are afraid to talk about race because black people have made them feel uncomfortable talking about race. Therefore we can’t solve problems in the city, because a conversation is impossible. The implication is that this is black people’s fault.

UPDATE — Philadelphia magazine editor Tom McGrath tells Romenesko readers that he “absolutely” expected the criticism.

“As Bob Huber writes in the piece, any time you bring up the subject of race, you risk being called a racist,” he says in an email. “And we knew that was particularly true in this case — where we very deliberately only wrote it from a white point of view.

Tom McGrath

Tom McGrath

“We did it that way for two reasons. First, race is a subject many white people would simply prefer to ignore — despite the fact that blacks outnumber whites in Philadelphia and that a third of blacks live below the poverty line. White people’s unwillingness to engage on the issue is, I think, one of the reasons Philadelphia remains a largely segregated city. Second, we were curious to hear what white people really do think about race, since it’s not something that’s expressed publicly very often. We thought there was something to learn here that might help spark a conversation.

McGrath says City Paper’s Denvir is right about the staff’s negative reaction to the story.

“Dan is correct that, overwhelmingly, our edit staff wasn’t happy about the piece. This week, on our news and opinion site, the Philly Post, some of them will be publishing their reactions to the story and to the topic. As to whether our story stroked the prejudices of our readers [as Denvir contends]: I don’t actually know what their prejudices are. And I don’t think Dan does, either. That’s one of the reasons we wrote the story: To let people say what they actually think.” || McGrath is answering questions about the piece this afternoon.

* Daniel Denvir: Philly mag says whites must criticize blacks more (
* Tom McGrath: Why we wrote about race | The story (
* Jason Fagone: “‘Being White in Philly’ doesn’t make sense as journalism” (

60* A Romenesko reader wonders if “60 Minutes” has a deal with The North Face. (He notices correspondents wearing the coats.) A show spokesman says no.

A comment posted on my Facebook wall:

That caught my eye last night too and I thought the same thing about having seen it before. But it sure beats the trend in local TV where they make their reporters wear the cheapest looking brightly colored coats with the station logo embroidered on it.

For all the emphasis locals put on wardrobe, makeup and hair, I’d much rather see the tele-twinkies donning North Face than overstuffed one-size Cutter & Buck.

* “I’ve noticed on multiple episodes of ’60 Minutes’ that…” (Romenesko Letters)

* PBS considers Saturday and Sunday “NewsHour” broadcasts from New York. (
* In his farewell column, WaPo’s ombudsman says readers’ biggest complaint is the paper’s comment system. (
* NPR ombud: It appears WaPo has eliminated its ombud position for a customer relations person. (
* Politico reporter’s tweet: “Asked if he’d buy LA Times or Chicago Tribune, Warren Buffett says ‘no thanks.'” (@jakesherman)
* “Antiquated and counterproductive” IRS rules are hurting nonprofit news outlets. (
* Who has happier employees — Time Inc. or Meredith? (
* Ann Romney: “I’m happy to blame the media” for Mitt’s loss. (
* New York governor’s aides closely monitor media inquires. “Daily reports include information about who called and what they were told.” (
* Oakland TV stations are losing their cameras to thugs. (
* In search of “the perfect intern” who will work for no pay. (
* Harvard picks Oprah to deliver its commencement address. (