Daily Archives: April 23, 2013

Yesterday I posted two letters from Tribune Company journalists critical of the Koch brothers, who are said to be interested in Tribune’s eight newspapers. This afternoon I received an email from a reader who says “the Kochs would be far and away the best thing that has ever happened to the Tribune.” Jerome H., who tells me his occupation is “pundit,” writes:

Thanks for the laughs, re: Bill and Charles Koch. The obvious truth is that their intellects and talents would be nearly wasted on the liberal pansies in the propaganda business that is the Tribune.

Charles and David Koch

Charles and David Koch

There are so many stunning examples of the intellectual corruption there that it’s pointless to rehash it. Instead, let’s mock the whiny liberals by pointing out that their much admired libertardian columnist and editorial board member Steve Chapman shares the Kochs’ overall worldview and political self-description – Libertarian.

And while the Kochs embrace a philosophical libertarianism which shares much of its underpinning in conservatism, and Chapman is more a liberal who wishes to be regarded as something … smarter … the fact that they occupy the same wide territory provides for good fun in mocking the libs. You might remind them of this, if you feel sporting.

More seriously, the Kochs would be far and away the best thing that has ever happened to the Tribune, if you actually yearn for a stable company which fosters intellectual integrity, real journalism and a diversity of thought, instead of the monolithic, leftist, racialist, one-party stupidity that the Trib drowned in 2 years ago.

* What would the Koch brothers do to the Los Angeles Times? (

Here’s what veteran TV critic Ed Bark wrote about Brian Stelter’s just-published “Top of the Morning”: It’s “a breezy read with more than a little overblown prose, some of it just plain silly.” The book “ends up being like a breakfast made not quite to order. …Edible? Yes. Fulfilling? Not quite.” (That review ran in the Times today.)

Here’s what people wrote about Bark on Twitter after his review came out: He’s “an envious, petulant man” who “sounds like an old, jealous crank” determined to do a “drive-by shooting.”

“I don’t think it was a trashing of the book,” the 65-year-old Bark tells me. “It wasn’t a favorable review, but I didn’t eviscerate the book” as some people have claimed. (A Hollywood Reporter story about his review “got a ton of things wrong,” and prompted him to post a comment on the site.)

“I’ve admired Brian’s work,” says the Dallas-based journalist, who has run for seven years. “I’ve read virtually everything he’s written. He’s obviously a dogged reporter.”

What about the tweets that say he panned the book out of jealousy?

“I don’t get that criticism. I’ve been doing this a long time. I don’t have the name or notoriety of Brian Stelter, but it’s no way jealousy. I agree it was a less than favorable review, but I pointed out some things he did well, too. …I’m sure this [review] isn’t going to affect the sales of Brian’s book”

Bark, who took a Dallas Morning News buyout in 2006 after 27 years at the paper, has reviewed television programs for the New York Times before but never books. He got the “Top of the Morning” review assignment after a Times staffer recommended him to the books editors.

Times editors, he says, “really did not mess with the review — there were minor style things — but in terms of the content, it wasn’t altered in any way.”

I’ve invited Stelter to comment on the review.

UPDATE: He wrote on Reddit this afternoon: “I was expecting a tough review from The Times. [Recall the review that The Times published about ‘Page One,’ a documentary I appeared in, back in 2011.] If it had been glowing, readers would have rolled their eyes!”

* Ed Bark reviews Brian Stelter’s “Top of the Morning” (
* Give NYT credit for allowing an opposing view (
* Brian Lowry reviews this “breezy, gossipy account of the morning-show wars” (
* Stelter does a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) (

UPDATE: Hack Envy — Now @FakeAPStylebook makes believe it’s been hacked.

Here’s the warning email and the phishing email that AP staffers got just before the AP Twitter account was hacked:

From: Associated Press Technology
Tue 4/23/2013 12:29 PM

All Staff –

Some users are receiving emails that appear to have a link to a Reuters or Washington Post news story.ap This email is a phishing attempt that takes users to a bogus site requesting you to log on. Users are advised not click to click on the link and not to enter their logon credentials. If you have already clicked on the link, or entered your logon credentials, please contact the help desk immediately.

Mark House
Information Security
The Associated Press
Office: 609.860.7233

This is the phishing email:

Sent: Tue 4/23/2013 12:12 PM
From: [An AP staffer]
Subject: News


Please read the following article, it’s very important :

[A different AP staffer]
Associated Press
San Diego
mobile [removed]

Former Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales says that “I regularly denounced editors as a species” and that “I liked to say, [they] were all failed writers, and bitter about it.”

David Streitfeld, who once worked on the Post’s Style section copy desk, sent this email after reading Shales’ piece, “My Life With All Those Damn Editors”:

Shales talks at length about how editors have frequently abused his copy but in fact underlines their importance by calling Reid Beddow, the one editor he mentions by name, “Reed Beddoe.”

* Tom Shales: “My pristine copy veritably flew out of my typewriter” (

Romenesko reader Marek Miller writes: “I’ve got news from Poland that might interest you. One of the top 3 weeklies, “Wprost”, published an article about Sarah Palin calling Obama to attack Czech Republic for Boston. They quoted Daily Currant with this news, and wrote everything happened during the interview on Fox News. Daily Currant’s article is here. I also attached the screenshot [below] from Wprost’s webpage, as they put that down right after some buzz on Facebook. I don’t know about you, but I found that hilarious (and yes, scary – regarding the media – as well).”

According to Google’s translation, the headline reads: “Let’s burn Prague: Sarah Palin calls for the invasion of the Czech Republic.”

* “The Koch family is no stranger to newspapers,” notes the Wichita Eagle. “The brothers’ grandfather Harry was a printer’s apprentice who operated a weekly newspaper in Texas.” ( | Tribune employees on the Koch brothers: (
* Breaking news has always been a difficult thing to report accurately, notes Jack Shafer. (
* Gannett reports digital revenue up and ad revenue down in the first quarter. (
* Former USA Today editor-in-chief Ken Paulson is named dean of Middle Tennessee State University j-school. (
* Seattle Times editor on digital subscriptions: “In three weeks we’re where we were hoping to be in three months.” (@auriarayvin)
* A Twin Cities radio talker tells Newtown families who lost children in the school shooting that they can “go to hell.” (
* CNN’s Boston coverage on Friday was a ratings hit. (
* Erik Wemple encourages the innocent “Bag Men” to sue the New York Post. (
* Dear ABC News: You are not “first” with a George and Laura Bush interview. Dallas Morning News had a 28-page special section that included an interview with the couple.
* Oregonian’s 2011 series, “The Spy’s Kids,” could become a movie. (
* Jeff Jarvis likes the idea of a feature called, “Here’s what you should know about what you’re hearing elsewhere.” (
* Fired Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys says he’s received threatening calls. (
* Jesse Wegman has been named New York Times editorial board’s legal/Supreme Court writer. (