Daily Archives: February 12, 2014

* USA Today publisher Larry Kramer: “We’ll more than double our print circulation over the next year.” (
* Stefan Fatsis: “By offering anonymity, [Sport Illustrated’s writers] were actually encouraging their sources to talk smack about Michael Sam. ” (
* Claim: PBS’s “objective” series on pensions isn’t so objective. (
murd* Rupert Murdoch‘s chief of staff: The boss (at right) took a quiz and confirmed that he’s in fact Rupert Murdoch. (He took BuzzFeed’s “Which Billionaire Tycoon Are You?” test.) (@nravitz)
* Yup, noticed that: “Only a relatively small proportion of what you see in your Facebook News Feed can really be considered journalism.” (
* You see more swearing in print these days. (
* Why the New York Times hired a biology researcher. (
* Expect more Matt Drudge chatter if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016. (
* What the new Apple TV could look like: (
* Europeans do a lot of pirating, according to a new study. (
* What makes for a “successful” online article? (
* There’s a report of more layoffs at the Oregonian. (
* OK, Kickstarter, now this is just ridiculous! (
* A list of journalists and news organizations to follow on Twitter: (

“Once every few years, our copy editors allow me to use this byline,” tweets Chicago Tribune’s Kevin Pang
* Earlier: Meet Kevin Pang, the Chicago Tribune’s cheeseburger critic (

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported Friday that its poll shows that Mitch McConnell is trailing Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the U.S. Senate race.

Bill Lamb

Bill Lamb

On Monday, WDRB-TV general manager and longtime Courier-Journal critic Bill Lamb went on the air and implied that the newspaper’s poll was rigged. His only evidence was that “the paper is proudly ultra-liberal” and “they are unabashedly a Democrat mouthpiece.”

I called Lamb this morning and told him that accusing a newspaper of rigging its election poll is a serious charge, and asked if he had more proof.

“I’m not claiming that’s its rigged,” he said. “I’m saying that when a newspaper is as blatantly biased as the Courier-Journal is, you have to question the poll’s credibility.”

According to the WDRB-TV transcript, here is what Lamb told viewers: “It stretches credibility to think that a newspaper with time tested bias is not going to rig its polls.

Lamb acknowledged making that statement, and told me: “It does imply that [the survey was rigged] but that’s not exactly what I’m saying. I wish I hadn’t used that word. …[But] the findings go right in line with every editorial they’ve done.”

Lamb added: “You could put anybody up against McConnell and the Courier-Journal would endorse them.”

I told Lamb that he’s been described to me as a McConnell cheerleader, so he has his own bias.

“I’ve been a McConnell backer because he’s the most powerful Republican in the United States, and he’s Kentucky guy. Kentucky will lose an awful lot of influence if he’s no longer there.”

I asked Courier-Journal executive editor Neil Budde if he wanted to comment on Lamb’s “rigged” claim. He responded:

As is often the case with such outrageous accusations, the best course is often to let them fade into obscurity. So I encouraged our staff to take a low-key approach on social media. I was pleased to see James Miller’s well-written column, which captured the essence of what we’d say as well.

The poll was supported by four of the largest, most credible news organizations in the state. It was conducted by SurveyUSA, which has a great track record in the industry, including accurately projecting margins in favor of McConnell in his last election.

Update: A reader points out that McConnell praised Lamb’s “Money Follows Excellence” in 2012. The Senator said Lamb’s book is “a marvelous study of timeless principles for people at any stage in their careers.”

* Bill Lamb: Can we trust the Courier-Journal pollsters? (
* James Miller: Lamb’s blast against C-J not backed by facts (
* McConnell trails Grimes 46-42 in Bluegrass Poll (

* Journal-Constitution storm edition: Read today’s electronic version for free (

* NOW wants the Wall Street Journal to fire James Taranto for his “Drunkenness” column. (
* Media critic Mark Washburn has weather tips even more ridiculous than what you hear on “Do not microwave your pets to warm them up,” he advises. Also: “Try to identify all the doors and windows in your home, and close them.” (
* The United States drops to #46 in the global press freedom rankings. (
* Another journalist has been found dead in Veracruz. Gregorio Jimenez had recently published a story about a wave of kidnappings. (
* Indianapolis Star’s exorcism feature is called “one of the most widely read pieces in the paper’s history.” (
* New York Times D.C. bureau chief: “I worry that [U.S. government] requests to withhold information have become almost blanket policy.” (
* Ex-USA Today editor Ken Paulson: “I have been on panels stretching back as far as 1995 on the death of newspapers.” (
cept* “We don’t, at least initially, have to try to feed the beast at some frantic pace,” says the executive editor of Pierre Omidyar‘s Intercept. (
* The Star Tribune completes its land deal and the newspaper’s downtown Minneapolis headquarters will soon be demolished. (
* Garry Trudeau puts “Doonesbury” on hold while he works on the “Alpha House” political comedy. “The comics were once an enormously influential part of the cultural conversation, but now it’s streaming video that’s a leading edge,” he says. ( | “I’m ready for an extended break.” (
* Detroit news site Motor City Muckraker is looking for pot critics. (
jobs* A Steve Jobs time capsule buried 30 years ago has been found. (
* You don’t find much “news” in the Facebook News Feed. (
* Cable network HLN says it’s going to cover what’s hot on blogs and social media. James Poniewozik questions that strategy. (
* Albion (Mich.) College administrators lift their student newspaper suspension. ( | There were “content verification” concerns.
* An independent reviewer sides with the University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper after a faculty member claims two articles constitute sexual harassment. (