Monthly Archives: March 2014

A reader points out that the Washington Post didn’t run the “Pearls Before Swine” comic that other papers around the country published on Sunday.

Post comics/advice column editor Donna Peremes tells Romenesko readers why:

I stopped at the word “midget,”pearls and so I ran it by my editor, Eva Rodriguez. She felt that “midget” was not in the same league as “secretary” or “stewardess.” We were on the fence, but it seemed clear enough that “midget” made us both uncomfortable. So we asked for a sub. In other words, I think “midget” seemed more like a slur than an un-PC term like “stewardess.”

* “Pearls Before Swine” for March 30, 2014 (

UK Independent headline: “London Live could change the face of broadcasting in this country.”

(Now if they could only find a face to put on the screen.)

* “I won’t judge. It’s their first night. And they’re trying. But oh my goodness,” and other viewer reviews (#LondonLive)

– h/t @Carl_Soder

Jonah Lehrer is back on the speaking circuit, but this time he’s not taking a fee.

The disgraced science journalist, who was paid $20,000 to speak at a Knight Foundation conference 13 months ago, is on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus three days this week for a creativity conference.

“He’s not being paid anything,” William Payne, head of the UMD School of Fine Arts, tells me. “We’re covering the cost of him getting here and putting him up, but he wouldn’t accept an honorarium.”

Lehrer is one of two speakers invited to the Duluth campus — CSU Fresno psychology professor Martin Shapiro is the other — to speak in classrooms, deliver “TED-style presentations” and participate in a Wednesday public discussion.

WDSE public television producer Karen Sunderman, who will moderate the talk, says there are no restrictions on questions for Lehrer. “I’ve been told that no question is off the table for his entire visit,” she says in a phone interview.

Payne confirms that, and says Lehrer will discuss his serial plagiarism. “He’s going to talk about the mistakes he’s made.”

I ask the dean if Lehrer’s conference appearance has been criticized around Duluth.

“We’ve had some conversations on campus about the [plagiarism] incidences you’ve mentioned” in our phone conversation, he says.

Lehrer’s campus critics must not be very loud, though. I ask University of Minnesota-Duluth Statesman editor-in-chief Maeggie Licht about Lehrer’s visit and she says it’s news to her.

* Jonah Lehrer at the University of Minnesota-Duluth creativity conference (
* Lehrer is coming to UM Duluth with baggage (
* After being criticized, Knight Foundation says it regrets paying $20K to Lehrer (

Remember when editors resigned after The Maneater became The Carpeteater?

carpet posts from 2012:
* “I regret deeply the harm I have caused through the publication of the April Fool’s edition”
* Boston University editor is asked to resign over the “Disney Free Press” April 1 issue
* BU’s student paper had Cinderella offering oral sex to an undercover officer

Update: Read comments and April Fool’s publishing memories from my Facebook friends.

Remember the California weekly newspaper publisher who lifted a Dallas sports anchor’s Michael Sam commentary in February, and then claimed it was an attribution problem after I pointed it out? He’s now accusing the Whittier Daily News of stealing stories.

Los Cerritos News boss Brian Hews writes in his latest issue: “I am firmly convinced that the word attribution in LA’s newspaper industry has gone by the wayside. …we are sick and tired of news outlets stealing our stories. …These people are shameless, and need to be called out.”

* February: Publisher/columnist Brian Hews lifts WFAA anchor’s commentary (
* March: Brian Hews complains about news outlets stealing his stories (


Here’s why longtime Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt gets reserved parking at Miller Park, home of the Brewers:

“Tom is recovering from a horrific compound right leg fracture, suffered 3 months ago, which led to a lengthy hospital stay,” Milwaukee sports journalist Drew Olson writes in an email. “It came as he was battling back from almost a year-long foot surgery ordeal on the same side. Poor bastard has been on crutches or totally immobile most of the past year with the finish line still months away.”

He adds:

Brewers gave him the parking spot as a courtesy because the media lotbrewers is quite a hike from South Dock entrance — even for “healthy” people. Tom can’t drive, so he has a friend’s teenage son driving him to the park each day and carrying his bags, etc. Kid did it last summer, too and is getting a good lesson in the life of a hobbled ball writer. He’s also being paid by Tom.

Haudricourt tells Romenesko readers: “I really don’t want to make a big deal of it. …it’s no act of bravado or anything like that. All I do is watch and I can do that with a cast on my foot.”

Olson, an ex-Journal Sentinel reporter who is now with ESPN radio, says his friend and former colleague “is going crazy from his ordeal but won’t stop covering games — sometimes against medical advice — because he is a dedicated pro and wouldn’t know what else to do with himself.”

* “Stealing signs is part of the game, but don’t touch this one” (@drewolsonmke)

Update: Someone parked in Haudricourt’s space on Opening Day, reports Olson.

* Danny Vinik: Journalism needs people like Nate Silver, so stop beating up on the guy. (
* Mashable aims to be the CNN for the mobile/social-addicted generation. (
* A West Virginia sheriff acknowledges that gun records are public, but he refuses to give them to the local newspaper. (
* Lee Enterprises, which is quick to hand out bonuses to its execs, hasn’t given St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalists a raise since 2008. (
loveLaura Bennett names the five saddest New York Times “Modern Love” columns. ( | “Not an easy assignment.” (@lbennett)
* How baseball and newspapers are similar. (
* Former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio aims to “make a huge splash as quickly as possible” with his new Ratter site. (
* Michael Wolff on inflated traffic figures: BuzzFeed has an audience larger than the Super Bowl’s. “Something screwy here?” (
* Iowa Writers’ Workshop tells “Girls” to stay away. The HBO show’s story line “placed the university and the community in an unfavorable light,” says a school rep. (
* Michael Koretzky offers $500 to students willing to license journalists on their campuses. (No takers so far.) (
* “I like the show,” says the woman behind #CancelColbert. (
* New York Post is all over the city’s “suicide epidemic” – then runs an op-ed saying it’s just a myth. (
* Toledo Blade hears from readers after running a story about an atheist camp for kids on the religion page. (
* University of Georgia’s WUGA-TV will no longer produce local programs. (

Willow Bay, who was named USC Annenberg School of Journalism director last week, beat out an Associated Press executive and a former New York Times editor for the job.

Bay, Neil Chase, and Sue Cross made their presentations at USC in late February and early March.

Chase and Cross

Chase and Cross

Chase, whose resume include jobs at Northwestern University, MarketWatch and the New York Times, tells Romenesko readers:

I’m disappointed of course not to have been chosen, but I still think it’s one if the very best programs anywhere if not the best. …I wish [Bay] the best and I know the school will do great things with her at the helm.

Cross, an Associated Press senior vice president, writes in an email:

Annenberg is a great school with talented faculty, and I wish the new director and the school every success in continuing to build its impact in journalism and academia.

* The finalists at USC: Sue Cross | Willow Bay | Neil Chase

* Earlier: Poynter “corrects” its mention of Willow Bay’s husband, Disney CEO Bob Iger (

Update: There’s lively discussion about this on my Facebook wall.

Letter to Romenesko
Spider Jerusalem From ZOIE CLIFT: I wonder if Google Glass was inspired by Spider Jerusalem (left), the journalist and main character from Warren Ellis’ comic book series Transmetropolitan. In the series [it debuted in 1997], Jerusalem wears a pair of “live-shades,” sunglasses with built-in photography capabilities.

I am currently reading the series so it was on my mind.

* Spider Jerusalem’s Wikipedia entry



* @dailywildcat

– h/t Jimmy Orr