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Daily Archives: May 13, 2014


* A suspect claiming to be God is arrested after crashing into Baltimore’s WMAR-TV. (baltimoresun.com) | How WMAR staffers worked during the drama. (cnn.com)
* A serial arsonist dedicates his fires to a Salt Lake City TV reporter who upset him by requesting an interview. (sltrib.com)
* A man protesting David Koch‘s WBGH board membership is booted from the PBS Annual Meeting after taking the stage. (current.org)
* The best and worst things about journalists, according to a UK j-prof. (theguardian.com)
* Enough with Monica Lewinsky! (usatoday.com)
* Re the bounce house photo: “Emily Boucher, who was preparing for a lacrosse game at the Middle School, took a shocking picture of the toy as it flew through the air. The Bouchers gave The Post-Star exclusive rights to use the photo, and proceeds of its sale to other media outlets will be donated by the Bouchers to the families of the boys who were hurt.” (poststar.com)
* “A J-School student with some spare time on his hands” posts parts of really old New York Times stories. (@TimewornTimes)
* Washington Post’s cafeteria is allowed to reopen. (@RussPtacek) | Earlier: “Mice activity” detected in the Post cafeteria. (jimromenesko.com)


Fox News chief Roger Ailes and Joe McGinniss remained friends after the publication of “The Selling of the President 1968,” reports Gene Weingarten,selling who spoke after Ailes at last week’s memorial service for McGinniss, who died in March.

Ailes had been a young Nixon consultant at the time [of the book’s publication], and trusted McGinniss, and joked at his Memorial that this had been naive and unwise. Clearly not, since they had remained close for 50 years afterwards.

But, Ailes said, they never went anywhere in public together because of how it would have looked to fans of both men. (Joe’s politics were roughly my politics.)

What are Weingarten’s politics? “I am so liberal I should be tried for treason and executed,” he writes.

In his eulogy, the Washington Post columnist calls Janet Malcolm’s “The Journalist and the Murderer” an “exercise in paranoia and Maoist style self-denunciation that only masqueraded as an important piece of journalism.”

Malcolm’s attack on McGinniss “was nonsense when she wrote it, [and] it remains nonsense 25 years later.”

Weingarten closes:

Most of the people in this room knew Joe far better than I did. I liked him a lot but the fact is he and I met exactly three times, spread out over two and a half decades. I’m pointing this out because you should understand I’m not up here trying to polish or rehabilitate the legacy of an old friend. I am trying to help right a 25 year old wrong, and it seemed like the perfect forum in which to do it. Thank you.

* “Last week I spoke at the memorial service for Joe McGinniss (washingtonpost.com)
* Ailes: “We differed on many things, but he had a good heart” (nytimes.com)

“People do love it when I get badass,” Amy (“Ask Amy”) Dickinson tells me after I mention the plaudits she’s getting for telling letter-writer “Sad Sister” that “you are a horrible person” for not letting a sibling join in on an annual family weekend shopping trip.

Have you called someone “horrible” before? I asked.

No, she says. “In 11 years of writing the Ask Amy column, I have never done this. The reason I called out this particular writer is because she herself supplied the punchline by suggesting that she might in fact be horrible. So I was only too happy to affirm this.”

Dickinson says she’s received hundreds of responses from readers who loved the “Sad Sister” scolding.

“A handful of people do say that this letter must be ‘fake’ or written by me — but I assure you, if I could manufacture such solid gold, I would do so every day,” she says. “I do what I can to verify letters (emailing the person who sent them in, etc.) and in this case I even trimmed out a couple of more sanctimonious details for the writer’s own protection. And of course I have heard from dozens and dozens of bullied siblings who have been excluded by family members similar to the way the letter writer reports.”

Dickinson says “Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me!” host Peter Sagal always tells her she should be “meaner” in her responses to advice-seekers who deserve to be spanked.

“But I don’t think of this sort of thing as being mean — more being smart. Or smart ass. Or just saying out loud what everybody is thinking.”

* Letter to “Ask Amy”: My sister just isn’t one of the girls (mercurynews.com)
* “This [response] shows exactly why she’s so well respected in the game” (elitedaily.com)


blotter

* Asparagus Incident: Public record for May 13, 2014 (gazetteextra.com)
* Via GazetteExtra (Janesville Wis.) reporter @AndreaBehling

* Washington Post memo: “This month we will mark our 50th new hire so far this year.” (huffingtonpost.com)
* The Associated Press tells its journalists to keep their stories between 300 and 500 words. (washingtonpost.com) | AP reporters stage a byline strike as contract talks continue. (@ilovemesomelaw)promporn
* Yup, we noticed: “Some explanatory journalism is just an excuse to put words and names that get people’s attention into headlines people will click on.” (forbes.com)
* Longtime Chicago Tribune rock critic and “Sound Opinions” co-host Greg Kot is the subject of Marquette students’ documentary. (jsonline.com)
* A New York Times staffer comes up with the “remote streaming photo backpack.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Debra Saunders says “there is no industry effort to rebalance the newsroom to make it think more like America.” Now, she says, it’s filled with angry white men. (sfgate.com)
* Both New York Post and Daily News have “Cray-Z” headlines. (washingtonpost.com)
* ESPN producer: “We talked about [how to cover Michael Sam] in production meetings for months.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Joe Nocera: “I sincerely regret the error” in the Warren Buffett/Coca-Cola executive pay column. (nytimes.com)
* Penn State journalism students are going to Ireland to cover a football game for Pennsylvania newspapers. (news.psu.edu)
* A Pulitzer for Houston Chronicle’s newspaper-eating sportswriter? (@RapSheet)